Wedding on a budget

My son is getting married in July. The venue was booked last year but then postponed when his partner became pregnant.  Baby is due in May. Anyway venue was never cancelled and they've decided they want to go.ahead but try and cut costs.  We did have a sit down meal booked for 60 during the day and then a buffet for 130 in the evening.
Is there anything we can do differently? They can have the service at the church anytime they want.
Would it be acceptable just to have a buffet during the day and then no food at night? I'm not really sure what peoples expectations are and I'm struggling with the 'order of the day's.  Can anyone please offer any advice or suggestions? Thank you


  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Savvy Shopper!
    I'm not 'up' with wedding etiquette but if you had a buffet during the day what would people do for food in the evening?
    Would you invite the 130 for the full day (instead of just the evening) if you went for the buffet during the day?
    What do you have planned for the evening?
    I think you may find that people would drift away after the ceremony and food - especially if it's a place where getting something extra to eat is limited and/or expensive.
    Have you spoken to the venue about what changes are acceptable to them?
  • Get married as LATE in the day as possible.  I am talking 4 or 5pm.  By the time the ceremony is done, photos etc, you will only have to feed them once.  By the time they arrive for the ceremony, guests will already have had breakfast and lunch. and if they haven't, not your problem

    Cut the amount of guests, does it really need to be so big?  You go from 60 to 130 guests which is more than double - do all these people really need inviting?  I know to some that is a small amount, but to others (Including me) it's huge

    They could get married on a week day - to cut costs, but IMHO this is very inconvenient to the guests and looks really obvious that bride and groom are being cheap, and expecting guests to pay for it by using annual leave from work.  If they do this, expect a lot of turn downs (but again that could help with cutting costs).  My SIL got married on a Thursday in the middle of no where and some people were grumbling all day, and most left early as had to be up for work the next day so it killed the atmosphere - so I don't really recommend this, just floating it as an idea really

    Cancel the whole thing, and get married in a registry office. No need for any of the above fuss.  None of it (the reception) means anything, and if they have a baby, it could be viewed as a waste of important finances

    Who is paying for it, you or them? If it is you, it might be more prudent to ask them if they wouldn't rather have the money towards a house deposit or something

    Just my thoughts

    With love, POSR <3
  • GrumpelstiltskinGrumpelstiltskin Forumite
    3.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I would bite the bullet and tell the venue that their circumstances have changed and they can't afford what they originally planned.
    Then ask what reduced amount of guests, meals etc they could do.

    Hopefully they haven't sent out invitations yet so they will have to cut their coat to fit their cloth

    Whatever they decide please don't let them get into debt, it just isn't worth it.
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • edited 8 March 2020 at 7:06PM
    HampshireHHampshireH Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 8 March 2020 at 7:06PM
    Want do they want ...... it is their wedding after all.

    60 to 130 is a big leap and I agree with the above. What is going to hold peoples interest. Also your extra 70 will expect food as many will skip dinner in favour to whatever is provided.

    Things to consider: Does the venue allow such major alterations to the initial package/deal?

    It's not always the package which is costly its often the add one which all add up.

    We did our wedding package for £3k. That included 50 in the day and an extra 10 at night (paid guests - kids under 5 went free so we ended up with about 55 and 65) welcome drink, 3 course meal, drink to toast, 6 options in an evening buffet, chair covers, table covers, sparkle curtain, DJ, honeymoon suite for the wedding night, £200 bar tab and wedding planner. That was the venue providing it all across 3 rooms.

    However we spent £3k on extras - table decs, invitations,  table numbers, seating plan canvas, uplights, guest book, grooms suit, shoes, photographer (over 1k), rings, registrar (not cheap £600), magic mirror, table distractions for the kids, etc etc 

    You don't elaborate on costs incurred/committed to but these extras are where big savings can be made. EBay, facebook market place etc were great if you need these things but you can very easily do without.

    I guess the question is. What's the budget?
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