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How much to spend??

I've just got engaged, and we've been looking around venues and fallen in love with our perfect location - a marquee in the grounds of a stately home. Only trouble is, i'm torn about the cost and whether this is a ridiculous extravagance or I should adopt the 'its our only chance to do it' frame of mind.

The venue offer a complete package including marquee, use of the grounds, all food, drinks package etc etc for £115pp, which for our 80 guests comes in at a whopping £9k for the reception. Now its not a question of affordability, as we are paying for everything ourselves, and would not go into debt with this, but it just seems such a crazy amount to spend on a party! Has anyone else had this dilemma? I'm just scared that if we opt for a cheaper hotel I will regret it later. I'm really torn! The most important thing for us, (apart from getting married of course!) is that our family and friends all have a great day, and although I'm sure they will at any venue, this one really puts the icing on the cake!

What shall I do??? :\?


  • sammyjoeuksammyjoeuk Posts: 3,596
    I would go with your gut, it has to be something both yourself and your groom are happy with spending.

    There is not set amount, everyone is different, if you take a look at this site , some brides are spending £1k some are spending £50k.

    Its a tough one, but I would go with my head and my heart. I dont know the venue but I would look at things such as service, because it is mad to spend money on somewhere where the service is just ok, you need wow on your wedding day.
  • lrbpielrbpie Posts: 2,280
    I have had this dilemma too...!

    The real question is whether the extra pleasure you will get from the more expensive venue (as compared with the cheaper option) is enough of a difference to justify the extra money. So for example if it is twice as expensive then do you like it twice as much? Only you can know this!!

    It's not just the pleasure on the day but also from your memories, the photos, your guests' reactions afterwards, etc.

    I have gone with the more expensive venue that I really love, but am not splurging in other areas that are less important to me, so it balances out (well sort of!)

  • SuzywhoSuzywho Posts: 212
    I say go with your heart. If it is more money than you intended spending, are there other areas where you can cut back on? I would say I have chosen a venue that is average in cost, but the location is gorgeous and we are both really happy with it.

    Keep looking around - you never know a cheaper venue may come up that you like just as much.

    Good luck xxx
  • DustyMothDustyMoth Posts: 1,528

    We found that by the time we had priced up a different venue that at first seemed cheaper, and then added all the non included things (like bringing in a hired caerer, bar staff, etc) that the package deal actually came in cheaper. Which we were surprised at as we thought they might be ripping us off!

    Might be worth doing some sums with an alternative allegedly cheaper venue to see how it works out.

    In the end, we thought about *not* having it at the venue we liked and we felt all upset and crushed. So, we went for it and we're all excited now image Which makes me think it's the right decision!
  • rarajdukrarajduk Posts: 1,784
    Just wanted to say that I think it is a good price for what is included.

    If you're able to pay for that venue and you love it and you're not going without elsewhere in your lives, then go for it.

    "What if..." is a dreadful feeling in retrospect.


  • WideBrideWideBride Posts: 111
    Perhaps try this little piece of pop psychology: imagine the more expensive venue call you and say they are no longer providing the venue for weddings or another couple has booked on your chosen day. What is your overwhelming emotion? Bitterly disappointed? Upset? Willing to do what it takes to get the venue? Or relief? Indifference etc

    Hope that helps!

  • sammyjoeuksammyjoeuk Posts: 3,596
    ^^that is a good tip, I am going to try it to justify some of my
  • blondiecocoukblondiecocouk Posts: 4,619
    hey! you have had some really good advice here. i would say follow your heart, it sounds really cheesy. but, if thats what you imagine when you close your eyes then go for it. our venue is about 10k but it is the venue i have wanted since i was little girl. it is everything i have ever wanted! xox
  • MrsRafMrsRaf Posts: 1,802
    Bella - welcome to the forum!

    i ask myself this question every single day - but i have to say that (with a grand 34 days to go) i truly believe it's worth it

    but that's me...this site is a great way to understand what YOU really want rather than what others think you should have

    so keep asking those questions and giving your gut response and we will figure out what you really think image

    seriously though, it sounds like you've got your head screwed - not letting yourself get into debt etc so i'm sure you'll be fine

    i have to agree with some of the other ladies though - that's a pretty reasonable price for what you are getting.

    A marquee for 80 people (plus all the extra requirements) would cost aprox £5k anyway - £4k for food and drink for 80 people is excellent (IMHO)

    obviously it's all relative but if you love it and can realistically afford it then i would personally say go for it!
  • LXH100LXH100 Posts: 777
    I understand where you're coming from- just because you have the money doesn't mean you have to spend it!

    Knowing where to draw the line is tricky. However I would say that the venue is the one thing that we would not compromise on. A stunning location means that you can cut back in other areas such as entertainment or flowers. If you go for the cheaper, less attractive option you may find you spend more decorating it!

    Where is your venue?

    As Mrs Raf said I don't think the cost is at all bad. My package is for 50 people and comes to £9k! Although I would suggest you fully cost it out to see if there are any extras, for example mine included 1 glass of champagne each which is not really enough for a 1.5hr drinks reception (in my family anyway!)

    good luck xx
  • bella_megbella_meg Posts: 18
    wow, thanks for all your replies! i really appreciate the advice. h2b and i had a long chat about it last night and have decided to go and have a look at a few hotels which we'd originally dismissed as they weren't quite right, but are cheaper. If any of them come close to the marquee when we visit we'll have a rethink! thanks again! x
  • kinnearjkinnearj Posts: 223
    Bella_Meg - I'm also having a marquee in the grounds of a National Trust property and believe me that is a fantastic price esp if that includes food also. My marquee alone is almost that!! (NI has few marquee companies so they really have a monopoly!). Our reception will cost half the wedding but we refused to compromise on the venue. Nowhere else we looked at came anywhere near it. Once I had my heart set on a marquee I couldn't look at any of the hotels. Best of luck xx
  • MrsRafMrsRaf Posts: 1,802
    ooh Jane - which National Trust venue?!

    I loved some of them!
  • roatesroates Posts: 1,478
    Hello Bella_Meg!

    I agree with the advice on price previously given. I originally looked at Marquees and they came out at around 4-6k before other additions. We have opted for another plan instead and the food there (although it is a top notch 5 course meal) will cost us about £38 a head for 100 people. Plus the booze will will be at least another couple of k.

    (I know we don't normally disclose figures on this forum but this is the kind of reply I would want!)

    Therefore, it seems a good price.

    However I would give you 2 pieces of advice. The first has already been mentioned - check the 'package' includes adequate alcohol - may not be so good if you want to provide more and have to add that on. And secondly, price up the other additions, ie your rings, dress, bm dress's, accessories, first night hotel, flowers, etc etc etc. I think a rough guide is to spend approx 50% on venue/food/drink but ours is working out as about a third, so are you prepeared for the other bits to come to another 20K?

    Lastly, follow your own budget - it's all very well for us to say 'it's a good price' but we don't know your financial details so go with your gut.

    Interestingly I have had several dilemmas re flower expense as one of my fav parts of the wedding. I have asked myself if my guests will remember enough about them to justify the extra expense, although I think this is more and more difficlut to stand out re the venue, when so many people have lush country house weddings these days that are quite generic.
  • Hi Bella_Mag

    Dont forget to take into consideration VAT, I did a pricing of the hotels I went looking at and when my parents went to pay the deposit and they did a costing at the hotel it ended up being an 2k because of the VAt which we had all completely forgot about so every time we price up something now we always is that inc VAT.

    seriuosly though if youcan afford it and prepared to spend it then go for it only after looking at other places first to make sure that it is def the right decision to do. Good luck.x
  • bella_megbella_meg Posts: 18
    yes we have already been caught by the VAT issue. thats kind of what did it for us with this venue to be honest, we had a figure in mind, then realised the vat would be another £1500!

    i've just called the guy again and it seems a pretty inclusive package though so sounds good value. i think the only extra things we'd need for the reception are evening entertainment and flowers, and the food is pretty similar in price to most decent hotels, its just the hire charge levied by the harewood estate which is extra. its becoming a real head vs heart battle!!! we're going to see a few more venues in the next week so I hope that kinda of makes a decision for us, either way!

    thanks for your help anyway girls, you guys are so friendly here! i've posted on other forums before and been so completely ignored i though i'd said something wrong!
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