The cost of a wedding

ringWhen I got engaged, back in May earlier this year and we began talking about budget for our wedding I naively thought that we would be able to come in at <£5000 with all but the cost of the honeymoon after hearing others getting it in under this amount.  Well, they were clearly wrong.

There is no way they got their wedding under £5000!!!

Apparentally the average UK wedding comes to more than £18000 now!  (Source)  We’re not receiving any help with costs, so that would be an unrealistic (and crazy) amount for us to save and spend in one day!  A friend who is also planning her wedding at the moment is budgeting for £20,000 and if it goes over, ‘it goes over’!  I do not have that mentality when it comes to that much money!

We have tried to involve as many family members with preparing for the day as possible.  Not only will it hopefully bring our families together, but also save on the cost of the day itself.  My Mum and Great Aunt Mary will be growing the flowers for the day as they both have large gardens and an interest and knowledge in floristry.bdCake

Dan’s Mum has produced some fantastic cakes in the past (look to the right to see the birthday cake she made for me right after I moved into my new house) and has offered to make our wedding cake for the day.

Rather than pay for an expensive venue, we have hired a Village Hall at a cost of £280 with a lot of outside space and booked a marquee to extend the dining area for the day.  We will also be making all stationery and decorations ourselves to keep costs down.  Both comfortable working in design, we photographed and composed our own Save the Date cards and I plan on a few crafty nights with my bridesmaids to put together the actual invitations at the start of next year.

Here are our top costs so far:…
#1: Catering – This is based on three courses at a sit-down meal for eighty-eight people, so could change depending on final numbers.  Initially we were planning on having a hogroast in the evening (Mmmm, hogroast!) but to cut costs we will now be putting together our own buffet which close family members will assemble for us in a seperate room later on in the day.  £1716.00wpid-IMAG1186.jpg
#2: Marquee – to be set up on Friday and taken down on the Sunday.  This cost also includes 8 tables and 88 chairs, lighting, matting and drapes.  And also a starlight ceiling for the evening which came as part of the package.  £1521.36
#3: Photographer – this is a friend of a friend and she was photographer at my Maid of Honour Hollie’s wedding back in 2009.  She has actually thrown in a few extras for us and we shall receive a DVD with all images on after our wedding which was something that was important to us. £1025.00
Wedding dress – I wasn’t sure what would be a ‘sensible’ amount for a wedding dress, but two weeks ago, I found my dress and this is the amount I will be spending.  £710.00
#5: Horse & Carriage – The one ‘luxury’ item on our wedding day and the one thing that whenever I imagined my wedding it would include…horses!  £500.00

So, with the top five costs of our wedding, and not including; stationery, suits, ceremony costs, pianist, reception venue, alcohol, evening food, thank-you gifts, favours, decorations, wedding night accommodation, a band, rings, veil, shoes, hair, make-up, bridesmaid dresses or the honeymoon we are already spending £5472.36

They are actually accepting applications for the TV show ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ at the moment.  For those that have never seen it it the idea is that the show gives one lucky couple £12,000 towards the cost of their wedding.  The hitch is that the bride leaves the groom for three weeks and cannot get in contact with him or have any part in planning the wedding day.  Usually, the couple have only been together a few years and have completely different ideas about what their wedding should be like…Resulting in entertaining TV.  Now, I would never go on this show but it does frustrate me how wrong the grooms get it every time.  £12,000 towards the cost of the wedding does sound appealing and I am pretty sure that Dan knows exactly which elements of the day are important to me (getting married in the church where I grew up and having a horse and carriage to arrive in) and what he could adapt (pretty much everything else!)  I’m pretty sure he would even choose the dress I chose myself.  How do the grooms on the show get it so wrong?!

A quick shout out on Twitter earlier today resulted in Mark suggesting that I save costs by letting Dan plan the whole thing.MarkTwitter

Great, except I’m pretty sure he has more expensive taste than me and is much less money-savvy!

Laura suggested cutting guest numbers down.


And this idea is much more workable.  We’ve already been told of four people that cannot make it.  Two already attending weddings on that day, one child who will be left at home and an Aunt who would rather not be there.  This takes us down to 82 guests, including about four small children/babies.

Any further tips for money saving at our wedding?…

How many guests were at your wedding and how did you work out who to cut?!…

And, if you’re comfortable sharing, how much did your wedding come to in total?…

8 thoughts on “The cost of a wedding

  1. I feel your pain! Weddings are stupidly expensive, even when you try and cut costs. The photographer was one of our biggest expenditures. We booked a venue which had a package so a lot of things were included which helped with the cost and organising but it was still tough.
    How lovely that everyone is helping you out. That will make it really personal as well :)

    1. We ummed and ahhhed about going for a package deal but thought we could probably work it cheaper by organising things seperately and doing bits ourselves. This is turning out to be very energy-sapping though! I’m sure it will all turn out fine in the end. Like you say, hopefully with a nice personal feel. :)

  2. I love don’t tell the bride but I don’t understand how after all these series the brides do not prep the grooms a bit more! Although even though they often do get it wrong the brides always love it in the end because at the end of the day surely it is about them getting married and not the wrong colour dress or whatever.
    I have never dreamt of getting married, and the idea of the day fills me with dread as I hate being the centre of attention. One of my friends got married earlier- she had 10 guests (basically close family)- registry office, she made her own cake, they just had a normal meal out after, I suppose her dress was more expensive than a normal dress but I can’t imagine they spent very much and certainly not £5000! One of my other friends got married in a registry office, and then had a reception/ blessing in her parents’ garden- again not expensive. I think it can be done but people like all these extras now.
    I always think I would rather have an amazing holiday than spend all that money, but then I am not very romantic!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Weekend bakingMy Profile

    1. Yeah, it’s always rather heart-warming when despite in the build up the bride who ‘would never wear lace’ walks down the aisle in a lace dress gushing about how beautiful it looks and what a great choice her new husband made! :)
      Some of Dan’s close family friends got maried in Cuba the year before we met. They invited everyone out there for their wedding day, although the cost of flights/time of work etc put people off, so there was only a small group of about 30 guests made up of just close family/friends and they got married as a package deal abroad. They then stayed for an extra week as their honeymoon which I thought was rather nice.
      I think part of all the ‘extras’ required is expectation from others. I know if we didn’t get married a church my Mum would be disappointed, and if we did not have food in the evening, Dan’s parents would comment…despite it being ‘our day’ we still need to think of everyone else!

  3. The cost of weddings these days makes me really sad. I think it’s mostly down to people competing with each other and showing off – nearly £20,000 for one day is utterly ridiculous…it reminds me of the way kids’ birthday parties have become massive events when they used to be so simple and lovely. To me, if someone loves you enough to want to marry you then that’s all you really need. I know love alone would be more than enough for me. I think your budgeting is very sensible and you have things under control, unlike those Bridezillas and idiot Grooms on Don’t Tell the Bride. I do watch it, but I cringe because they obviously pick the most clueless men and generally bitchy women possible.

    Going back a few posts, I meant to say that I think you made the right decision about the GNR – hopefully I’ll see you there next year :)

    Jessica recently posted…Race Recap ~ Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10K ~ 42:38My Profile

    1. You’re right, kids’ birthday parties seem to have become a massive competition between parents to show off what you can afford to do. I LOVED the party food my Mum laid on when I was a child and playing games like Pass the Parcel and Musical Statues. Kids parties now seem to involve Pleasurewood Hills, followed by a restaurant meal and horse-riding lessons?! Is it necessary to spend so much money when they would be just as happy playing dress-up?!
      I am hoping I am not a Bridezilla!!!
      You shall definitely see me at GNR next year! :) Perhaps we’ll have a photo taken where I’ll know you’re in it too this time?!!! Haha! Are you looking forward to the race this weekend?

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