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  • FIRST POST
    • Nick Nolan
    • By Nick Nolan 24th Jan 18, 11:36 AM
    • 6Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Nick Nolan
    Wedding budget advice
    • #1
    • 24th Jan 18, 11:36 AM
    Wedding budget advice 24th Jan 18 at 11:36 AM
    Hi everyone!

    After getting over the initial excitement of the engagement reality has dawned on us we now have a wedding to plan... and as part of this I have been trying to put together a reasonable budget that we can do some planning around etc...

    We are really in the early stages of planning, but we have some ideas of what we are looking to do, and we have started looking at a few venues etc. Our ideal time for the wedding is towards the end of this year, and we have come to realise that for that to happen we need to start moving soon!

    We are looking to host approximately 100 guests at a venue within about maximum 2-3 hours drive/train from London where we can have the place to ourselves and everyone can stay over. Our main priority is for all guests to have the time of their life and for it to be a memorable weekend. We are not overly fussed about exclusive food/wine, but would allocate money to entertainment and drinks - we are in our early 30s so our friends like to party

    I have tried to do as much research as possible online, but the divergence in opinions and estimates is so large that I thought it could be useful to hear some ideas from the experienced people at the MSE forum

    Another problem is that I am sure that there are lots of things that I might not be thinking about that will come up, so I wanted to see if anyone had any comments/additions to my draft below.

    Below is my attempt at a preliminary budget which I am sure is full of holes and flaws..... All comments, input and experiences are really greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks in advance!!

    Nick

    Venue hire (exclusive use) inc. accommodation, wedding breakfast, wine and champagne (100 guests) 30,000
    Additional drinks at the bar throughout 5,000
    Dinner night before for closest family/friends (30 ppl) 3,000
    Master of ceremony 1,000
    Photography 1,500
    Flowers 1,000
    Cake 1,000
    Music/DJ/band/singer 3,000
    Dress hire (she doesn't want to buy…) 1,000
    Groom's suit 1,500
    Shoes 500
    Stationary 1,000
    Hair/makeup/nails 500
    Maid's dresses (3 maids) 1,500
    Wedding bands 5,000
    Other wedding jewellery 1,000
Page 1
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 24th Jan 18, 12:05 PM
    • 36,678 Posts
    • 472,305 Thanks
    pigpen
    • #2
    • 24th Jan 18, 12:05 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Jan 18, 12:05 PM
    insurance... ? .. not optional when you are spending that much.
    Cars?
    video??
    favours/gifts?
    OHs sister spent a small fortune on teeth whitening too.. might be a consideration..
    new underwear.. some dresses require less visible undies.. and they arent cheap.. unless that is in dress budget.

    I'd be wanting to knock at least 1 zero off the end of most of those!! I realise I am not near London though

    (I'd have no guests and not even tell anyone it was happening and maybe consider livestreaming it! haha)
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    • tho
    • By tho 25th Jan 18, 12:35 PM
    • 244 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    tho
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 18, 12:35 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 18, 12:35 PM
    Agree with pigpen, first step take out insurance.

    Have you got any ushers/best men? You may want to dress them too, but maybe not at £1,500-£2,000 each! Same goes for Father of the bride, and your dad if you desire.

    £5k open bar is also very generous! but be careful with this, £50 each for evening drinks sounds like a nice host plan, but if you let everyone know all their drinks are on you all night, i can imagine quite a few will exploit that to the max, and carry on going.

    Other thing to consider is honeymoon.

    I'd say though if you're going 2-3 hours out of London for this, your budget looks very healthy and you'll probably find you have overbudgeted on quite a lot there, so I wouldn't be too concerned.
    • 7roland8
    • By 7roland8 26th Jan 18, 3:45 PM
    • 3,572 Posts
    • 6,832 Thanks
    7roland8
    • #4
    • 26th Jan 18, 3:45 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Jan 18, 3:45 PM
    Are you actually planning on 56k for a wedding weekend? Hardly money saving in any shape or form but go for it if you can n afford it without any pain.
    Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day. -- Sally Koch
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 26th Jan 18, 4:12 PM
    • 330 Posts
    • 393 Thanks
    need an answer
    • #5
    • 26th Jan 18, 4:12 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Jan 18, 4:12 PM
    Are you actually planning on 56k for a wedding weekend? Hardly money saving in any shape or form but go for it if you can n afford it without any pain.
    Originally posted by 7roland8
    I disagree,if the OP has set that budget then its fine that's what they work to or indeed shop around and haggle to get a better deal.

    My perception of the whole idea that MSE promotes is not to get the cheapest but the best deal in the circumtances.

    Whats the point of having something so cheap that its worthless to you,surely the better way to look at it is about making your money and every penny give you the best possible value.

    Yes I understand that there are many people who can only dream about a budget in the realms that the OP has suggested but neither have they asked for advice or comments around whether they can afford it,and I don't read anywhere that they say they will be getting into debt because of it.

    Several years ago I remember a couple on the thread who were absolutely carpeted because they had budgets of £20k and many posters really got angry because they felt they were not scrimping or conforming to the MSE "ideal" of a low budget wedding.

    They were though because they wanted to make every penny work for them no differently to the bride that has a £5k budget.

    Maybe by employing the same tactics as those who have a more limited budget this couple can also cut their expense,but its wrong to say that they are not moneysaving or money savvy just because their budget is higher than most.
    in S 20 T 13 F 39
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    2018 Wombling entrant No: 5 £57.70
    • Nick Nolan
    • By Nick Nolan 4th Feb 18, 12:58 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Nick Nolan
    • #6
    • 4th Feb 18, 12:58 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Feb 18, 12:58 PM
    Thanks everyone for your kind responses so far.

    Insurance was definitely something I hadn't thought of at all, so will definitely look into that.

    Thank you also to 'need an answer' for the very accurate description of what the purpose of this post was. I of course realise that our total budget is larger than many other couples', but the idea was to see if there were any parts we had miscalculated or missed out (such as it turns out insurance), so that we can make the most out of what we have.

    As it turns out, it seems one part where meaningful savings are possible is to negotiate the fixed price with the venue (which is of course also the most expensive item). They have indicated that they are open to discussing the price, so hopefully that should help bring the total down a fair bit.
    • ladymarmalade
    • By ladymarmalade 4th Feb 18, 1:39 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 1,211 Thanks
    ladymarmalade
    • #7
    • 4th Feb 18, 1:39 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Feb 18, 1:39 PM
    Hi everyone!

    After getting over the initial excitement of the engagement reality has dawned on us we now have a wedding to plan... and as part of this I have been trying to put together a reasonable budget that we can do some planning around etc...

    We are really in the early stages of planning, but we have some ideas of what we are looking to do, and we have started looking at a few venues etc. Our ideal time for the wedding is towards the end of this year, and we have come to realise that for that to happen we need to start moving soon!

    We are looking to host approximately 100 guests at a venue within about maximum 2-3 hours drive/train from London where we can have the place to ourselves and everyone can stay over. Our main priority is for all guests to have the time of their life and for it to be a memorable weekend. We are not overly fussed about exclusive food/wine, but would allocate money to entertainment and drinks - we are in our early 30s so our friends like to party

    I have tried to do as much research as possible online, but the divergence in opinions and estimates is so large that I thought it could be useful to hear some ideas from the experienced people at the MSE forum

    Another problem is that I am sure that there are lots of things that I might not be thinking about that will come up, so I wanted to see if anyone had any comments/additions to my draft below.

    Below is my attempt at a preliminary budget which I am sure is full of holes and flaws..... All comments, input and experiences are really greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks in advance!!

    Nick

    Venue hire (exclusive use) inc. accommodation, wedding breakfast, wine and champagne (100 guests) 30,000
    Additional drinks at the bar throughout 5,000
    Dinner night before for closest family/friends (30 ppl) 3,000
    Master of ceremony 1,000
    Photography 1,500
    Flowers 1,000
    Cake 1,000
    Music/DJ/band/singer 3,000
    Dress hire (she doesn't want to buy…) 1,000
    Groom's suit 1,500
    Shoes 500
    Stationary 1,000
    Hair/makeup/nails 500
    Maid's dresses (3 maids) 1,500
    Wedding bands 5,000
    Other wedding jewellery 1,000
    Originally posted by Nick Nolan
    Things that you may also want to think about:
    • wedding favours (we actually didn't bother with these and made gift bags for all guests under the age of 12 instead)
    • honeymoon - we included this as part of our total costs as at the time it was by far the most expensive holiday we had been on.
    • Outfits for best man/groomsmen etc
    • Table decoration/ chair covers etc - is this part of the package? It isn't always so it's worth checking.
    • Bridal party gifts - are you intending to give a gift to best man/bridesmaids etc
    "More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them." - Harold J. Smith
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 4th Feb 18, 7:06 PM
    • 772 Posts
    • 4,214 Thanks
    michelle09
    • #8
    • 4th Feb 18, 7:06 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Feb 18, 7:06 PM
    Wow... ummm... if you've got the money for this, great, but we had a wedding for 100 people and it came in at just over £8k. We didn't house them for the night but I doubt that would have been £48k!

    We bought our rings in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. It's not that expensive to get to from London (not on your budget!) and you get great value on the rings. We went for 9ct because the metal is far stronger and less likely to bend and got two custom made rings for £600 (total). They even engraved my engagement ring (not bought through them) at no extra cost.

    You don't have transport anywhere on your list?

    I have no concept on the cost of renting dresses, but make sure that includes fittings / tailorings. For £1000 I would expect it to but check before you agree. I'd also make sure how long you get it for - I took my dress to a house near the venue a month before so it couldn't be forgotten!

    If you're going open bar, discuss what you want it to include. I've worked bar at a lot of weddings and there tends to be a mix

    - people who are happy to foot the whole bill (you guys may be those people) but it can be very high as some people will push you to the limit.

    - people who pay for certain drinks. Generally soft drinks / wines / beers but no spirits. (If you do this, make sure you remember something for non-drinkers. It's really awkward telling people that their beer is covered but the lemonade isn't!)

    - people who put a certain amount behind the bar. My only issue with this approach is that people who drink slowly may turn up for their second drink to find that the faster drinkers have eaten into the budget much quicker.

    - plus there's always the putting wine / soft drinks on the table option. If you have caterers you can always ask for a wine service which means that you can make sure no-one misses out.

    Personally we had an MoC who was a friend at the wedding - it's not much extra work for announcements and we felt it was nice to have someone who knew us as a couple. And with 100 people it was quite easy to find someone who had some experience of it. Something to consider.
    • Nick Nolan
    • By Nick Nolan 4th Feb 18, 9:16 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Nick Nolan
    • #9
    • 4th Feb 18, 9:16 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Feb 18, 9:16 PM
    ladymarmalade - thank you for the additional input. I have considered most of the items on your list, but wedding favours is one I haven't looked at much so far so I will definitely do that!


    michelle09 - those are some really good points, thank you!

    Regarding the bar, I think we will go with the open bar option and settle the bill at the end. We have had some discussions with the venue on how we could structure it, and I think we might use the venue's bar as a cocktail bar (with a menu of a few different options, so that the bartenders don't have to mix all kinds of exotic cocktails which might increase waiting times), and then we will have a few self-service stations with wine and ice buckets of beer and soft drinks. How do you think that sounds?

    Regarding the MoC, we have also taken that out and will, similarly to what you suggested, have a friend act as toast master (this is very common where we are from). The venue also provides an official toast master who will show guests where they need to be and when, etc, so I think between them it should work out well.

    I don't think there will be any transport costs. The guests will sort out their own transportation to/from the venue, and we will just drive down in our own car. The ceremony/drinks/dinner/party/accommodation is all in the same place, so no transportation is needed during the day/evening.

    Thanks again for your helpful response!
    • savvy
    • By savvy 5th Feb 18, 10:18 AM
    • 29,768 Posts
    • 45,398 Thanks
    savvy
    Wow hehe, I bought a whole house for £56K But yes, MSE is all about getting bang for your buck and not scrimping where you don't need/want to etc. It's all about making your money work harder for you, and if you have a big budget, awesome......but being savvy with it, will allow for more fabby things to have or do
    Regarding the bar, I think we will go with the open bar option and settle the bill at the end. We have had some discussions with the venue on how we could structure it, and I think we might use the venue's bar as a cocktail bar (with a menu of a few different options, so that the bartenders don't have to mix all kinds of exotic cocktails which might increase waiting times), and then we will have a few self-service stations with wine and ice buckets of beer and soft drinks. How do you think that sounds?
    Originally posted by Nick Nolan
    This sounds like my type of bar! Excellent idea and easier to cater for the different levels of drinking ability lol.

    Did anyone add thank you presents?
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    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 5th Feb 18, 7:24 PM
    • 772 Posts
    • 4,214 Thanks
    michelle09
    I'm a little odd, I really like wedding favours. People tend to be divided and they can quite often be left behind. We had 2 favours - one acting as a place mark. One hundred people and we had 3 of the place markers left - none of the others. Odd considering one of the place markers was for someone who was too ill to make it on the day!

    If you can afford it, and are happy to, then open bar is a good way to go. Your guests will love you anyway! But I can pretty much guarantee you'll spend more than £5000 on it. Particularly if you're close to London. If you have the self service stations you will get an idea of some prices before - the only downside is that you will have to pay for it whether or not it gets drunk. Not an issue if it's unopened so you can take it home, but half drunk bottles of lemonade / coke are a depressing waste of money.

    Transport wise - I was mainly thinking for the couple / to and from photos. Also that will depend on how remote your venue is. If it's a long way from public transport and you have a number of non-driver coming then it's somewhere you could really help them out. I mostly suggest this because you seem to be really keen on looking after your guests.
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 5th Feb 18, 8:23 PM
    • 36,678 Posts
    • 472,305 Thanks
    pigpen
    Transport wise - I was mainly thinking for the couple / to and from photos. Also that will depend on how remote your venue is. If it's a long way from public transport and you have a number of non-driver coming then it's somewhere you could really help them out. I mostly suggest this because you seem to be really keen on looking after your guests.
    Originally posted by michelle09
    When I got married a lot of my guests were non-drivers or going to be drinking so we had a 57 seater executive coach.. My auntie drove it, she picked up all the guests and then me last and drove us to the venue then on to the reception
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    24/03/2018 £53974.15 (5.15% int.)
    • Nick Nolan
    • By Nick Nolan 5th Feb 18, 10:01 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Nick Nolan
    michelle09 - that is a good point regarding transportation to the photos. I do believe that the photos will be taken at or around the venue in this case, but I will definitely double check!

    The venue is about 15 minutes taxi ride from the nearest town/train station, so I imagine that most people who don!!!8217;t arrive by car will use that mode of transportation. The hotel has said that they can help order taxis as and when they are needed. In my mind, I am thinking that it will be difficult to arrange a more centralised transportation, as I think the guests will leave at very different times depending on the time of their trains/flights. Perhaps having a mini bus on hold is not a bad idea though, to take people in to town. It might be a nice touch actually - will look into it!


    pigpen - as the ceremony, dinner and evening party is all at the same venue, and accommodation at the venue is provided for all guests, we don!!!8217;t require any such transportation on the day. If there are a lot of guests leaving at the same time the day after, however, something similar to what you mention might be an idea to take them to the train station.


    Again - thank you all for this very fruitful conversation!
    • mr_fishbulb
    • By mr_fishbulb 22nd Feb 18, 10:48 AM
    • 5,060 Posts
    • 2,815 Thanks
    mr_fishbulb
    Are you including the registrar costs anywhere?

    If not then that will be extra £400-£600ish depending on who your registrar is. You will need £35/person to give notice of the wedding, £4/copy of marriage certificate plus how ever much the registrar charges to come out for the ceremony.
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