Venue budget

Firstly, hello everyone. I am a newbie here!

We are planning on getting married next Christmas, but currently trying to find a suitable venue. We're fairly open minded about it, but in an ideal world we would LOVE a barn.

The thing is, I can't seem to find what we want on our budget. We have 3.5k to cover venue and civil ceremony fees, and catering (including drink).

I would be happy to have a later ceremony, with just an evening buffet rather than a 3 course meal. In fact we don't want a formal meal, but this seems to be standard with most packages. We would also be happy to provide our own food and drink (providing the venue doesn't charge corkage).

Feeling a bit lost and stuck. I have no idea if our budget is reasonable, although I know it seems like a lot of money to me! Am I expecting too much?


  • Depends where you and how many people you are having? xxx
  • Depends where you and how many people you are having? xxx
  • Depends where you and how many people you are having? xxx
  • kelbagkelbag Posts: 23
    Hi, I'm fairly new as well.

    It sounds like you're after almost the same as I am. I even looked at Marquees but they're surprisingly expensive for a tent!!

    Rather than a barn, have you thought about a village hall? I'm presuming as you mentioned barns you're in a countryish area.

    I'm stuck with hotels or paying for transport for my guests as I live in the town but I want somewhere with gardens.

    I'm trying to budget on £4000 for the ceremony, drinks reception, evening reception (I want a BBQ) and entertainment.
  • mistyscottmistyscott Posts: 729
    how many people are you thinking of having?

    to keep costs down, make sure you don't get married on a bank hol - I am this Christmas and the registrar fees are over £350 image

    £3.5k is probably do-able for a small-ish wedding, to include all the stuff you said. Whereabouts are you looking? Also, if it's Christmas you want to get married around (great choice!) then a barn will need to be well heated...

    If you're near Hampshire, there's the Clock Barn, the Tithebarn, to name a few...

    If you don't want a formal meal, a hot buffet can work just as well as the wedding breakfast - and gives people more choice. You still all sit down so get the rest (well-needed I've heard!) but a bit more relaxed? We're doing this at 5pm ish then having bacon butties for the evening guests (and day if they're hungry).

    the latest you'll prob be able to get married is 4pm, which would mean food around 6 or 7pm ish, which is still quite a long evening on just a buffet...

    Again, we thought of doing the evening thing, but then thought as we're paying for the venue regardless, we may as well get the most out of it! image

    It's only one day after all, and I've heard it goes by in a blur when there's a whole day, imagine just an evening!

    But it's whatever suits you and your h2b ultimately

  • misstriffymisstriffy Posts: 339
    Thanks ladies. We are in Oxfordshire, but I'm originally from Berkshire, so we're looking at both, plus Hampshire too. As far as numbers go, we're unsure of exact amount yet. If we're having daytime food we'll prbably need to restrict the numbers to keep costs down, so its likely to be around 50, then more arriving for the evening, but I doubt it will go over 100. Probably much less.

    Kelbag, it's so hard isn't it? Much harder than I anticipated! I have thought about a village hall, but we were hoping to have the ceremony and reception in one place so that kind of rules it out for me.

    mistyscott, thanks for the tips and suggestions. I LOVE the bacon butties idea! I think you are right about getting the most out of the day too. I just hope we can do that on our budget!

    Since I posted my original message I actually had a reply from a venue, saying that they should be able to work with our budget, but that we need to discuss it further, in person. Fingers crossed! I was honestly starting to think that we were asking too much.
  • mistyscottmistyscott Posts: 729
    that's great news.

    just a thought, but we're getting married in the Hotel du Vin in Winchester, and its licensed too. The room hire charge is only £500 for the day (and evening) then they charge per head for food - our hot buffet is £32 per head + roughly £6 per half bottle of wine, that's a 3-course buffet (all served together) with coffee and cheese/bics (but we're having a cake of cheese later so asked for extra dessert instead!)

    The room is beautiful, and they do a discount on B&B rooms for you and guests too. The hotel itself is boutique (24 rooms) and perfect for our style, rustic but special (I liked the look of barns too) and I can just imagine it with fairy lights everyone and in the private courtyard too (if not peeing it down).

    I think it was about the only place we found that did wedding and reception for our budget (under £3k)

    it's fun when you get into the planning - and this forum is great!

    ooh, another thing, if you want fresh flowers, don't get married 2 days after christmas on a bank hol like us!

  • misstriffymisstriffy Posts: 339
    Wow, that sounds great! I'll check it out, thanks.

    Fresh flowers were difficult to get hold of then? Luckily I don't think I want them. I've fallen for those crystal bouquets, and since I'm hoping for a dress with a vintage feel I think it would look lovely.

    I've got so many ideas. Can't wait to get the venue sorted so I can move on to the fun stuff!
  • mistyscottmistyscott Posts: 729
    me again image

    slightly tops your budget, but I loved this place when I was looking to have location halfway between families:

    it's not far from oxfordshire, and compared to some other places it's quite reasonable for exclusive use

    happy hunting! x
  • We're using a hotel and for 41 day guests (50 at the ceremony) and 90 in total in the evening, including a couple of hotel rooms for parents and our room the night of and the night before we're paying £3500.

    This includes floral centrepieces and top table decoration, wedding breakfast 3 course meal with coffee, 2 glasses of wine, sparkling wine for the toast and arrival drink. It also includes fee for ceremony room & buffet for our evening guests.
  • misstriffymisstriffy Posts: 339
    mistyscott- wow, that place does look lovely. A little bit too far for our family and friends to travel though, unfortunately. But I won't rule it out!

    Wedding Monster- that sounds like a great deal!

    I'm so relieved to hear that others are managing so well on a similar budget. I was really starting to worry!
  • Love your idea.

    Not sure if you've already looked at these, or too expensive:

  • Thanks, Kat230711. I have looked at those, but both unfortunately seem to be out of our budget. We are viewing our first venue in a couple of weeks time. This one...

    Fingers crossed!
  • Be creative NSL1211. I think its the secret to successful small budget weddings. is a good site to start with.

    I have a friend who got married in a hunting lodge. Her husband went beeting on the local shoot, and asked if they could hire it. A lot cheaper than the usual barns hired.

    A village hall can be a great venue, but you need to be prepared to buy lots of flowers for decoration, in my opinion.

    I've just bought my wedding dress for £440, and its stunning. I'm also getting my invites from vista print to save money. Making own cake, doing own flowers.

    I love the weddings where you have a free reign of a venue, such as barn or marquee.

    Good luck. xx

  • NSL1211 - just been drooling over The Crown Inn. Gorgeous.


  • Thanks for all your suggestions ladies. We have booked the venue. image Very very excited!
Sign In or Register to comment.