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Getting Married in 2016 - Help with savings / budget!?

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Hi guys,

Me and the better half are getting married next March (as in 2016!) and most of the big things are booked, with deposits put down. However as everyone know’s weddings are hellishly expensive if you let them be, so we are trying to get the day we want, without it costing an absolute fortune.

So below is a list of everything we have paid for / organised so far ourselves – obviously I need to know if theres a – anything we’ve missed thinking of, b – anyway to save any extra cash on these by doing them ourselves & c – any other thoughts please guys!

Church Ceremony: £480 (already paid in full)

Venue: £3,500 (paid £875 deposit already) – this is the big one, the reception is on a Saturday but we have the venue from the Friday -> Sunday. This is to help any of my folks who will be travelling up etc. Now the site is fully self-catering, and will comfortably sleep 66, at a squeeze around 72. Hotels in the area which are also self catering charge upwards of £50 a night – but it will be down to ourselves to charge our guests, and are struggling with what a fair price per night would be (thinking around £25 - £30 p/night) but this means if we have the house full for both nights we are looking at around £4,000 and this sits a little uncomfortable with me but I couldn’t explain why.

Blaithwaite House Cumbria - Google for the venue, we can't post as a new user!

Caterer: £28.50 p/guest at the moment sat at 90 guests so - £2565 (currently paid deposit of £500)

Band: £1,000 (paid in full)

Glass/Cutlery/Table Cloth Hire: £400 (paid nothing towards this so far)

Flowers: Here we have decided to grow the table centre decorations & church decorations ourselves – planted 400 bulbs, which has cost a total of £56.76 (B&Q) all of which should be ready mid March. We need to speak to a florist or two about the bouquets.

Wedding Rings: £725 (paid in full)

Brides Dress: £1075 (paid in full)

Bar for Reception: £1000 (paid nothing so far)

Table Wine: £60 per case of 12, ½ bottle per 2 people of red & white – 48 bottles & sparkling for greeting made 60 bottles (just for the meal, then the bar is available) £360 total

So we still have lots to pay off – the big two being the rest of the venue & the caterers – anyone think of any ways we can reduce our expected bill at all over the next 4 months!?
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  • katy54
    katy54 Posts: 55 Forumite
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    I am sure family ad friends would not mind paying for staying overnight .The price is very reasonable and whenever I have stayed at a venue after attending a wedding I have always paid for myself .
    Perhaps you could buy in some tea , coffee , milk , bacon , eggs etc if it is self catering .
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    I wouldn't want to push your costs up even further but half a bottle of wine between 2 people for a sit down meal seems really stingy to me.
  • Lunar_Eclipse
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    I wouldn't want to push your costs up even further but half a bottle of wine between 2 people for a sit down meal seems really stingy to me.

    The OP said 1/2 bottle of red AND white per 2 people (which stacks up when you see the wine bottle total for the 90 guests), so half a bottle each, which is normally what restaurants work off for events.

    I wouldn't feel comfortable at all charging people to stay overnight, though I appreciate people won't expect to stay for free. Personally, I would ask the venue to run this - i.e. taking bookings/payments from individuals, and then settle the rest.

    You seem to have it all covered, though not sure you mentioned a photographer, or favours for the table, or gifts traditionally given to bridesmaids, groomsman etc. Cake? Venue decorations?

    It certainly is all adding up.
  • Mrshaworth2b
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    Have you thought about a flower market for bouquets? It would mean you'd have to arrange yourself but depending on the complexity it may be worth it to save some money?

    Bridesmaid dresses you can many nice dresses from the high street now.

    Have you factored in brides accessories? Underwear, hair makeup, jewelry, veil?
    Newly Married, not a 2b anymore!! Mum to two wonderful boys!
  • Georgiegirl256
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    I don't know if you actually live in Cumbria and if you do if you've got this weeks Gazette? But when I read the above venue details, it rang a bell with me, so I went and checked in the paper and they are the venue that's got a Winter wedding package down to £1200 instead of £3500. I don't know anymore details than that as it doesn't say, but that's a huge saving!

    I guess though a wedding in March wouldn't come under winter dates and you've already booked anyhow, but just thought I'd mention it anyhow incase you could get a better deal off them.
  • dmackaywork
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    Hi guys, thanks for the advice so far - some things had been factored and some hadn't!

    Brides accessories - veil, jewellery, underwear - all covered in the same price / bundle.

    Hair / Make-up for the bridal party - hadn't considered this at all - 7 bridesmaids, the bride & mother of the bridge would fall into this category correct?

    Bouquet arranging ourselves - the trouble with that is we lack any real artsy / design ability between us...


    Forgot to mention photographer - but booked & in hand

    Cake - a family friend is baking the cake rather than getting us a wedding gift, and its being decorated by the caterers (factored into the p/head price)


    Favours for the table - the plan was to give them something a bit different, we have grown enough flowers to have a couple of each in a mini plant pot (15cm from IKEA 25p each!) for each person, ribbon & name card on with some little packs of home-made fudge / chocolate.


    Groomsmen / Bridsemaids - dress's we are looking at at the moment are really reasonable, good quality at £40 each, with a seamstress willing to do turning up changes & bringing in for £10 p/hour (family friend - again no gift as this is it) For gifts for them - what would people normally give?


    Wine - is a full bottle per two people (with 12 children, the wine is actually a bit higher) - that's a half red and half white


    Venue - this is the biggy, its a "blank slate" so we can decorate as we wish - current plan is flowers, fairy lights on the exposed beams, postbox type thing for cards and about a million tealights. For the wedding package price - that only applies November - February unfortunately! And they are really really accommodating for any requests, but made it super clear at the beginning - we are to handle all the cash for room bookings ourselves, they do not wish to get involved in the slightest.
  • enthusiasticsaver
    enthusiasticsaver Posts: 15,710 Ambassador
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    I think it is reasonable to ask guests who stay overnight to cover the cost of their accommodation. We have always done that when travelling further away to weddings. £25-£30 seems reasonable for adults. Less so for children obviously.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • pickledonionspaceraider
    pickledonionspaceraider Posts: 2,698 Forumite
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    edited 3 December 2015 at 1:29PM
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    To be honest, this is clearly a far from budget wedding, and with so much already paid for and booked up - I am not sure what we can offer to help as you seem to have a clear idea of what you want

    If it were me I would knock straight off
    Glass/Cutlery/Table Cloth Hire: find a cheaper way of doing this
    Bar - are you offering a free bar to guests??
    Table Wine:I'd cut this way back to one glass per person to keep costs low, and remember not everyone drinks wine
    With love, POSR <3
  • Gigervamp
    Gigervamp Posts: 6,583 Forumite
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    To be honest, this is clearly a far from budget wedding, and with so much already paid for and booked up - I am not sure what we can offer to help as you seem to have a clear idea of what you want

    If it were me I would knock straight off
    Glass/Cutlery/Table Cloth Hire: find a cheaper way of doing this
    Bar - are you offering a free bar to guests??

    I agree. We didn't have a free bar at our wedding, I think most people expect to pay for drinks at the evening reception.

    The tablecloth/glasses/cutlery hire seems a lot. I would have thought it would be cheaper to buy these items from a cheap shop, you could then sell them after the wedding to get some of the cost back.

    I think what you're thinking of charging guests for overnight accommodation is fine and reasonable. When I got married, quite a few of my guests had to stay overnight. Some stayed at the venue where they had a discount on the usual rates, others stayed at b&bs or the Premier Inn.
    Husband and I have always paid for our own accommodation when we've been to weddings.

    We didn't bother with flower decorations for the tables. We bought some clear glass shallow bowls from Ikea, and floating candles. We also bought a load of fake rose petals off Ebay and scattered those over the tables. It looked very pretty.

    We had a DJ included in the venue cost. We burnt some cds of music we like as we're old goths! He played a mix of our music and pop music. It was really fun to see the older relatives bopping away to heavy, thumping industrial music! :D

    Good luck with your planning and have a lovely day. :)
  • tea_lover
    tea_lover Posts: 8,261 Forumite
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    Venue: £3,500 (paid £875 deposit already)

    (thinking around £25 - £30 p/night) but this means if we have the house full for both nights we are looking at around £4,000 and this sits a little uncomfortable with me but I couldn’t explain why.

    I'd be happy to pay for my own accommodation as a wedding guest. But I would not be impressed if I found out the bride and groom had made a profit out of it. No wonder it's sitting uncomfortably!
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