Newbie - whats a realistic budget?

Hi everyone I'm Claire and am new here.

Got enagaged for my birthday last April and we are now seriously planning our wedding for hopefully June 2008.

Problem is we are on quite a tight budget. Parents have said they will help as much as they can and would hopefully pay for hire of somewhere which would prob be about £1000-£1500 (they gave us a lot of money when son born 4 yrs ago to clear my debts so I didnt have to go back to work) and we will have to find the rest ourselves.

Am looking at cheapest but nicest options possible. Would ideally like somewhere where we can have it all in, but is going to work out a lot cheaper I think if we can get married at registry office and then hire a hall and have our own caterers and supply our own drink.

We live in South Essex.

Any ideas and what are we realistically looking at cost wise? :\)


  • lydiavnlydiavn Posts: 426

    Well you can spen a fortune if you want it all in and won't compromise. So I think you first of all need to decide what is important to you. The venue, the day of the week, the number of people, sit down meal or buffet will probably need to be the first decisions. If you are happy with a function room in a local community hall or club, then this could cut prices. if you would like a posh venue, then look at mid week. A local hotel in my area will do an 'all in package' of venue, reception, flowers, cake and transport for £5000, but you need to book Monday-Thursday. Some places are cheaper out of 'wedding season'. (Oct- April). I think going to you local wedding fairs should give you an idea of what is available in your area.

    Hope this helps! If you would like to chat, just mail back! There are loads of people on here who will give you info!Good luck,

    Lidi x
  • vixiebukvixiebuk Posts: 268
    Hello Claire,

    Have you thought about a relatives garden that maybe you could use for a reception. You could have a really relaxed reception with a bbq or a 'tea party' style. You could use sweets on the tables to decorate them and use as favours and hire a disco.

    Otherwise if you want something a little more formal have you thought about hiring out a hall (we're hiring our village hall which is costing £50 for the day) and bringing in some caters and decorating the hall ourselfs (getting married 22nd dec 07) so we are using lots of fairy lights and candles to make it feel fairytale.

    Just look around your local area you really dont have to pay £££ss to have a lovley wedding.

    Oh and also have you thought about using ribbon to decorate a friend or realtives car to use as wedding transport?

    Sorry for long post-I just have lots of ideas!!
  • Hiya thanks for your reply.

    We are thinking of a thursday as this is cheaper. We would rather have it somewhere where we can control everything but some places all in deals are good. I havent seen any that include flowers etc though?

    We are looking at sit down meal of approx 60 people (no more) and prob another 50 or so for the evening witha cold buffet for them.
  • Vixib - thanks for your reply too.

    We have been looking into hiring a local hall and our council will not hire out for weddings due to trouble in past and the few local community halls Ive tried are committed to other groups during the week such as karate clubs etc.

    I think it could be possible to have a marquee in my parents garden but they are looking to move (how selfish of them lol) and they live down a provate unmade road so parking is horrendous.

    My uncle had a lovely jag and sold it so no family cars we could use.

    I love hearing other peoples ideas, it all helps
  • I've got the same problem, h2b and i are on a very tight budget and we will have to pay ourselves. I've managed to get the price down to around £3000, but it's still a lot of money to spend on one day lol. I've been trying to get things that aren't specifically for weddings, as price seems to triple as soon as you mention the word... The dress I want is a nice ballgown which only cost £100 for example, and i'm going to ask family and friends to help make buffet food for the reception as caterers cost loads and my family will love to be involved!

  • Hi

    I have managed to save money on a few things already:

    Invites were from dunelm mill (m&s ones originally) they cost me £7.00 for 60 for day and 60 for night

    Table decs i bought some hurricane lamps from house of fraser they were 75p each reduced from £5 each and i'm just gonna put a candle in them and surround with flower petals.

    Searching for cheapest quote for wedding cake at moment - got it down from £350 to £210 just by using someone who does it from home rather than a shop.

    Wedding cars are my nightmare - the cheapest i have got for what i want is £395 - but will try to get it cheaper of course!

    My wedding is in a church but reception in a hotel - for a 3 coures wedding for 80 with drink on arrival and one for toast and then cold buffet at night for about 150 is costing £3.2k.

    Sorry to ramble but hope i have helped you.


  • hi to keep costs down dont get a photographer but buy disposable cameras for guests to use, but have someone with a digital to take special ones. im lucky that my friend is a wedding photographer and is doing it as a gift.
  • Best advice - use friends and family wherever possible! Ask around for ideas and beg favours - some auntie somewhere may be dying to make your cake for you, or something like that! Also use yourselves - why buy invitations when you can make some yourself - first get loads of ideas, then get creative and try out your ideas. It also has that nice personal touch if you've made your own. Shop around - getting bargains for your wedding makes you feel so proud (trust me, i've done it!) and you feel like you've truly earned it.

  • We,re having balloons on the tables, weighted down with a large bag of fudge. We're paying for this at £5 a table ( fudge and three balloons). You can get helium kits from asda though and Tescos has a whole wedding section. You could also approach a local taxi company they won't mind you shoving a ribbon on the car and getting paid for sitting around. Its not as though they're using fuel. Also the earlier you book the more choice you get for getting a good deal.
  • rammyukrammyuk Posts: 1,608
    you could have the ceromy & reception in one place & if you have a late ceromy you will only need to vater for the evening my sister in law to be did that and the cost was almost half
  • Couple of pointers that i have found, shop on the high street - M&S to a wedding cake three tier for 50 quid, BHS, M&S and even Asda now sell wedding dresses and they are all gorgeous!..

    Make your own invites as they are normally stupid prices hobbycraft is good place to start and you can also make things like tiara etc.

    When booking things DONT mention wedding for example if you are hiring a hall tell them it is for a party not wedding I have discovered that this normally will give you a fairly big reduction in the price...

    Also try Ebay for bargains, if you are happy to try Silk flowers they are normally cheaper than real flowers and half the price I am having silk flowers myself and they look beautiful !

    Not sure i can think of much else but good luck and fingers crossed for you xx
  • Hmmm how long's a piece of string. there are brides on here spending £1k, others spending £40k. I think that smaller, intimate weddings, particularly in summertime can be a lot more charming.

    Rather than having a cold buffet in the evening you could consider serving just rolls or having a BBQ / hog roast - these options might be cheaper. A friend of mine had her ceremony at 3pm and then the wedding breakfast was at 6pm so there was no need for a buffet later - they just served their wedding cake and arranged for some pizzas to be served which was nice! I got my cake on ebay 3 tier for £101 instead of £175... shop around and get at least 3 quotes for everything - defintely flowers. Mine ranged from £380 to £1200!! Finally, enjoy it all xxx
  • Hello

    To save money on my honeymoon I have enquired with the travel agent to set up an account and give the details out to guest in a gift list style. I didnt want a traditional gift list because we have everything we need. I thought this would be a good way for the guest to contribute and in the end our honeymoon will have been paid for saving us a lot of money.

  • hello... imhaving a nightmare myself with budgetting... my fiance is in the army and we will be moving to germany the week after our big day so not only am i planning a wedding im also trying to aprrange for everything to b packed up! AUGHHHH lol!

    budget wise we have got it down to about 5grand!

    my dress alfred angelo was the end of last seasons range and because the new range had just come in it was reduced from 800 to 295... bargin...

    my shoes are latin american dancing shoes costing 35

    my eldest 2 bridesmaids dresses are 100 each from debenhams

    my youngest 2 bridesmaids dresses are from woolworths costing 12 pounds each!

    flowers are costing about 300

    doing the cake ourself from m&s and buyingsugar flowers from local catering shop at 6quid each

    paying a family memeber 50 quid to video our day

    paying 800 for our reception venue at our local thretre this incluides themdecorating, them tidying up, bar staff and an usher...

    catering is about 1000 but we have 200 guests attending (both from huge familys)

    john is wearing his numer 2's (army bests)

    his best mans outfit 300

    photograher ... friend is doin this!

    dj 250

    cars 500 for 2!

    also my parents are paying our church fees and

    his parents our paying for our night in chosen hotel!

    due to the fact we are moving the week after we will not b having a honeymoon just yet...

    mayb next yr!

    hope this gives u some sort of idea! xx
  • I too am having a budgeting nightmare. I was really interested in Cookie 25's idea. I also want money/holiday vouchers to buy a honeymoon but the only vouchers I can find are Thomas Cook vouchers, Please could you tell me more about your travel agents idea.

    Thanks, MNRK

    [Modified by: MNRK on February 20, 2007 11:00 PM]
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