Wedding cost

edited 24 August 2021 at 9:05AM in Weddings & anniversaries
10 replies 1.2K views
CaptainWalesCaptainWales Forumite
129 Posts
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edited 24 August 2021 at 9:05AM in Weddings & anniversaries
Hi. Looking to plan a wedding for around 50 - 60 guests. My partner wants a "party" wedding whereas I just want to sign the paperwork and keep it quite lowkey. If we opted for something between both extremes, how much should we be looking to pay? Had a look at some venues and they charge tens of thousands. Is £5,000 a realistic figure all in?


  • MrsnMrsn Forumite
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    This is really how long is a piece of string sort of question.

    We had 80 guests during the day and then another 15 or so in the evening (more were invited but because the venue was a little far out they declined the invite)

    All in for everything was around 13,000... that wasn’t even what we would consider “over the top” didn’t have add ons like sweet carts, photobooths, fireworks and all the other bits. 

    It covered ceremony venue, registrars, reception venue with food and drink (just 2 per guest), photography for the ceremony and until we sat for dinner and the speeches, DJ for the evening, transport, wedding party clothes, decoration of the venue and thank you gifts. We tried to make the money go as far as possible and absolutely would not have changed the day at all but I certainly wouldn’t want to have spent anymore money than we did. We were the last of our group of friends to get married and a lot of hubby’s friends had much more costly weddings than ours, we were complimented a lot on how great they thought our day was so hopefully we did something right.
  • annabanana82annabanana82 Forumite
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    When my parents had their wedding blessing a few years back, the church service, reception in a country pub function room including food and wine for the tables, outfits and a wedding dress for my Mum was around £3k I'm not sure if this included their Honeymoon but that was a cheapish week in Portugal. They had a sweet cart but provided their own music
    Make £2023 in 2023 (#36) £858.66/£2023
  • SunnyCyprusSunnyCyprus Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Exciting times ahead!  
    We married just last week,  our local register office limited the room we booked to 6 guests, and we had another 5 waiting for us outside for photos. 

    Then we went to a church hall and prepared a buffet with pre-mixed cans of booze, plus soft drinks. My brother was Compare for the evening with a hired karaoke machine, plus father in law played guitar. Total of 40 guests for the evening.

    Everything came to around £3000... dress, 3 suits purchased, 2 more dresses, rings, paying our wedding licence twice (thanks covid!), venue, food, drink, and a Pro photographer for our ceremony (a good option if you can't afford full-day photography, ours did a 'ceremony only package' which was very affordable).

    So, you can do it cheap and diy, or you can have it hosted by an all-in venue and relax a bit! 

    As this is a "money saving" website, I'd recommend the former.
    We worked out what we could afford to save each month, and it's all bought and paid for, no debt at all. So I would push that idea... 

    Most important though, is do not stress about it. Make sure either choice doesn't bankrupt you, whether you save up first, or pay off credit cards after.

    Make a budget and stick to it. 

    Good luck! 
    If you want to do something, you will find a way.
    If you don't, then you will find an excuse...
  • MSE_ForumTeam5MSE_ForumTeam5 Community Admin
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    Community Admin
    We've moved this to the Weddings board :smile:

    Official MSE Forum Team member.
    Please report all problem posts to [email protected]
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
    33.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Savvy Shopper!
    I agree with Mrsn - how long is a piece of string...?
    Are you planning an afternoon and evening 'do' with maybe a disco  or just a meal and a few drinks after the ceremony?
    Do you want a sit-down meal or buffet?
    How much does your wife-to-be want to spend on her full outfit?
    Does she plan to have bridesmaids?
    I'm not sure you can put a £5k figure on a wedding without discussing between you what is important and what you can live without.

  • ChilliBobChilliBob Forumite
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    Depends what you include in the budget tbh. For example some people include honeymoon and rings in the budget, which would probably take a decent deny of your amount. 

    If you're talking just for a party, I'd say work out the 'fixed' costs like registry, suits, dresses and see what you have left to play with. 

    Also don't forget you don't need to hire a 'wedding venu' just a venue, this could work out cheaper

  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    I'm curious what your OH considers a 'party' wedding. What sort of ceremony do you have in mind? If you are going to a church or registry office then, like @ChilliBob said, your choice of venue for a 'party' will be much wider. Friends of mine decided to  rent their village hall, deck it out in bunting and balloons and have a traditional village tea party for their reception. I've known people have a fish and chip van turn up later for an evening do or hire one of those hog roast people. 

    How much you spend will depend on how important it is to you to have all the bells and whistles you've ever seen at a wedding or whether you're happy just to have a get together and use the money saved  for something else. Could you use the money better for other purposes like paying down your mortgage or home improvements that will last longer than a day? Just a thought.  
  • SunnyCyprusSunnyCyprus Forumite
    101 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Also... make the most of any discounts that apply to you! 
    At the start of buying bits for the wedding, I worked in retail, and got lots of money off via my employers discount scheme eg 10% off our wedding rings. 
    Then I changed to care work, and got discounts via Blue Light Card.  X
    If you want to do something, you will find a way.
    If you don't, then you will find an excuse...
  • powerspowerspowerspowers Forumite
    1K Posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    We were hoping for £5k but when we worked it out it was closer to £8k, we did come in under budget though. 
    MFW 2021 #76 £5,145
    MFW 2022 #27 £5,300 
    MFW 2023 #27 £485 / £2,023 target

  • AlmondmilkAlmondmilk Forumite
    4 Posts
    Second Anniversary First Post
    I got married 3 years ago and it cost just over £4k and £1k of that was the church fees. 
    The reception was at a "nice" local pub literally over the road from the church - feet away.  So no transport or anything (I also live at the end of the road) 
    Clothes for the wedding party (5 people) - about £600. My wedding dress was dress from Ebay - unworn and cost £140. 
    Flowers (2 boquests and 5 button holes) about £250 
    One ring (my husband doesn't wear one) £100 
    Cake (My friend made) £200 
    Music - hooked up an ipad, the venue had a sound system 
    Decorations - the function room was really nicely dressed so didn't need anything except a few balloons which I got from Ebay + helium (About £50) also the florist gave me a huge sack of fresh rose petals for free which I used to decorate the tables, they already had big candles in the centre
    Make up just for me and bridesmaid - £120 
    Hair for me and bridesmaid and Mum - £100 
    Didn't have a photographer which was risky but worked out well, we had tons of nice photos 
    Reception buffet - £17 per head (110 guests) £1870 
    £5k is easily do-able.  We had an amazing day and there was literally nothing I would have done differently even if I'd had more budget.  I hate fuss and I think smaller weddings are classier and more stress free for everyone involved!  We were adamant that we would have no speeches, no first dance and no cake cutting - just not us! 
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