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Where to begin?! Budget ideas!

Hi everyone,

I am newly engaged (just over a week) and new to the forum.

We are considering our wedding date as 03/03/2018 as 03/03 was when we first met.

However we will have a fairly low budget for our wedding. Not wanting to spend more than £5000.

We live in Dorset. So any fellow Dorset brides to be with any ideas and tips?

At the moment I think we have possibly 90 guests that we would want to invite to the ceremony and reception but I think it would be possible to cut this number to 70 at the risk of upsetting my mum though. However taking number of guests probably up to 120 in the evening.

What does everyone think? Am I dreaming thinking that it might be possible to have this many guests on a £5000 budget?

Planning to have ceremony in church local to my parents which I think costs of church plus church heating and organist is likely to be about £700. Then considered hiring a village hall and doimg DIY decorations but then I wonder if the cost of catering and a bar on top would make the cost just as much as a package deal? Any experience of this? 

Any advice/ideas/suggestions/tips greatly appreciated as not sure where to start.  

Thanks in advance. :-)

Posts

  • NozomiNozomi Posts: 161

    I think hotel package details are the cheapest, but happy to be told I'm wrong! If you divide £5000 by 90 guests that gives you £55 per guest but you also need to think about your dress and all the decorations, photographer etc too. 

    I think other brides on here have got a village hall for a couple of hundred pounds and I'm sure you could find a cheap caterer - a buffet would be cheaper than a sit down meal for example. You could get a second hand dress or go to a sample sale. 

    Bars tend to be quite cheap - ours is £150 I think as then guests pay for themselves (we can provide our own alcohol without corkage for the wedding breakfast) and if over a certain amount is spent you usually get some if not all your money back. 

    Hope that helps as a start. 

  • Emma-30Emma-30 Posts: 55

    Congratulations on your engagement!

    I think if you are looking at a church wedding then village hall then your budget seems reasonable. It all depends on what you want though. If you want to have a sit down meal then obviously this will be more expensive. If you're looking at doing your decorations yourself then that's a good saving!
    I found that in the beginning it was really helpful for me to sit down with my other half and talk about that we both wanted from our wedding day, what were the key important parts of the day for us and what was not and then we just focused on those. It makes it easier to figure out where to put your money.

    An amazing book I bought when I first got engaged is: Practical Wedding Planner by Meg Keene. It has really useful planning tips and advice for all aspects of a wedding and of course this forum has been very useful too! Good luck with your planning!

     

  • Thank you Nozomi and Emma-30 for your replies. Sample sales for dress sounds good. Will have a hunt on Amazon for the book. :-)

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134

    I always give new brides the same advice for saving on the budget.

    1) Don't feel that you need to have certain things because that is what all weddings seem to have these days - and they are just unnecessary expenditure! Things like sweetie tables, photobooths etc. Nobody expects them and they are fun but at the end of the day - totally not necessary! 

    2) Look around at your friends and family and see who would help out with aspects of the day - we had family that made our cake, invites/stationary, flowers and even provided a nice car for transportation etc. People are more than happy to help out for a wedding and love to feel involved!

    3) Bit of a controversial one... don't get dragged into feeling that you need a seriously expensive photographer. I've got one wedding photo displayed in my house and we spent about half an hour getting photos taken meaning a lot more time to speak to guests.

    xx

     

  • SammykateSammykate Posts: 3,338 New bride

    Congratulations! 5k is certainly a challenge for the numbers you want to invite but it's totally do-able. As others have said, a church and a village hall are a very good option- but make sure it's the right village hall. It needs to have toilets, a kitchen, a bar, tables, chairs! All these things will cost you a fortune to hire in. 'Dry hire' where you hire an empty blank canvas and then need to pay for everything from napkins to serving staff is probably the number 1 most expensive way to have a wedding. Village halls with all of the above do exist- my parents help with their local village hall and it has all of those things, and is only £100 to hire!

    As others have said, a sit down 3 course meal served to the table will wipe out that budget pretty fast. Consider other alternatives- a fish n chip van, BBQ etc. The less staff needed the better! If there's no bar you can also buy a load of drinks and run an 'honesty bar' asking for people to pop £1 a drink in a jar to help pay for it. Instead of buying a wedding cake, some people run a 'wedding bake off' and ask people to bring a cake with a prize for the bride and groom's fave. Skip things like favours and use hobbycraft for things like cost effective stationary. Don't assume DIY is the cheapest as often it's not! Buy the time you have bought materials, done a trial run, messed it up, changed your mind, bought more... it can work out much more expensive.

    Hotel packages can be really cost effective, it's what we've gone for! But you could struggle, seeing as that 5k has to pay for dress, suits, rings, photographer, invites, church, flowers, bridesmaids, cake, decorations... you get the picture. You may only have 2 or 3 left to play with. I believe some chains like the Holiday Inn offer very reasonable wedding packages. If you can get married mid week you'll get the best deals! Good luck!

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,202

    I've got nothing to add the to awesome advice above. But just wanted to say hi! As I am from Hampshire but getting married on the Dorset border in Burley  Which end of Dorset are you? 

    I think £5000 is do-able and the church and village hall option is probably the best way you'll stick to your budget! You can get some pretty cheap caterers which would definitely be cheaper then a hotel package, unless you are thinking one of the groupon sort of deals - they can be excellent value! 

    Bars are usually free if you can guarantee a certain number of guests or a certain amount spent. 

    Try samples, wed2b or 2nd hand for dresses. I think 2nd hand is a great option as dresses will have only been worn once, and are usually professionally dry cleaned after anyway! Try preloved. 

  • Hi DragonflyEmma,

     

    I'm into Event planning and I believe in making evebts according to budget.

    I understand you want to spend £5000 for a guest of 70. 

     

    I just thought I should share with you what I came up with regarding how to spend this amount for your wedding in Dorset.

    Thus should help:

    Venue - Charlton Down Village Hall (Herrison Hall) for Hire

    Basic InformationHall Typevillage hallYear Built1895Year Refurbished2003Overal Capacity370Seating Capacity370

    FacilitiesAccessible ToiletsBaby Changing FacilitiesBroadband InternetChanging FacilitiesCommittee RoomEntranceKitchenMain HallSmall HallStagingWheelchair AccessWifi

    EquipmentComputerCookerCutleryDinner CrockeryFire AlarmsFridgeHearing LoopIntruder AlarmKettleMicrowavePhotocopierPianoProjection ScreenPublic Address SystemSmoke AlarmsSound EquipmentTea CrockeryUrnWindow Locks

    Availability and Hire Costs

    Availability: Subject to existing bookings, the Hall is available in part or whole 355 days a year (excepting over Christmas and New Year) The Ballroom is also licenced for Weddings and Civil Partnerships

    Hire Costs: Costs vary according to venue and type of event but are based on an hourly rate. Ballroom £13 p/h, The Watts Room £10 p/h and Toad Hall £10 p/h Full pricing, sizes, floor plan room description and photograph details can be found from our website www.charltondownvillagehall.info

    Hall Decorator - Charlotte Louise Events 01202 574005 - £700

    Invitation Cards - vista print £35

    Catering + cake- £1000

    Cakes - Coast Cakes Owls Hoot 5 Georgian Way Bournemouth Dorset BH10 7BX Tel: 01202 539120 Mob: 07789 000387 Email:[email protected]

    Drinks - £200

    Dress - £200

    Ring - £500

    Shoe - 100

    Make up - £70

    Buy suit with extra shoe - £400

    Favours - £250

    Dj or Music Band -
    Dj mobile disco £400 or Tony James Discount for £370

    Photographer + video - £1300

    Hair styler - £200

    Total Expenses : £4746.00

     

    It's something I came up with for free for you and I also have connections with them. You may use this list or another of your choice. 

    If you need help in the future do Holla. 

     

    Thanks and Congratulations honey. I'm very happy for you😘😘😘

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    Hi Emma,

    Firstly, many congratulations on your engagement! I am very nearly at the end of my wedding planning journey and wish I could do it all again! 

    To add to the already excellent advice on here, make sure you leave a portion of your budget purely in a reserve pot, only to be touched in absolute emergencies! I was told that we would go over budget by several of our married couple friends and I didn't believe them as I am usually good at sticking to what money I have. The thing about weddings is that they can be very emotionally driven and you do find that you can slip up in places because something you didn't think was very important to you actually was! No matter how meticulously you plan or how good you are with money, extra costs do spring up closer to the day and you don't want to end up having sleepless nights (like me!) because you thought it was all done and dusted - something is always likely to bite you! I couldn't really give you an exact amount to 'reserve' because I think to an extent it's all relative to the overall cost of your day, but please take this from someone who has been there, done that and lived to regret it!

    If your guest list is proving tricky in terms of your catering costs, consider feeding people once rather than twice perhaps? I have heard of couples doing afternoon teas and then a bigger evening meal. The only thing I'd be careful of with a BBQ (from what I've read since planning my own wedding) is to make sure it can feed people quickly. Consider logistics with self-service even if it does save you on catering staff - I've read about guests who were kept waiting over an hour for a BBQ as they were called up table by table :/

    Take the time to explore your options to work out what's best for you in terms of everything from your budget to your guests list. As you start to view venues, you'll begin to determine what you actually want from your day as opposed to what you may have imagined before. Enjoy every second!

    x

     

  • hi congratulations. This sounds just like my day. We are getting married in church and then a village hall. I am not having a sit down meal and getting married at 3pm so only have to feed everyone once. We are doing hog roast/buffet style meal. Our budget is £5000 and so far we are on target. X

  • SammykateSammykate Posts: 3,338 New bride

    Lubes is soooo right about the BBQ thing- I waited nearly 2 hours at a wedding to get BBQ food :( If you go that way then maybe cooking it on the BBQ but putting it out as a buffet will work best!

    Waitrose and M&S also do great buffet catering options, but do consider hiring staff in to set it out, serve it and clean it away. Great Aunt Lizzie might offer to do it for you, but do you really want your guests doing the washing up on the day? If you have a local catering college you can often hire the students from there for a very cheap rate as they need the experience in serving.

    RE wedding dresses, you are in luck as the high street is really catching onto the cheaper wedding dress bandwagon. Monsoon and Phase 8 do lovely dresses (check outlet malls and sales for even more bargains), and even Asos does a really trendy bridal range. Wed2b have dresses that are all under £500, so depending on how much of your budget is for the dress you could try there.

    I wouldn't pay masses of attention to the post above by 'Michelle' with all her estimated costs. £700 for a hall decorater? £250 for favours?! She is way off with the priorities! And also don't forget to factor in the actual legal costs. It won't be so much for a church, but our registrar fees including giving notice, appointment charges and reservation charges are nearly £700 and way more than we budgeted for

  • loolah1loolah1 Posts: 396

    I agree that Michellie is off with her costings... 

    £500 ring and £100 shoes.... They're as expensive as you want them to be at the end of the day! 

    Also consider that invited and attending guests are not one and the same... We invited over 100 and have 85 attending. People will always drop out. 

    I found eBay, second hand wedding forums etc a god send and did lots of DIY but it's not proved cheaper In the long run especially. 

    Shop around and don't just settle! its very doable  On £5k X 

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555
    Sammykate wrote (see post):

    Lubes is soooo right about the BBQ thing- I waited nearly 2 hours at a wedding to get BBQ food :( If you go that way then maybe cooking it on the BBQ but putting it out as a buffet will work best!

    Waitrose and M&S also do great buffet catering options, but do consider hiring staff in to set it out, serve it and clean it away. Great Aunt Lizzie might offer to do it for you, but do you really want your guests doing the washing up on the day? If you have a local catering college you can often hire the students from there for a very cheap rate as they need the experience in serving.

    RE wedding dresses, you are in luck as the high street is really catching onto the cheaper wedding dress bandwagon. Monsoon and Phase 8 do lovely dresses (check outlet malls and sales for even more bargains), and even Asos does a really trendy bridal range. Wed2b have dresses that are all under £500, so depending on how much of your budget is for the dress you could try there.

    I wouldn't pay masses of attention to the post above by 'Michelle' with all her estimated costs. £700 for a hall decorater? £250 for favours?! She is way off with the priorities! And also don't forget to factor in the actual legal costs. It won't be so much for a church, but our registrar fees including giving notice, appointment charges and reservation charges are nearly £700 and way more than we budgeted for

    Eek! I worried that my church wedding was costing more!

    Emma, it's costing me £750 to get married in a church. About £400 of that was the legal fees and payment to the diocese - the rest was for the verger, bells. organist and a video fee (£150 - ruddy scandelous!) so you can play around with a portion of the service to keep costs down if you need to. You will need to factor in heating though! The vicar will have a list of costs you can refer to 😊 x

  • SammykateSammykate Posts: 3,338 New bride

    I always thought a church was much cheaper!! Well at least I feel less ripped off by the registrar fees now...

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    My registrar fees are about £525. Look at all options, sometimes you can find a venue with a fatastic off peak wedding package. 

    Also check out sale items! I have found loads of discounted items in the last few weeks. 

  • NozomiNozomi Posts: 161

    With the rings, one of my friends was on a super tight budget and they got prop rings from Amazon (I think there's an actual phrase but can't remember it) and then upgraded them a year or so later when they could afford to replace them. Plus you could get them on finance, lots of places do 0% :) 

  • Thank you all for your really helpful replies. Lots of useful ideas and tips. Lubes thanks for the church coat considerations - we have factored that in. However when we started looking I was shocked at how much it costs for a church wedding! 

    Have done some investigations and feel like our budget is definitely achievable. 

    :-)

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    Research is the key. We looked at all the wedding venues in a 30 minute radius of my house and from there whittled it down. 

  • Hello there,

     

    If you are still looking for a photographer please get in touch.

     

    My website: http://www.das-photography.co.uk/

     

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    Mobile: 0 771 777 32 01

  • personally i think that the £5k budget is unrealistic unless thats just for the venue then thats ideal - 

    as a rough guide i got told is you spend half your budget on venue and catering! so £2500 then the other £2500 on everything else as a guide line 

     

    our budget is£17k and we spend exactly half on the venue and catering and its worked out really well! 

     

  • My first wedding cost around £2500 all in, but that was 15 years ago. So allowing for inflation etc, £5000 might be doable if you use that money very strategically.

    For my upcoming second wedding we have allowed ourselves a budget of around €10,000 (we live in Austria), which includes our flights, accommodation and the flights and accommodation of one of my SILs and her kids (we're having the wedding in Sweden). 

    Food, drink and the venue will be the biggest portion of your costs. A nice village hall could be easily decorated at a low cost, and if you had a buffet it would be much much cheaper. See if there are any catering companies that will do the food for you, bring it to the venue and return and collect the dishes the following morning. You can always ask bridesmaids and best men to help with breaking down the venue, or alternatively hire it for the day afterwards so you can come back in the morning and take care of it.

    We did this for my OH's 30th - the village hall where we lived at the time was in a deconsecrated church and was rather nice. So we hired it for the evening, at a cost of around £100, we had the keys until midday the following day, and all we did before we left that night was stack all the plates and stuff in the dishwasher (handy tip, check if the venue has a dishwasher) and then I came back the following morning with a team of helpers and cleaned the place.

    Depending on what kind of dress you want it could be a big expense or a little expense.

    A wedding is very much what you make of it, so if you only have £5000, then you only have £5000.

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,202
    EnglishRoseInLove wrote (see post):

    personally i think that the £5k budget is unrealistic 

     

    Have you not seen katherinesara's planning thread for her budget of £1000? I think she is managing to stick to it, so anything is possible if that is your only option or just what you want. 

    Essentially, at the end of the day, all you need to the church/registrar and the two of you. Anything else is an extra. Even rings! Obviously you can get a lot more then just that on a budget of 5k so you can have an amazing wedding for that budget.

  • Hi,

    Our wedding budget is £6000 so not far off and is totally doable, you just need to think outside the box a bit, don't be afraid to do a bit of DIY, hiring my dress instead of buying, give family & friends little jobs to do for the wedding and look around for cheaper options for things. We really wanted a photographer and a wedding video even with our little budget because our recently married friends really regret not having a video. We shopped around a lot and found Indiego Photography, who do both photography & video, they're really good and gave us a good deal because we told them about our budget. http://www.indiegophotography.com Good luck with the planning! You'll make it work and have an amazing wedding! :) 

     

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