Booking venues and budget mayhem

Hi all,

I guess I'm venting and would love to have a bit of advice!

We got engaged on my birthday in June, after H2B proposed on a surprise trip to Paris.  All very romantic and gorgeous.  We're just about to have an engagement party as we have decided to get married in 2014 (quite a way away).

After doing one budget excel sheet, my long suffering but pain in the butt H2B is now stressing about wedding costs.  Let me round it up for you - we're looking at having a Turkish wedding (him being half Turkish and me full).  Problem is, we're looking at catering for 350 people.  We have seen one venue which is really close to home and love it, but after costing have found we're looking at £27,000.

I really need to reduce this cost but have no where to look for venues that are nearby, Bromley or surrounding areas would be ideal.

I really want to make our special day work and have already starting thinking about cost cutting ideas (growing our own roses etc).

Help please?!  Thank you soooooooooooo much, any advice, guidance or wise words would benefit me immensely! xxx


  • mai1008mai1008 Posts: 10

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Jennytay08Jennytay08 Posts: 693
    I don't know the area well but I know that in Edinburgh the hilton does really good packages for very large weddings - I would see if there is a hilton nearby. You could also cater just starters and main course then have your cake/ a cake table as dessert, that should save some money!
  • The obvious cost cutting exercise is the guest list.  You could always have fewer people in the day for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, and then increase your list in the evening for the buffet/evening do.  That is what we're doing - 36 in the day and then 90 in the evening.

    There are lots of other ways to cut costs over the day, but I do think with a guest list in the region of 350 a "guestimate" of £25k is probably not far off.

  • *nikki**nikki* Posts: 193

    I'd never heard of this place until I went yesterday and saw that they do weddings there, it was beautiful

  • PinkafroPinkafro Posts: 1,211

    hannah, I googled Turkish weddings as my knowledge of them was fairly non existant, and the large numbers thing is part of it. If OH and I invited everyone we know who we have spoken to in the last 5 years we still wouldn't have as many as 350 haha, so I certainly feel for you MrsM2be.. I don't have anything to suggest really I'm afraid, my search was in a different area and up to 120 guests.

    Again I don't reall know whats involved in Turkish weddings but would it be possible to have the ceremony and reception separately, or was that what you were looking at anyway? My biggest problem was wanting a venue where it was all done in the one place, but there are lots more options if you don't need the ceremon license. Hiring a large pub/restaurant; hiring a field, marquees, and catering company; hiring a large hall/community centre/house and catering company etc.

  • Mand-eMand-e Posts: 15

    Hi MrsM2Be21,

    Congratulations! Don't panic, I know what you mean as Indian wedding's are huge too!

    Have you had a look at Cobham Hall, Kent. It's about 30 mins from Bromley. It's beautiful and they cater for large weddings. Also have a look at Dulwich College. 


  • MrsTwizbeMrsTwizbe Posts: 3,352 New bride

    Have you thought about reducing costs by having the wedding in Turkey?? Could that work for you? If needed you could then have a reception back in the UK which would be a lot cheaper for so many people as you can do a more buffet style.

    As for locations, I would say Dulwich College as well or perhaps St Dunstan's in Catford.

  • we saved a huge anouht of money by providing our own cold desserts in the evening. Lemon Torte, pre sliced x 10,  individual Chocolate, raspberry and apple tortes, and all came in at under 0.90p per head. Our ' help yourself ' dessert table looked amazing. Our catereres provided 2 main buffet HOT dishes ( salmon fillet and a chicken dish ) and a free vegetarian dish, Wild mushroom Lasagane,  hassleback potatoes and seasonal veg.

    This was top quality food for just over 100 people ( and the band and our own waiting staff ) but came in at less than the £3.95 the caterers offered for their desserts and £1.95 per head for coffee. We provided ALL our own alcohol too and had a vintage tea ( tea and scones and finger sandwiches ) to begin the wedding breakfast at 4pm, provided by our own locally employed waiting and catering staff. by 10pm we had arranged a full west Indian Curry and rice ( cooked by family ) approx cost £50 for meat and £20 for rice and spices etc ) from our own large silver chaffing dishes and served everyone by our catering staff and all guests and workers were fully fed. heaps of alcohol left over too. all salads and other items were cooked and served by our own waiting and catering staff -  we paid them their usual hourly rate from carvery restaurant we attend regulalry ( over the past year ) and a whole lot more on top as a bonus for their hard work over two days. Assistant chef and waiting staff x 3 worked a treat and worked out much cheaper than our caterers staff staying half the night and helping with evening food and washing up etc.  The local staff we employed loved it !!! they turned out in full black waiting and serving attire and when asked if they wanted to do this again, they jumped at the chance to be part of a local new Edwardian Vintage wedding events business, I have now set up.   hope this helps in cutting some costs it did for us.


  • Thank you so much everyone, I'm overwhelmed by the responses!!  image H2B decided to back down and start helping, and budgeting.  We have managed to book Oakley House for April 20th 2014 so we now have a date!!


    I'm going to try not to think about it too much, just been googling ideas on how we can cut costs and still do what we want.  Our catering is actually not that bad @ £25 per head, we'll have to get drinks ourselves but we have friends who have worked in wholesale so hopefully they can help with the discounts!


    I try St Dunstans but they are very picky about when they have people in and are booked up til God knows when! 

    I'm actually starting to get excited now.

    You're right, I was explaing to the long suffering that Turkish weddings are about having everyone you love and know, attending and contributing to your life together. Many Turkish couples come home with enough money to put a mortgage on a house!  We're just trying to find the balance, gosh, I didn't realise the balance would be so difficult.  Has anyone else had problems balancing what they want and what they can afford??? xxx

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