What was a must and what was a waste of money?

Hi ladies and gents, i know this question has been asked before but it hasn't been updated for ages.

What, from your wedding do you wish you had had but didn't?

What did you have that, looking back, was a waste of money?

What did you have that you are so pleased you did?

Looking forward to reading your replies.

Posts

  • What’s been a waste of money for me is buying stuff early and chopping and changing my mind. I wish I’d had to full plan, and waited until closer to the time to buy everything 

  • I paid for fancy lace hoods to go with my chair covers, on the day I didn’t really notice them.  Even in the pictures, you hardly notice them.  I also paid over £100 per centrepiece.  I needed 10 centrepieces so over £1k in total  they were beautiful, but tbh I could have had something just as nice for a lot less!

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  • I'm pleased we got a video done (I was all for saving the cash until the vicar said there'd be no photography whatsoever allowed) but in hindsight I wish we'd got a proper one done instead of the cheapest guy we could find, as it's a bit cringey the way it was edited.

    We spent a lot on extras (string quartet, Photo Booth, magician, band etc) but looking back I don't regret a penny of it, it was all appreciated and went down really well, adding to the atmosphere of the day.  I suppose our chocolate fountain wasn't really necessary (but they are out these days anyway) but that's probably one of the only things I'd consider removing if we were to do it again.

    In terms of wishing for things we didn't have, the only thing really would have been a slightly nicer venue.  Ours was fine but I've seen a lot nicer venues since.

    I think it's all about weighing it up - make some lists of 'must-have's and 'would-like's.  Then think in ten years time, will it really matter?  If you think you'll look back and regret not having something, then you know you need to find a way of including it.  I always thought that for the sake of a few hundred pounds, I'd rather not be left with any regrets xx

  • Thanks for your replies. Krabby, I know exaxtly what you mean. I don't get married until march 2020 but I am already obsessdo with planning! Trying not to let myself go looking at dresses etc yet

  • I have had 4 different dresses but all second hand, I’ve managed to sell the 3 I’m not wearing so only lost postage costs in total thankfully. Things will change so much by 2020. Sort the big things now and the general plans about 15 months in advanced and the finer details about 10 Months in advance x

  • CE26CE26 Posts: 349 New bride

    Waste...

    Favours. At my first wedding we handmade little boxes and put Thorntons in them. Most got left on the tables and then thrown away at the end of the evening when the staff cleaned up. Second time around we gave out drinks tokens instead so people could have a drink on us - a much better idea!

    Evening food. Wedding was at 2pm and we ate a very good 3 course meal at 4.30pm, by 9pm when the fish and chips came out people were too stuffed and a lot went to waste. We should have just put out some nibbles instead or cheese and biscuits to soak up the booze. 

     

    Worth it...

    Live band. They were fab and everyone commented on how fun it was.

    Videographer. Husband was wary at first to have someone else with a camera there but he loved the end result and was so pleased I persuaded him. 

     

    Wish we had it...

    I don't think there's anything we felt we missed out on. Some more time would have been lovely as it goes so fast, but that's not something you can actually buy lol. 

  • MrsF280320 wrote (see post):

    Thanks for your replies. Krabby, I know exaxtly what you mean. I don't get married until march 2020 but I am already obsessdo with planning! Trying not to let myself go looking at dresses etc yet

    I feel you! Also getting married in 2020 and resisting dress shopping is SO HARD! 

  • Music was definitely worth splashing out on, we had a live band and an accordianist and both were great. We spent 400 on flowers and I'm glad we didn't spend any more. I don't think anyone really notices as long as you've got plenty of good food and drink!  I've also seen lots of favours go to waste... We did our own mini gin and I know a few half bottles were left, but it didn't cost much so we didn't mind. A good photographer/videographer is worth splashing out on imo.... We've got some amazing photos and it was worth every penny. 

  • Worth it...

    Videographer - love watching our day back especially the speeches

    Live ceremony music - we had a string trio who were amazing plus I didn’t want to worry about playing it through a phone and it not working

    Disposable cameras - very old school but our room was a bit tight for fitting in a photo booth or anything so we put disposable cameras on the table and printed a “photo challenge” for each table during the wedding breakfast. Everyone got involved and it was a great laugh looking through the photos!

    DJ - this actually saved us money compared to a band but it was important to us that everyone had a good time partying in the evening and although I’ve seen some excellent bands at weddings I’ve found their breaks can end up in people sitting down and an empty dancefloor (even with a DJ/ipod in between). Me and my friends love a good dance to cheesy music and the DJ had a full dancefloor all night from the second the first dance finished - people still go on about it now and it was great for me being able to pop on and off between talking to people and dance with different groups. But it’s definitely a case of personal preference and your own music tastes!

    Waste...

    Cake size - I loved our wedding cake but we probably could have saved on size as we had loads left over by the time everyone had eaten the other food (probably could have cut down on evening food for the same reason)

    I’ve seen some favours go to waste - we had bags of sweets and I find edible ones go down best as people don’t have to fit them in their bag. We recently went to a wedding that was just one lindor chocolate on each plate which was simple, cheap and worked well! 

    Wish we had...

    Venue accomodation - we loved our venue and I don’t regret our choice one bit but it only had the bridal suite and 4 more rooms for immediate family whereas it would have been really nice to have a few more for the bridal party etc

    All a case of personal taste though as to what the “must haves” are. As your wedding is still a while off I’d leave some of the smaller touches for a bit as you’ll find you change your mind a lot as you see and hear about different things!

  • Best thing we had: The Polaroid camera. Everybody loved it and every single wedding guest appears in at least one picture. We’ve made it into a photo album and I love it.

    Biggest waste of money: 100% the evening food. We ate at 4pm, it was served at 9pm and about 80% was left uneaten.

    Things we wish we’d had: I can’t think of anything major. I‘d have loved my dog to be there but also understand that wrangling him may have caused some stress on the wedding morning. I’ll just have to get some photos taken with him another time.

  • Nothing from the wedding day itself felt like a waste of money, but in hindsight I would not have done the bridal makeup trial so early (there was a gap of 8 months between trial and wedding) as I didn't have the hair length I needed to pull off the hairstyle I was going for (in the end, ended up spending money on a second trial and getting hair extensions).

    Another major problem in the run up to the wedding was my bridal shop (David's Bridal in Stratford mall) so I would say pick that yours carefully. Mine was the WORST bridal shop on the planet and was the biggest source of stress in the lead up to the big day. They have really poor customer service ONCE you've paid for your dress. Paid for the dress in early September 2017 - only got the dress 9 months later (in May 2018) because the quality control was so bad at the shop... it took 3 trips to the mall and 3 dresses before they finally gave me one that did not have a major construction flaw in it. And even then, it still needed major repairs at my seamstress, and that cost another £280...

    Best thing at the wedding - that's a really hard choice as everything was so lovely and we thoroughly enjoyed every aspect. But perhaps the most memorable was the Routemasters (we hired two buses due to size of the wedding party - it looked a bit like an entourage!) which whisked us and the guests away on a tour of London's top landmarks before dropping us off at the dinner venue. Guests really loved it.

    Dinner venue was also a really smart call I think, as we'd picked a charming garden restaurant and it was already nicely decorated without us having to spend a ton on flowers :) So if you're open to the idea of a less traditional reception venue, I'd say go for a restaurant! And it helps to go for one that has good experience hosting wedding receptions. 

    Hope that helps!

  • Leigh27 wrote (see post):

    Nothing from the wedding day itself felt like a waste of money, but in hindsight I would not have done the bridal makeup trial so early (there was a gap of 8 months between trial and wedding) as I didn't have the hair length I needed to pull off the hairstyle I was going for (in the end, ended up spending money on a second trial and getting hair extensions).

    Another major problem in the run up to the wedding was my bridal shop (David's Bridal in Stratford mall) so I would say pick that yours carefully. Mine was the WORST bridal shop on the planet and was the biggest source of stress in the lead up to the big day. They have really poor customer service ONCE you've paid for your dress. Paid for the dress in early September 2017 - only got the dress 9 months later (in May 2018) because the quality control was so bad at the shop... it took 3 trips to the mall and 3 dresses before they finally gave me one that did not have a major construction flaw in it. And even then, it still needed major repairs at my seamstress, and that cost another £280...

    Best thing at the wedding - that's a really hard choice as everything was so lovely and we thoroughly enjoyed every aspect. But perhaps the most memorable was the Routemasters (we hired two buses due to size of the wedding party - it looked a bit like an entourage!) which whisked us and the guests away on a tour of London's top landmarks before dropping us off at the dinner venue. Guests really loved it.

    Dinner venue was also a really smart call I think, as we'd picked a charming garden restaurant and it was already nicely decorated without us having to spend a ton on flowers :) So if you're open to the idea of a less traditional reception venue, I'd say go for a restaurant! And it helps to go for one that has good experience hosting wedding receptions. 

    Hope that helps!

     

    Hello! May I ask where the garden restaurant is please as I have been looking for a venue! Thanks!

  • Metro Garden! 

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    They recently redid the decor so it looks slightly different (the walls are different and now they've got hanging wisteria running along the centre of the marquee!) but more fabulous, if you ask me ;)

    One thing to note is that their capacity is really 60 even though they say 80... We had about 80 guests that day, and two tables had to be in a separate section and I felt a bit bad for them...  because of a set of doors that came in between, it felt a bit cut off from the main area where the rest of the guests were seated. 

  • Oh and if you do go with Metro Garden, a really great florist is just down the road. Tim at Birksen would see to it that you get the most stunning bouquet of your life. Check out the 3 shots he shared of my wedding day bouquet/flowers here: 

  • I put this same question on facebook just after I got engaged as I really wanted to know! And loads of my married friends chipped in.

    People in general loved their videographers even when they weren't initially convinced they wanted/needed one.

    And lots of people also wish they'd spent more on the photographer, as a worrying number don't really like the photos they ended up with.

    I also got the feeling that favours don't really seem to be worth the money. I'm honestly contemplating renting a crazy golf course instead. Given our wedding's going to be huge, it'll probably cost the same!!

  • Amazing thank you! I will get in touch with Metro Garden - looks stunning and in such a good location. x

  • Cupcakes2019 wrote (see post):

    Amazing thank you! I will get in touch with Metro Garden - looks stunning and in such a good location. x

    Brilliant! Ask for Stephen - he oversees the weddings/events and is SUPERB at what he does. Really proactive and responsive to questions. Nothing was too much trouble. I think if there was a "Best Wedding Vendor" prize for my wedding, he would've single-handedly won it for Metro (but the rest of the Metro team - especially the servers on the day itself - were terrific as well.)

  • cs2thecox wrote (see post):

    I also got the feeling that favours don't really seem to be worth the money. I'm honestly contemplating renting a crazy golf course instead. Given our wedding's going to be huge, it'll probably cost the same!!

     

    We had the same thought. In the end, we didn't do favours and instead put the extra budget towards other things. Didn't stop guests from saying that it was the "best wedding they've ever been to" so I guess it worked out fine.

  • Leigh27 wrote (see post):

    Another major problem in the run up to the wedding was my bridal shop (David's Bridal in Stratford mall) so I would say pick that yours carefully.

    Definitely this. I was also previously a David's bride (different location) and had a TERRIBLE experience.  I wish that I had known that you can get a designer gown for not that much more (or shop sample sales). Instead I got a cheap, ugly polyester dress and the WORST customer service.  I'll skip the lengthy story, but definitely do not shop there. 

    Other Wastes/ Regrets:

    The order of service. I had the ugliest invites (also from David's Bridal) so I felt like I should upgrade on the OoS. NO ONE took them or used them. I was shocked that some people actually put them back in the basket after the service was over!

    Those Toilet Room Baskets - I didn't have these but a close friend did. She spent a lot of time and money organising them and nothing was used. I know I have pretty much everything I need in my handbag and apparently that's true of a lot of other wedding go-ers.

    Cheap 'Tog - My OH was responsible for booking the photographer and booked a young guy that was working on "establishing himself" in the business.  He specialised in wildlife (!) photography, not weddings. The pics were unusable basically. And that's the pics he took; he missed 90% of the images we wanted, including the first kiss, pics of the groom's family, pics of the venue, etc.

     

    MUSTS:

    -Using a reputable bridal shop and doing your homework on designers in advance

    -Using an established 'tog regardless of the cost

    -Day-of Planner or Organiser: absolutely worth hiring, especially if your venue doesn't offer help. I ran around at my prev nuptials being coordinator instead of being the bride. From wrangling people for pics to getting the air conditioning temps adjusted to taking care of problems with the caterer, I didn't feel like a bride almost ever. (I'm so over-committed at work, I would probably actually hire a planner to help with the entire process.  We underestimate how much time planning a wedding takes. I did a bad job both sourcing and managing my vendors and it showed, all because I didn't have the time.)

     

  • Waste-

    We got married last week at 2:30 pm, had a 3-course meal at 4:30 pm. The buffet was served at 9 pm and 90% of it went to waste. We paid extra for a more elaborate buffet including a desserts table and hardly anyone ate much. It didn't help though that we had 14 guests not show up. I hate to see food go to waste so I was gutted at our food wastage. 

    Thank you cards, we paid £56 having personalised thank you cards made with our name and wedding date on. We have at least of these cards back at home from guests who didn't take them and those who didn't bother showing up!

    Must-

    Sweet table! We had 15 kids at our wedding (some people bought their kids when we weren't expecting them!) We made our own version of a sweet table and the whole lot got demolished. In fact with the extra kids we weren't expecting we could have done with a lot more sweets. 

  • We wish that we had not had a top table. Despite repeatedly saying we didn't want one, the catering company made an executive decision on the day and decided we had to have one because "that's what you do at a wedding" or so they said. We found out at 4pm when we turned up. It wasn't that bad in the end but it did mean that two of the top table were facing us on the ends because it wasn't long enough as I'd planned for a 10 person round table, and we got an 8 person long top table instead....

     

    What was a waste of money? As others have said, the evening food. We had a soup and a roll evening buffet at 10pm and luckily only planned on having enough for 40% of the guests but even that was too much thanks to the main hog roast buffet at 5pm. It was a total waste of money.

     

    What did you have that you are so pleased you did?

    Really simple but it elevated the whole event: We sat at the top of the stairs of the altar with the priest and faced our guests during the service. It was lovely to see how included everyone felt and they loved being able to see us and not just our backs. The priest stood next to us and addressed the congregation and us. I was terrified at first because I'm naturally quite shy and, as I live in another country to my birth country, the service was in another language (my OHs native language) which I do speak fluently, I was terrified I would fluff my words on the day and it did add a little pressure but that went away almost immediately. It made it a much more inclusive atmosphere.

    Something else that I was pleased we did was adopt the custom in my OHs country of paying the bar bill for the day. It wasn't anywhere near as much as we thought and came to less than one tenth of the wedding budget for 80 guests to drink all the wine, beer, prosecco, soft drinks, fruit juices and schnapps they wanted. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and no-one worried about money or drinks prices. I was horrified at first and thought it would cost the earth but now we have done it I would not have had it any other way.

    :-)

  • What we are glad we had:

    - Pro photographer... the main momento of our day and we got A great package with every single photo she took on a USB and in a proof book, then our faves in an album. We also spent an extra £80 getting a few extra pages in our album as we were struggling to narrow down the pics and I’m SO glad we did that. It was after the wedding and momey was tight so it was a bit ‘oooo do we REALLY need the extra pages’ but our album is perfect and documents the whole day! We’ve looked through it loads and still are taking it to show friends and family a year later 😊 

    - Great food and drink with a menu choice!... we got married in Italy and food is a biiiiggggg part of Italian weddings which worked perfectly for us but it was so worth our spend per head! We decided to spend more (arounf €130pp) on less guests (40 pax) rather than less pp on more guests. Having a menu choice meant everyone cleared their plates andddd we also had lots of free flowing alcohol, a hugeeeee aperitivo buffet and tonnes of compliments on the meal. 

    - Random but I’m so glad we made our own bridesmaid bouquets and jan jars of flowers... realistically it probably only saved us £100 by making them ourselves but it was so much fun with my Nan, mum and aunt the day before the wedding! We did a bouquet arranging class a few months earlier (my Xmas gift to them which was really fun and great time together with plenty of prosecco and cake!) and it was so nice for us all to feel that Input into the day! And my Nan especially said she was proud and pleased to have been a part of the day in such a unique way 😊 

     

    Waste of money: 

    - I actually cannot think of anything 🙈 yep I’ll be that annoying person lol! But I did a lottttt of reading on here and also I work at a wedding venue at weekends so see a lot of things which are wasted and not appreciated by guests! I will admit about 10 of our favours were left behind (which doesn’t sound terrible butttt is 1/4 of guests) however I expected we would have favours left so we chose shot glasses (as we had none at home) so we could keep them if people didn’t take them and that’s worked perfectly XD 

     

    Wish we had: 

    - We didnt have a pro videographer and whilst I don’t wish we had One I do wish we asked more than one person to filM the speeches... we’ve got the ceremony and my dads speech but the Go Pro ran out of juice and we haven’t got my husbands or the best mans speeches! For us, a video was unnecessary as we knew we were more likely to look at pics and an album rather than watch a video but to be able to see my husband‘s speech once more would be appreciated! 

     

    Enjoy every minute of planning!!! Xx

  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    in all honesty I think the whole thing was a waste.

    We were let down in some way by the majority of our suppliers, even though they all have outstanding reputations. I guess we just had bad luck but I have two major suppliers who didn’t let us down at all, the florist and the carriage company, how bad is that. 2.

    Anyway, I wish we had just eloped, it was a big waste of time and money, the guests enjoyed it, we enjoyed it, but it really wasn’t worth it, and it’s true that weddings bring out the worst in people.

    Anyway, I loved my horse and carriage, that was great although it was spoilt a bit by other people making us late and rushing, so I was just stressed about how late I was rather than enjoying it the way Id imagined.

    The sweet buffet was great, it got raided and I really enjoyed it!

    The cake was great too, it was too big but that’s a bonus, lots left over for us. What was served was eaten so quickly that I didn’t even realise it had been chopped up until the next day.

    And that’s it, the rest was a waste of time.

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,137 New bride
    MrsJ2017 wrote (see post):

    in all honesty I think the whole thing was a waste.

    We were let down in some way by the majority of our suppliers, even though they all have outstanding reputations. I guess we just had bad luck but I have two major suppliers who didn’t let us down at all, the florist and the carriage company, how bad is that. 2.

    Anyway, I wish we had just eloped, it was a big waste of time and money, the guests enjoyed it, we enjoyed it, but it really wasn’t worth it, and it’s true that weddings bring out the worst in people.

    Anyway, I loved my horse and carriage, that was great although it was spoilt a bit by other people making us late and rushing, so I was just stressed about how late I was rather than enjoying it the way Id imagined.

    The sweet buffet was great, it got raided and I really enjoyed it!

    The cake was great too, it was too big but that’s a bonus, lots left over for us. What was served was eaten so quickly that I didn’t even realise it had been chopped up until the next day.

    And that’s it, the rest was a waste of time.

     

    I’m sorry to hear that you had so many let downs from suppliers - appalling in an industry that seems to rinse every penny from you the minute you mention weddings! I wanted to say though I think its so SO refreshing to read someone who is honest. Whenever I’ve commented on how much we seem to be spending people are always quick to throw in that it’ll all be worth it on the day and we’ll want to do it all again and I have to admit sometimes I wonder if they’re right! We are doing without some of the obvious frills and I’m hoping that spending money on good food and drink and things like photos that we actually keep, rather than some of the “stuff” you can be tempted by, we’ll feel less resentful after the day.

     

  • I hunk we did a lot of different research. Firstly - we eloped, we picked a place in the states on our road trip, it was perfect. We had two vendors in the states the officiant and the photographer both amazing!

    For the party we had a venue, photographer, street food and band. Everything else was DIY. We’re quite tech savvy so made a rather decent photo booth, friends made the cake and our props (cacti) were taken away by guests (as planned!) 

    I wouldn’t bother with favours, any time I’ve been to a wedding, I take it away and then find it months later. Unless I can eat it - I ain’t interested! Any added extras - not worth it, guests won’t notice and neither will you! 

    For me - the most important thing was getting married and then having an evening with our friends and family! The goal was never to be flash etc. It was to throw an awesome party, make the sure the band was great and everyone was well fed! 

     

  • Worth it....

    1. Good photographer and videographer!!!- we spent almost £4K on this which is slightly crazy but the result was fantastic and we will have them forever.

    2. Live band- such a good atmosphere and fun

    3. My dress- more of a ‘really glad I came to my senses point’i set out wanting a really high end dress, didn’t like them in the shops and looking back its unlikely you would ever get your money back through resale. 

    4. Spent lots of money on flowers, had similar talk ones like the picture above (beautiful) and 10 tables also! However my dad pointed out spending about £100 on flowers for the church at the rehersal would make a difference - I was a bit indifferent, probably one of the best £100 spends of the whole day the flowers were in so many of the church photos! So that was surprising.

    Waste....

    Cant really think of anything I feel like it was worth every penny, i don’t think anyone looks back after the day and feels like ‘oh I really wish I wouldn’t have spent that‘. If I had to think of one thing it would be the extra vintage bus we laid on for transport to and from the church, I was paranoid about guests being stuck but a ridiculous amount decided to drive even though we specified they didn’t have to worry about transport.

    Very important to prioritise your budget and try and focus on the things that will really make a difference. We didn’t do favours, I know I have left them behind previously, sometimes still feel a bit bad about that but we had a free bar so I think that made up for it!!!

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