London budget, 180 people- £35 MAX- Is this DOABLE!?!?

Hi ladies, 

I am really hoping that someone may be able to help me out. 

My partner and I both have really big families and a lot of mutual friends and after multiple efforts, we just cannot get the guestlist down to anything smaller than 180. 

We ideally do not want a hotel venue, and would prefer something abit more unique. 

Pretty much everywhere in or around London is approx £9k incl VAT for dry hire and then we haven't even started with food, drinks, flowers etc. 

Has anyone done a wedding in/around London with similar numbers for less than £35k? and would you be willing to share any cost saving tips?

We really wanted to supply drinks all night to avoid guests having to pay but it looks like that may be have to be let go if we cannot find a cheaper venue. 

Any help SO welcome. 

Thanks in advance, 

Soph xx

Posts

  • Bebe2Bebe2 Posts: 61 New bride

    Hi Soph, 

    We have similar numbers and a similar budget and also wanted an open bar for our guests. I looked at trinity buoy wharf and Shoreditch studios I think it was called. They are both dry hire venues and are around 6-7k. The only thing is they are totally dry hire which can be great for food and booze but costs can add up quickly.  In the end I went for a venue in Surrey as they gave us a discounted last minute date for 2018 (we have had just under a year to plan) if you are flexible on dates going for one of the last remaining bookings can save you a lot of money. 

    Some other venues just outside of London are tewin bury farm, the landmark arts centre, headstone manor. 

    Hope that helps xx

  • kitty-kitty- Posts: 121 New bride

    Outside London venues you could definitely do this but look at barns and halls. We are doing our whole wedding for 130 people for under 10K. 

    Our food is about 10PP. We are having a hog roast with roast potatoes and veg and sandwiches and cakes in the evening. We found a venue with no corkage so are providing our own alcohol as we didn’t want our guests to pay for it. our Alcohol cost us £500 as we are only doing beer, wine, cider and one cocktail. We went to France to get our own alcohol. Look up majestic wine Calais. 

     

    Definately can can be done but you will need to make cut backs on the celebration if you cant on the guest list. 

  • We are getting married on a Thursday to save costs! Winter dates are also cheaper. We splashed out on the venue but have made savings on all other suppliers by going for smaller companies just starting out who are more willing to offer discounts! Getting married in Bucks so I imagine slightly better than London prices! X

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,525 New bride

    Look at Honnington Farm in Kent, they have a huge marquee that would work for your numbers.

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,472 New bride

    Hi Soph

    How far out are you willing to look at?  We are getting married at Colville Hall in Essex.  It is a stunning venue- we have 120 day guests, and another 90 odd for the evening.  The venue capacity is 220.  We are paying £6.4k hire in October (1st weekend) and are allowed our own drinks until the end of the wedding breakfast, plus they have a choice of 4 caterers.  Our budget is around £35-£40k.  

  • Elz2017Elz2017 Posts: 316

    For £35k, I reckon you can do it in London at those kind of dry hire prices.

    We're not in London, but have a similar kind of budget. For 150 people (and if your guest list is 180, you may get some drop outs), we're paying approx £8k for dry hire (only thing included is chairs and tables which is useful); approx £7.5k for food (or £50ish per head); approx £2.5k booze. So that's around £18k for the basics, leaves you £17k for everything else. Of those things, the photog will probably be priciest, any staff you need, followed by anything you have to hire in (place settings etc - we've bought compostable versions of everything in bamboo - cheap, pretty and good to dispose of!). Except for whatever your ceremony will cost, all the rest is extras. I will say that we have spent around 6k on accommodation for guests as we're 'destination' style so our 'real' budget is more like £29k - you won't have to do that in London!

    I guess the extras (decorative schemes etc) depend on what kind of venue you go for! A more opulent venue = less decoration, an industrial space = more decoration (but may have decorative elements included that suit your vibe). Plus, as a London wedding, it matters less what time of year it is, so you could go out of season to bring the prices down as you're less likely to rely on good weather/out door areas.

    Weatherwaxe has a brilliant planning thread on here (An Unconventional London Wedding) - might give you some ideas!

  • OTtobeOTtobe Posts: 12

    Thank you so much Bebe2!

    Do you know if Trinity Buoy Wharf and Shoreditch supply chairs/tables as dry hire and if the £6-7 excludes VAT? They are both exactly the type of look we are going for. 

    Ideally wanted to stay IN London but may start looking out. And will DEFINITELY look at last min dates too- what a great idea.

    Thanks again! xx

    Bebe2 wrote (see post):

    Hi Soph, 

    We have similar numbers and a similar budget and also wanted an open bar for our guests. I looked at trinity buoy wharf and Shoreditch studios I think it was called. They are both dry hire venues and are around 6-7k. The only thing is they are totally dry hire which can be great for food and booze but costs can add up quickly.  In the end I went for a venue in Surrey as they gave us a discounted last minute date for 2018 (we have had just under a year to plan) if you are flexible on dates going for one of the last remaining bookings can save you a lot of money. 

    Some other venues just outside of London are tewin bury farm, the landmark arts centre, headstone manor. 

    Hope that helps xx

     

  • OTtobeOTtobe Posts: 12
    Hi Kitty, 
    Thanks so mcuh for you reply. 
    Do you mind me asking which venue you went for?
    Ideally, we really want a warehouse/blank canvas style venue as we have been to alot of barns weddings but will definitely keep an open mind as that does seem to be a more cost effective options. 
    Thanks again for taking the time to reply xx
    kitty- wrote (see post):

    Outside London venues you could definitely do this but look at barns and halls. We are doing our whole wedding for 130 people for under 10K. 

    Our food is about 10PP. We are having a hog roast with roast potatoes and veg and sandwiches and cakes in the evening. We found a venue with no corkage so are providing our own alcohol as we didn’t want our guests to pay for it. our Alcohol cost us £500 as we are only doing beer, wine, cider and one cocktail. We went to France to get our own alcohol. Look up majestic wine Calais. 

     

    Definately can can be done but you will need to make cut backs on the celebration if you cant on the guest list. 

     

  • OTtobeOTtobe Posts: 12
    That is a great idea to look mid-week. Will look into that option. Thanks so much x
    Moonshine25 wrote (see post):

    We are getting married on a Thursday to save costs! Winter dates are also cheaper. We splashed out on the venue but have made savings on all other suppliers by going for smaller companies just starting out who are more willing to offer discounts! Getting married in Bucks so I imagine slightly better than London prices! X

     

  • OTtobeOTtobe Posts: 12
    Thank you- will do :) xx
    MrsCToBee wrote (see post):

    Look at Honnington Farm in Kent, they have a huge marquee that would work for your numbers.

     

  • OTtobeOTtobe Posts: 12
    Thank you - this is so helpful to hear your actuals. It is resassuring to hear that we may be able to do it within the budget. The thing that seems to be getting to us is that the dry hire quickly adds up when you factor in VAT! Same with packages to be honest. Will definitely check out that thread too. Thanks for taking the time to reply :) xx

     

    Elz2017 wrote (see post):

    For £35k, I reckon you can do it in London at those kind of dry hire prices.

    We're not in London, but have a similar kind of budget. For 150 people (and if your guest list is 180, you may get some drop outs), we're paying approx £8k for dry hire (only thing included is chairs and tables which is useful); approx £7.5k for food (or £50ish per head); approx £2.5k booze. So that's around £18k for the basics, leaves you £17k for everything else. Of those things, the photog will probably be priciest, any staff you need, followed by anything you have to hire in (place settings etc - we've bought compostable versions of everything in bamboo - cheap, pretty and good to dispose of!). Except for whatever your ceremony will cost, all the rest is extras. I will say that we have spent around 6k on accommodation for guests as we're 'destination' style so our 'real' budget is more like £29k - you won't have to do that in London!

    I guess the extras (decorative schemes etc) depend on what kind of venue you go for! A more opulent venue = less decoration, an industrial space = more decoration (but may have decorative elements included that suit your vibe). Plus, as a London wedding, it matters less what time of year it is, so you could go out of season to bring the prices down as you're less likely to rely on good weather/out door areas.

    Weatherwaxe has a brilliant planning thread on here (An Unconventional London Wedding) - might give you some ideas!

     

  • OTtobeOTtobe Posts: 12
    Oooh thanks Brit- this is super useful to know. Ideally we wanted to stay in London but am open minded at this point as it is looking pretty hopeless to stay central and in-budget. Really appreciate the help and disclosure on your budget!! xx
    britbird wrote (see post):

    Hi Soph

    How far out are you willing to look at?  We are getting married at Colville Hall in Essex.  It is a stunning venue- we have 120 day guests, and another 90 odd for the evening.  The venue capacity is 220.  We are paying £6.4k hire in October (1st weekend) and are allowed our own drinks until the end of the wedding breakfast, plus they have a choice of 4 caterers.  Our budget is around £35-£40k.  

     

  • Elz2017Elz2017 Posts: 316
    SophieT wrote (see post):
    Thank you - this is so helpful to hear your actuals. It is resassuring to hear that we may be able to do it within the budget. The thing that seems to be getting to us is that the dry hire quickly adds up when you factor in VAT! Same with packages to be honest. Will definitely check out that thread too. Thanks for taking the time to reply :) xx

     

     

     

    I know right, VAT is hideous. I'd make a list of possibles off tagvenues or similar (who seem to include VAT in the pricing guide), then ring round to see what they actually include - if all the place settings, decoration and chairs/tables for instance are included, you might be able to spend a little more on the venue (taking into account the VAT). Also, have a think about if you're inviting everyone to the whole thing, or if you're having a smaller party for the main event, then having evening guests - that might bring your overall food/booze costs down. 

    There seem to be a lot of very cool looking venues with an industrial style about - the Ivory Vaults at St Katherine's Dock look super cool for proper central London.

  • kitty-kitty- Posts: 121 New bride
    SophieT wrote (see post):
    Hi Kitty, 
    Thanks so mcuh for you reply. 
    Do you mind me asking which venue you went for?
    Ideally, we really want a warehouse/blank canvas style venue as we have been to alot of barns weddings but will definitely keep an open mind as that does seem to be a more cost effective options. 
    Thanks again for taking the time to reply xx
    kitty- wrote (see post):

    Outside London venues you could definitely do this but look at barns and halls. We are doing our whole wedding for 130 people for under 10K. 

    Our food is about 10PP. We are having a hog roast with roast potatoes and veg and sandwiches and cakes in the evening. We found a venue with no corkage so are providing our own alcohol as we didn’t want our guests to pay for it. our Alcohol cost us £500 as we are only doing beer, wine, cider and one cocktail. We went to France to get our own alcohol. Look up majestic wine Calais. 

     

    Definately can can be done but you will need to make cut backs on the celebration if you cant on the guest list. 

     

    We are getting married  a barn in Surrey. £3000 dry hire. But I know of halls which do it for as little as £1000 For a whole weekend. Im sure you’ll be able to find a warehouse in London to do what you want. for example this website. Just don’t be afraid to haggle a bit if you’re getting married on a weekday. https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-planning/ceremony-and-reception/unusual-london-wedding-venues_893.htm

     

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,525 New bride

    Probably not what you are looking for, but there is a village hall near us on the Kent/East Sussex border which is popular for weddings as it is recently renovated with a large garden and parking, and they offer exclusive use hire from Friday-Sunday, with tables, chairs, crockery, cutlery and glassware for £575. There is a train station in the village with direct trains from London also. It's capacity is up to 100 inside.

    https://www.eridge-village-hall.co.uk/hire-eridge-village-hall/

     

  • Bebe2Bebe2 Posts: 61 New bride
    Hi Soph, 
    Neither of the venues provided any furniture. They also didn't include VAT. Trinity Buoy wharf is also tricky as you can't actually set up until the morning of the wedding which means you have to hire people to do it. There is also very little parking there if you have guests who would drive. I think you also have to pay costs for cleaning/security etc if I remember correctly. 
    They may knock off the VAT if you pay in cash but who knows.
    I've had to hire in chairs at my venue and it hasn't dented our budget too much. You could defo get all your tables and chairs in at under or around £1000 if that's any help with your budget planning. xx

     

     

     

    SophieT wrote (see post):

    Thank you so much Bebe2!

    Do you know if Trinity Buoy Wharf and Shoreditch supply chairs/tables as dry hire and if the £6-7 excludes VAT? They are both exactly the type of look we are going for. 

    Ideally wanted to stay IN London but may start looking out. And will DEFINITELY look at last min dates too- what a great idea.

    Thanks again! xx

    Bebe2 wrote (see post):

    Hi Soph, 

    We have similar numbers and a similar budget and also wanted an open bar for our guests. I looked at trinity buoy wharf and Shoreditch studios I think it was called. They are both dry hire venues and are around 6-7k. The only thing is they are totally dry hire which can be great for food and booze but costs can add up quickly.  In the end I went for a venue in Surrey as they gave us a discounted last minute date for 2018 (we have had just under a year to plan) if you are flexible on dates going for one of the last remaining bookings can save you a lot of money. 

    Some other venues just outside of London are tewin bury farm, the landmark arts centre, headstone manor. 

    Hope that helps xx

     

     

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