Wedding budget - what have you had to compromise on?

We are trying to watch our pennies in terms of the wedding budget. We set ourself a budget of £8,500 but will be lucky to come in under £9,500 at the moment. So, I’m having to look at what cutbacks I can make Without compromising too much on what I/we want for the day Which is proving to be difficult. 

So far I‘ve decided not to have a disco dancefloor, chocolate fountain and MR & MRS letters, which I’m gutted about because I really hoped to get these  Anyone in the same boat?

Posts

  • Im not having a band. Originally it was something that was near the top of my list but as time's gone on and costs have crept up i decided to scrap it and just keep the DJ. The venue will be very busy as it is and a band will take up a lot of space. Plus, my family are the type that would get up and dance to a mobile ringtone so its not like i need one to get people dancing! 

  • Not a compromise per se, because we don't feel we're missing out, but we have chosen not to spend money on things that, whilst they may look great and be on trend at the moment, don't actually add much to the day and in reality won't nbe noticed much by guests once the party's going.....   things like those extra flowers on the tables and fairy lights down the wall, or big light up letters, or big pricey signs and table plans that people only look at for a minute....

    The only really big decision was not to have a live band or DJ, because again we decided it was money we didn't need to spend.  We are lucky to have several musicians amongst family and friends so we'll have a small live group for the ceremony anyway, and for our reception we're just going to set up a big playlist and have an open-mic session later in the evening.  

  • The photographer we really wanted - we went for a cheaper one who is great but just not the same. 

    A videographer - something I’m still torn about. 

    Transport for our guests and bridal party. 

    A 2 week honeymoon. We’re going to an amazing destination but just for 7 nights. 

    A DJ - we’re just having a band and then a playlist in between sets. 

    Canapes - we‘re hiring an ice cream cart to keep guests going instead as it was a much cheaper option. 

    Guests! We’ve had to cut people out that we would like to be there for the ceremony/breakfast but don’t NEED to be there. 

    Invites - I‘m making these myself to save money but I would have loved to have them done professionally. It would have been a hell of a lot less stress and time!

    There’s probably lots more that I can’t think of right now. Planning has been one big old compromise haha 😂 x

  • MrsE2016MrsE2016 Posts: 1,206 New bride

    We originally wanted a band but couldn't justify the expense. In the end it was the correct decision as we had DJ instead & our dance floor was full! We wouldn't have had the room for a band as we had a lot of evening guests and it wouldn't have meant we had a better night. 

    I would have liked a videographer but we didn't have money in the budget for it. It would have been nice to have a wedding video to look back on but I don't regret not having one. We have amazing photos and memories from the day and we got one of our friends to record the speeches so we have them to watch back x

  • The only thing I'm torn about is a videographer. Part of me thinks we don't really need one and they're expensive, but the other thinks we might regret not having one. Other than that, I'm getting the wedding that I really want, which is amazing :)

  • I don't really class them as compromises as I planned from the start not to have them and seem to have pretty budget-friendly tastes haha but a few ways we plan to save money:

    Venue - We've gone for a local Inn, lots of character, and soooo much cheaper than your standard hotel/stately home

    Date - We've gone off peak (Autumn) and mid week to hopefully cut costs in various places

    Guest list - We're having roughly 20 day guests and 40 evening (keeps costs down and suits us as we're both uncomfortable in crowds haha)

    Videographer - Hadn't planned to have one or budgeted for one, but I'd now like a video so I'm going to DIY it! 

    DIY decor - Luckily the venue is gorgeous so won't need much doing, but I'm hoping to DIY all my decor and centrepieces

    Music - Venue has said as long as we provide a speaker system (my Dad has some we can use) we can play our own music so we'll be doing this instead of band or DJ (IF we save enough and find a decent deal we might still go for a barbershop style singer though!)

    Dress - I care more about how the outside of the dress looks than what the label on the inside says haha! So I'll be getting a high-street dress most likely, hopefully for under £200 but if it's the absolute ONE I might stretch to £300!

    Maybe I just have really cheap taste but I'm really not finding money saving that difficult haha! We have a maximum budget of £8,500 like you but both very keen to spend a lot less than that! From what we've worked out so far it should hopefully come to around £6500 but you never know!

    My biggest tip I guess would be to research research research! Make sure what you're booking is the ABSOLUTE BEST deal you can find! And DIY what you think you can for cheaper :) x

    Remember, when stressed, simply channel your inner Bridechilla: Take a sand bath, munch some veggies, then chew on a wooden stick... wait... no... that's a Chinchilla... 

    My planning thread
  • MrsE2016 wrote (see post):

    We originally wanted a band but couldn't justify the expense. In the end it was the correct decision as we had DJ instead & our dance floor was full! We wouldn't have had the room for a band as we had a lot of evening guests and it wouldn't have meant we had a better night. 

    I would have liked a videographer but we didn't have money in the budget for it. It would have been nice to have a wedding video to look back on but I don't regret not having one. We have amazing photos and memories from the day and we got one of our friends to record the speeches so we have them to watch back x

    It’s so reassuring to hear somone say they DON’T regret not having a videographer! X

  • We never even considered a videographer - it took us 30 seconds to agree it was an absolute no!

    One of mum's friends did an informal video at my first wedding which was excellent but e only ever looked at a couple of times and noone else was ever interested in seeing it, so I was glad we didn't spend money on a pro.  I have been to too many weddings where the video camera(s) have been obtrusive and made people feel uncomfortable.... in my opinion (I realise other people feel differently.... and that's ok) it detracts from the day rather than adding any value, so there's no way we were going to spend money on that.

  • Ali S 71 wrote (see post):

    We never even considered a videographer - it took us 30 seconds to agree it was an absolute no!

    One of mum's friends did an informal video at my first wedding which was excellent but e only ever looked at a couple of times and noone else was ever interested in seeing it, so I was glad we didn't spend money on a pro.  I have been to too many weddings where the video camera(s) have been obtrusive and made people feel uncomfortable.... in my opinion (I realise other people feel differently.... and that's ok) it detracts from the day rather than adding any value, so there's no way we were going to spend money on that.

    This is super helpful. I never even considered one, but I've seen so many articles and people commenting that its an absolute must and you'll regret it etc. that its made me second guess myself to the point where I've actually emailed off for a few quotes. I might ask a capable friend to record our vows and our speeches though.

  • I wouldn't say compromise as such, as these weren't high on our 'priority list' but we're not having real flowers instead I'm doing my own. Not paying for expensive stationary. I'm making my own invites, not having a seating plan. DIY centerpieces that we can easily do ourselves rather than pay extortionate prices for. x

  • MrsMcSMrsMcS Posts: 235

    I don't think we've really compromised on anything we really wanted. We've made savings on some things but they're things we weren't bothered about having anyway.

    I think it's so easy to get caught up in what other people have, or all the "extras" that are advertised, and convince yourself that they're necessities!

    I admit I'm another who's nearly gone down that rabbit hole with the videographer a few times - we were convinced from the start that we didn't want one, but the sheer amount of threads about them on here has nearly swayed me a few times! We're going to ask a trusted guest to film the speeches and maybe the ceremony, because I'm worried I won't remember them, but I just have to keep reminding myself that I don't actually like wedding videos...!

  • MrsE2016MrsE2016 Posts: 1,206 New bride

    Williams2James it's one of those things that had we had the money in the budget I'd have gone for it but we didn't want to get into debt for the sake of one day. 

    You see so many couples on here that decided to have a videographer and say it was an essential but we just couldn't have justified the extra expense that could go towards a house deposit (or the baby we're now expecting!) 

    I love watching wedding videos (that sounds so sad!) and it would have been lovely to have our own to watch but we have the memories of our day and amazing photos so that is enough for us. 

    I would recommend getting someone to film the speeches though, even if it's just on an iPhone (that's what we did!), we have watched the speeches back a few times and it helps jog our memories of the day. 

  • Ambam19Ambam19 Posts: 578 New bride

    I'm really glad that i had a videographer first time around as there are lots of moments that aren't the same on a photo, and my dad has since passed and i'm able to see his mannerisms and hear him speak rather than just look at a photo. 

    This time the only thing we are really compromising on is our social life! We've chosen the things we want to do and pay for so need to work extra hours to pay for them x

  • Getting someone to phone-video the speeches was absolutely enough for us, and we have watched them twice in 6 months. My mum also videoed the ceremony (unasked), which turned out to be really nice as a little memento (she didn't really know what was coming next so it's all in small pieces annotated by a running commentary to my dad).

    Similarly, most of our 'compromises' were things that we decided were less important to us. Buying a welcome drink for every single evening guest was one (early arrivers got some of our minimum spend cash behind the bar, later ones didn't). Not having champagne after the first glass and a half at our initial reception saved a fortune (our guests were thirsty, and it would have bankrupted us - we moved them on to wine after the initial allocation had been used up). Wedding cars seemed completely pointless as we didn't get married in a venue where anyone would have seen them. We drove everyone 2 miles from ceremony to reception in taxis rater than hiring a coach as it was such a short journey it didn't seem worth it. And most of the other things I mulled over and decided to save on were really just to make things easier for me rather than saving money, like doing my own flowers, having my MOH do my hair, etc.

  • Videographer isn't something we're interested in either - and at SILs wedding in October, completely unprompted, their uncle recorded and edited the whole day and put it on dvds for everyone complete with dvd case cover lol! So I think he'll do it - he'll like being involved too.

    We're not having fancy transport, and ceremony and reception are in the same venue so no need to shuttle guests around. 

    I tried my mori lee gown on in a boutique then bought it on ebay for £250

    I got my veil on here, brand new for £15

    We're not having a band or dj - just a playlist since they already have a PA system

    I'm diying all stationary and decorations except centrepieces

    Generally these are all money saving things we were both happy to do, none felt like a compromise.

    Only thing that feels like a compromise to me is evening food - I wanted to hire a food truck that serves bao buns but we have to use the venue's caterers and since the venue hire is free you just pay for catering it's fair enough... just a shame.

    I also would've liked real flowers for my flower crown but its better value to have faux. And confetti is so expensive that I won't be able to get the gorgeous petal mix I want.

  • I’m much like Ambam, compromising our social lives and having spare money for the next year! 

    I’m totally a believer in weddings are what you make of them, they’re one day and it’s the marriage that’s important. 

    I spent well over £30k on my first wedding not including honeymoon, the marriage was horrific and I’ve just finished paying the debt it got us into. 

    This time, no debt, luckily, everything that we’ve wanted we have been able to get. 

    The one thing I’ve wondered about is our venue - in the beginning we wanted a big marquee type wedding, we’ve gone for a hotel on the river bank, this has meant we can have everything else we want, so I guess that is a compromise we made. 

    Like I say though, I could completely bin the lot tomorrow if I needed to and marry J in a registry office just the two of us :) that’s the important thing 

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    I haven't really compromised beyond having a dress from sample sale, I couldn't do thousands for a brand new one. 

    H2B has compromised more because he wanted more. He wanted fancy car to go in (hes getting ready at home 5 mins away so persuaded him out if it), he wants a photo booth as well.

    But that's it really

  • its interesting to hear what everyone everyone has compromised on. I suppose for lots of you having certain things doesnt feel like a compromise because they are so far down your priority list. I was just so disappointed that the amount of money were throwing at the wedding and it’s still not enough to get everything I wanted 

    I think I’m going to get a sample dress also, which again doesn’t phase me so I guess that it’s not a huge compromise.  

    i noticed there are some quite divided options about videography. I don’t think I want to rely on a guest to film it as that would be unneccsay pressure for them. I think it might take the fun out of the day if they know I’m relying on them to do it and what if they’re ill and can’t attend? So not 100% decided on what to do about this. 

  • HelenNHelenN Posts: 130 New bride

    Quite the opposite to most of you but we never set a budget... so I suppose we’ve ended up compromising on having a new bathroom! 😂 But the wedding should be amazing! 

  • Bebe2Bebe2 Posts: 61 New bride

    I'm trying to have everything I want but at a reasonable price and only buying things on sale or discounted. The only thing I am not getting which I originally wanted was a band. 

  • Hi all, 

    New here ( newly engaged and VERY excited) and thought I would join in the wedding chat before I drive my friends and family mental 

    So, as others have said, I don't feel we have compromised as such- we've just prioritised things into what we feel is important. 

    Our venue was £1500 which was a very good price for what we are getting, but we've spent more on caterers because we felt the food was important. 
    We don't want flowers, I'm not really a flower girl. We did get a quote from a florist ( just out of curiosity) and it was like £800- I've managed to get basic bouquets off eBay for me and my 4 bridesmaids, plus buttonholes all for  £100. 

    We are not bothered about flashy invitations because they only go in the bin so I refuse to spend a lot on these. We are not doing favours on the tables either because half the time they get ignored. 
    We are making our own centrepieces and the room we've chosen doesn't need anything done to it, we love it as it is so no decor costs. 

    My mum is a photographer so is doing our wedding for free, She also wants to buy my dress because i'm her only daughter. 

    Now, the videography is a very difficult one for me because i am a videographer. I have been doing weddings for 12 years (although for the last year I've stopped and just do it for family/friends as wedding present)  and I have been to and seen every wedding you can imagine. I was very cheap, i Used to do the bride getting ready all the way through to 10pm for about £500. This was purely because I had a passion for it and the reactions I received when I gave them their DVD was just out of this world. ( My mum and I were in business together and we used to see who could make the groom cry )  I had so many couples say to me "you need to charge more!" but that wasn't what it was about for me. I was also very subtle and SO many couples said to me, "I don't remember that bit! or I didn't see them doing that!" Obviously I used to get a lot of footage of the bride and groom but I loved filming from afar. Flower girls twirling, guests laughing. I got an amazing shot of a bride with her mum and she had cupped her mums face in her hands and was talking to her. She didn't even know I was there and she cried when she saw it. 
    That said, I am in limbo on what to do for a videographer. I resent paying someone to do what I can do myself so to speak. Its really hard because I think a video is extra special. Photos are special too and it can capture an amazing moment, but the DVD adds another dimension, you can see it, hear it and watch it. Is it something you watch regularly? no. but in 5, 10 years time  on anniversaries or when (heaven forbid) special family members or friends are no longer around you can treasure it. We don't have children yet so as they won't be at our wedding, in the future I would love to play it to them. 
    It's so hard to know what to do.  I want a film taken to a standard I can edit it myself and make my own DVD, but I don't want to pay for it. So I will have to compromise and set the camera up myself or the best man has offered to get some bits for us! X 




  • AwhelenqtAwhelenqt Posts: 809 New bride

    A little further down the line I've made more compromises!

    We have a big flower budget - 700 but flowers are my favourite thing and if I could I would have the whole ceiling covered in foliage and wisteria, and would have sunflowers as place settings and big floral displays all over the venue (which has 4 main areas to cover - ceremony barn/outside area, entryway/brewery/dessert room/where everyone signs the guest list, reception room for wedding breakfast, and chill out room).

    As it is we're not even actually decorating the chill out room because we figure it'll mostly be used for putting kids in prams for naps away from the noise.

    I'd love gold cutlery as well but don't see that happening.

    I'm not sure I'll be able to do my Polaroid guest book/ seating plan /scavenger hunt idea because 5 Polaroid cameras will be expensive 😩

    I really wanted his and hers cocktails for the cocktail hour but it was more than double the cost of prosecco.

    On the same topic we wanted to make the most of the brewery and have a personalised cask of their own ale to serve but it was SO expensive!!!

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