Reality Check- Budgets

We are very newly engaged (2 months today!) and went to our first venue viewing earlier today...

The venue was beautiful (as you would expect for over £8k, hire only), but it's got me thinking do we really want to spend that much? Has anyone chosen not to set a budget which is their maximum potential budget? 

We want to travel (more) in future, will want to move house etc and my sensible head is playing devil's advocate. Would we be happy with a say £7k wedding, rather than a £15k and then have money for other things? Should we have 'had the feeling' if this venue was for us? Has anyone chosen to have a cheaper wedding on their wedding in favour of other things? 

At the moment, I am torn between 'it's just one day' and the 'you only plan to do it once'! Hoping viewing venue 2 next weekend will make it clearer. 

Posts

  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    Weve gone for a lower budget through choice. 6k for us, and I cant think of anything I would really want to have if we were spending more, itd just be spending for the sake of it.

    We have the money set aside so we dont need to worry about saving or cutting back in our daily lives. I would hate to be putting every spare penny towards the day and not be able to go out of we want or buy new things etc. Its just not worth it (to me) for a day. A very good day yea, but still just a day.

    I would have preferred to have spent much less but I had to be realistic about what I actually wanted and what it cost.

    There are just so many other things Id rather have or do with the money. Holidays mainly!

  • MrsNolanMrsNolan Posts: 683 New bride

    We have gone somewhere in the middle. Budget was originally about half of what we could spend, but we didn't want to spend so much on just one day. So we've booked things with budget in mind but if extras have come up we've gone over budget if it's justifiable rather than miss out on something we want for the wedding. Current examples being fireworks and a videographer lol. I guess what I'm saying is, go with the lower budget if you're happy to , but if you see something amazing that you have to have It's fine to go a little over x

  • SammykateSammykate Posts: 3,812 New bride

    I think this is something only you can decide and there's no easy answer! We didn't go mad, but our mantra was 'there can always be more money, but there can never be more wedding'. We did spend more than we initially wanted, but I didn't want to compromise! Like I say, not an easy answer.

    I don't know if you're being vague with figures, but when you say 8k for hire only is that as in just the venue nothing else? Yeah that's not going to be a 15k wedding! You'll probably get up to 15k just by adding catering and drinks to that. 

    I do think you should get a feeling of 'this is right, I can see myself getting married here' when viewing venues- so keep looking!

  • I think it is completely up to the couple getting married to decide how much they want to spend on their day.  We are not spending everything we have but nor are we restricting the budget so we can't have the bits that are important to us.  I personally do not judge anyone's budget as it is such a personal choice.

    If you would rather travel with your money then you should do that.  Equally, if you feel like you'll only get married once and you'd rather spend a bit more on that day then that is fine too. The only thing I wouldn't do is get into debt just to have a lavish day.

    FYI, we totally got the feeling when we visited our venue. :-)

  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    Forgot to say about the venue, I didnt really care much about the venue which helped massively. I had things I knew I definitely didnt want, like industrial sorts of places or barns. Anywhere with exposed bricks or beams inside. I used to work with horses, so most of these places to me seem like stables and I associate it with dirty, dusty, sweaty, cobwebby, smelly work that I used to do 😂. I said to h2b a few times "no, it looks like the stable we used to keep the ponies in" "it looks like the tack room" etc. He really likes those sorts of venues, but in the end hed much rather not spend a lot of money.

    We went for a hotel in the end, h2b chose it. Its costing 4k including food and drink which is definitely one of the best deals we saw. Its not a beautiful building or anything but I really dont care as long as its nice inside, doesnt look like a stable, and the price (and the food!) is good.

  • Spice3Spice3 Posts: 122

    If your venue is 8k, I would be very surprised if you only spent 15k! Your budget is only a question you can answer. Our venue is a grade 2 listed town hall for £860 in Essex for a 12 hour dey  hire. I always tell myself that anything I spend is putting money in someone else's pocket! My budget is 10k btw 

     

    Just ask yourself would you regret not spending the money? If you are this upset about the money, maybe you don't have the money for it? I always feel that if I get anxious about spending, it means I'm spending too much.

  • MrsM2018MrsM2018 Posts: 142

    Hi Sian, like others have said, it's dependent on the couple. We've had a long engagement so I kind of felt like we had to put on a good show. And then I fell in love with a gorgeous venue, which ticked all my boxes (floor to ceiling windows, right next to Regent's Park, gorgeous house etc) but when they finally worked up a price, 100 guests would cost £10k for venue, food and drinks. Our guest list is over the 200 point right now, so that just wasn't an option.

    It was difficult to sacrifice the venue because I did think 'it's the one day we'll do this', but I had to remind myself that the wedding is just the starting point, it's not the be all and end all. Like you, we want to travel and I've just bought my first property, it just didn't make sense to stretch our finances like that.

    Having said that, I can also see us enjoying ourselves at our venue - we have memories there already and know the area well. If it helps, try to remind yourself t as long as you and your fiance have a good time, and your guests are happy and entertained, you're bound to have a brilliant time. I'd rather spend the money on capturing the memories and having an amazing honeymoon :)

  • Laura349Laura349 Posts: 996 New bride

    We've had a very long engagement and have decided that we're having a REALLY small budget as far as weddings go (we've said 2k, 3k at a push!) as we'd much rather spend something like 15k on holidays etc for us as a family not just one day! 

    But as people have said before it's completely upto you two as a couple, and what your both comfortable with spending / can afford to. 

  • Emma624Emma624 Posts: 137

    Mine was 9k for the venue but this included 3 course meal for 135 people, Prosecco, wine, canapés, evening food and DJ. We still spent double that on all the extras including the honeymoon - this is a lot of money to us but we paid little bits off each month and used our savings - so that we are debt free. It is a lot of money to spend on one day and you can have just as nice a wedding without spending all that! However, I was worried I would regret spending so much but my wedding was exactly what I wanted it to be and to have the best day of my life was priceless - I don't regret a penny we spent. I agree with others that if just the venue is 8K the 15K mark will add up quickly if nothing else is included xxx

  • Sara50Sara50 Posts: 196

    We ended up at pretty much double our original 'budget' and spent way more than I ever thought I'd be prepared to spend on a wedding and we don't regret it at all!

    We started with the 'it's just one day we are not spending a fortune' but fell in love with an expensive venue and quickly changed to 'we only do this once'. 

    It depends on you and your fiance. We bought a house 4 years ago from which we have no intention to move and had already had some amazing holidays together. We also had no immediate plans for children so we knew there is plenty of time to save more and travel more after the wedding. We only had a 10 month engagement as I didn't want to feel that everything was on stop for the wedding and sacrifice the normal things we enjoy effectively 'wasting' money on like takeaways and an afternoon in the pub.  Different circumstances would have definitely affected our decision on what to spend. So as most have said it comes down to how you feel about it. 

     I would say, don't feel pressured into having a bigger more expensive day if it's not what you both genuinely want and stick to what you can afford.  

  • Kelly241Kelly241 Posts: 392 New bride

    We didn't set a budget and booked most things before totaling how much it would come to, we have said no more than 10k and that's to include the honeymoon. I don't know of that's a lot....but we're still within that budget with everything booked x

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455

    It's a decision only you and your partner can make. We are spending a fair amount because we can and we want to. We also already have a house so I don't feel like I'm wasting the equivalent of a house deposit. Sit down with A spreadsheet and think about what you'd be willing to spend on each aspect of the wedding.

  • LittleOne89LittleOne89 Posts: 388 New bride

    It depends on you as a couple and what you can afford/want to spend money on. 

    We've decided to scale our wedding down and buy a house instead. 

    At the end of the day, the wedding is about the marriage - and that is something that could cost a couple of hundred £'s in a registry office (and less if you go abroad). All the rest is just frills and trimmings. 

  • QueenDQueenD Posts: 325 New bride

    Just like everyone said, this is something you and your partner need to decide. Wedding budget is different for each and every couple, even if lets say 2 couples budget for a 10K wedding, their breakdowns will be different depending on what is more important to them (music, food etc etc)..

    So really, you need to think about what YOU absolutely want for your day, do some research on the average price and take it from there. You also need to be comfortable spending THAT amount on 1 single day (one of the most important/amazing days of your life but still its 1 day) without feeling guilty or regretting anything.

    Have a good think about it all, but whatever budget you decide just remember that venue will be 50-70% of your budget... and I think its better to have a clear idea of your budget BEFORE the next venue visit so that you know if you fall in love with something whether it is in your budget or not.

    Good luck x

  • Katherine66Katherine66 Posts: 1,234

    Ive spent 16k so far on all, and none on venue costs.  I have spent £1600 on decs for the venue.  

  • Spice3Spice3 Posts: 122
    QueenD wrote (see post):

    Just like everyone said, this is something you and your partner need to decide. Wedding budget is different for each and every couple, even if lets say 2 couples budget for a 10K wedding, their breakdowns will be different depending on what is more important to them (music, food etc etc)..

    So really, you need to think about what YOU absolutely want for your day, do some research on the average price and take it from there. You also need to be comfortable spending THAT amount on 1 single day (one of the most important/amazing days of your life but still its 1 day) without feeling guilty or regretting anything.

    Have a good think about it all, but whatever budget you decide just remember that venue will be 50-70% of your budget... and I think its better to have a clear idea of your budget BEFORE the next venue visit so that you know if you fall in love with something whether it is in your budget or not.

    Good luck x

    I think your venue figure  is excessive. The average is around 50%. If people are spending 70%, then there's not much for the wedding! My venue is £860 on a budget of 10k.

  • QueenDQueenD Posts: 325 New bride

    Spice3 that's an amazing price for your venue ! what does it include? for how many guests?

    and yes I agree the average is around 50% but it can definitely be more depending on your venue and total budget and guest counts etc..and I mean venue as the full package not just the 4 walls 

  • LizzieBHLizzieBH Posts: 196

    In a way I disagree that 'it's just one day' – the meaning of it, and the memories, are a lot more than that. You could also say an incredible holiday is 'just two weeks'. But some experiences are timeless.

    I think the important thing is that whatever your budget, accept your decision and run with it. Like you I'd originally balked at the potential costs of a wedding, but we eventually settled on £12k and are now really excited about it. If we'd settled on half that, though, we wouldn't even have looked at an £8k venue and would instead be feeling great about all the holidays we'll have. 

    My advice is to imagine you're having that £7k wedding, look at what sort of venues you would choose, and see how you feel.

  • Spice3Spice3 Posts: 122
    QueenDSpice3 wrote (see post):

    Spice3 that's an amazing price for your venue ! what does it include? for how many guests?

    and yes I agree the average is around 50% but it can definitely be more depending on your venue and total budget and guest counts etc..and I mean venue as the full package not just the 4 walls 

    The room capacity is 168 with a very small dance floor. We are having 70, but we are having a bar, dance floor and buffet in the same room so the space is perfect. The price is for a complete dry hire. It includes tables and chairs. The place is a grade 2 listed building so doesn't need too much decorating. They also said they will let us use their sound system if we want. Also no corkage which is great! And they allow external caterers so I can have my caribbean caterers. :)

  • QueenDQueenD Posts: 325 New bride

    Hi Spice3, you do really have an amazing deal!

    Under 1K for dry hire including tables & chairs, no corkage, allow external caterer and you don't need to decorate much. That really is an amazing price. Where are you based? 

    Our venue is the exact same deal but for 2.5K  which was the cheapest around us.

    I would think that you would spend less than 10K all together then with such a great price? But then again spending money is the easiest thing to do lool

  • Spice3Spice3 Posts: 122
    QueenD wrote (see post):

    Hi Spice3, you do really have an amazing deal!

    Under 1K for dry hire including tables & chairs, no corkage, allow external caterer and you don't need to decorate much. That really is an amazing price. Where are you based? 

    Our venue is the exact same deal but for 2.5K  which was the cheapest around us.

    I would think that you would spend less than 10K all together then with such a great price? But then again spending money is the easiest thing to do lool

    I actually live in Buckinghamshire but having the wedding in Essex because it's easy for all the guests to reach. I really want to keep the budget under 10k. I thought about having a big 300 person african/caribbean wedding, but I don't want to spend around 20k and more on a wedding. I know our guest list is small but we can try and treat everyone since it's not many people. I don't like the concept of evening guests so having everyone all day.

    Staying under 10k is slightly harder than I thought because i want a lot of extras like steel pans, african dancers and a really good dj which all adds up. But so far we are on budget. Also all the photographers I like are £1500 and more! I wanted the speciality cocktails but took us over budget so I cancelled it.

    My hairdresser told me I need an african wedding MC, but not sure I need one with such small numbers? What do you think?

     

    Also sorry OP for asking a question that is off topic!

  • ruthie1979ruthie1979 Posts: 794

    ahhhh I love Sammy Kates response "there can always be more money, but there can never be more wedding"

    We have set a "loose" budget but as long as we can afford the extras we want then we will go for it!

    xx

  • QueenDQueenD Posts: 325 New bride

    Yes sorry to the OP as we are going a bit off topic - still talking about budget though, money money money lol

    Would you mind sharing your venue? or in private message if you want to keep it a secret for your guests etc.?

    And totally understand the headache to decide whether to have a massive wedding (which is what our African/Caribbean families expect or at least are used to) or a more intimate one, but I think you have answered this question perfectly when you say you don't want to spend 20K or more on a wedding.

    It's exactly it! At the end of the day it's whatever YOU are comfortable with spending for your big day, and the people you really want around you, that's what matter. And the easiest way to spend less is to invite less people, its a no brainer, and like you said you can really treat them all day (evening guests are also not something I have seen at many African/Caribbean weddings)

    It definitely all adds up, for the cocktails I just contacted this lady on Insta literally yesterday (she's a friend of our caterer). Cannot give review yet but 1st contact she was very professional https://www.instagram.com/shake_a_mix/ 

    And for the MC, I also wondered the same question. In the end we decided that we do want someone handling the MC duties which are different than the DJs, but we are going the non-professional route as in our 2 best friends (both fluent in English and French) will have a bilingual dual act lol They are both comedians well at least they think they are funny haha but yeah they really know us and are close to us, so its a win win situation.

    I think you definitely need someone to kind of host the day, how much or how less of a show they do is up to you and whether to go professional or not is also depends on the vibe you want for your day I would say..

    Hope that helps x

     

     

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    Wow- thank you for all your responses, I've been tied up with work so no real wedding browsing this week unfortunately. 

    We don't intend to go into debt for the wedding, if we wanted something more we'd just plan to get married at a later date. I am pleased to see that not everyone is spending what they feel is their absolute maximum (people seem to think we will have a big do- we're 'first' in my friendship group).  We need to keep looking. 

    We've arranged to view a venue in Wiltshire next weekend which is cheaper (by a long way) but looks stunning. Have to see if we get 'the feeling'. A cheaper venue would offset the (in my eyes) expensive photographer my oh has his eye on; he's a photographer and videographer himself (motorsport not weddings) so is very fussy!

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