Am I being realistic ?

Finally booked our wedding venue! It's 100% what we were looking for and seems to tick all the boxes. 

Im just having a few little doubts. Hope I've done the right thing in booking it! My first concern is cost. We budgeted 10,000 for the whole day. Not including the dress as my parents are buying that, the veil I am borrowing from my sister, my fiancés and best mans suit my inlaws would be buying. Hen and stag do's, just a girls/lads night out no trips abroad or anything, paid for respectively by maid of honour and best man. Also honeymoon! We are asking for cash towards the honeymoon as wedding gift and we'll work with whatever we receive. So long story short, 10 grand to cover everything besides, dress, veil, 2 suits, stag/hen, honeymoon.

Now the venue, catering and drinks are coming in at £5300. So is £4700 a realistic amount of money to play with for the rest of the day? We are happy to make a few compromises, for example we are happy to do without a wedding band, buy high street bridesmaid dresses, diy decorations, marks' wedding cake etc. But don't want to compromises in other areas, e.g. Photography! With this in mind is £4700 enough?

Also the wedding is in Ireland where me and my fiancé live, and we will have at least half of our guests travelling from England (mostly family and just a couple of close friends) the venue is half an hours drive from the airport. There is no onsite accomadation at our venue but lots of options close by, to suit all budgets from self catering holiday cottages to b&bs and hotels. Is it reasonable to ask people to travel for half an hour after coming over from England? Should I have picked somewhere closer to the airport!? Is half an hour a reasonable transfer time. Should I have gone with a hotel rather than barn? So then at least once my guests where there they wouldn't have to get taxis back and forth, from their hotel to the venue?

Im pretty scared we're gonna end up going over budget, and that half the guests aren't going to turn up! Please reassure me! Tell me we have done the right thing!


  • In my opinion £4700 will be quite tight but it’s hard to say without seeing a full list of what you want. Like are you having flowers, favours, transport for yourself and the groom? 

    Regarding accomodation, I wouldn’t worry. Just give your guests as much notice as possible so they can get themselves organised. The people that really want to be there will make the effort xx


  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    I think it's doable. We are spending around £4500 on all that stuff (and another 8-9k on the food, venue, clothing etc). Though w arnt having transport and only having flowers for the boquets and buttonholes not centrepieces)

  • Thankyou for your honesty. I suppose what I've found difficult is dividing the budget up accordingly cause I really have no idea how much wedding related things cost! I've done my research, and have realised that for a decent photographer I'm looking at at least a grand! However when it comes to dj and cars it's impossible to know because most of them arent that transparent on prices/packages. Flowers I have absolutely no idea about??? Because I know the price is very much related to what you want.

    However in hindsight I think I'm more content compromising on things such as flowers/cars/rings/accommodation. Rather than going for a venue that was a grand cheaper, but was a bit, meh. if you see what I mean. I suppose the question is just how much compromising are we going to have to do?

    Bit nosey but I'd love to know just how much everybody else is paying for flowers/photography/dj/cars? Just so I can get ore of an idea what the average is

  • We're working to a similar budget - I'll message you with mine!

  • Thanks x

  • Julia82Julia82 Posts: 123

    Well I think it's tight but doable! You will just have to really watch it and do your research. Don't buy anything with the word 'wedding' in front of it - it's twice the price haha. 

    My photographer is £1700. My friend had one for £300 (they were shit) and my other mate had one for £3500...

    DJ - £300

    Flowers and cars do not apply (mother and all in the same place!)


  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    Photographer is £900 (all day, 2 photographers, all pics on usb, first 20 images in album included but after that it's extra and we can pay for album upgrades. Won many awards and features in bridal magazines so you don't need to spend the earth if you take time to research)

    Our singer/guitarist who is also a dj is £600 (one man so cheaper than a band, but he's well known locally and very popular. Does a mix of live singing with guitar both electric and acoustic plus has full dj set up for inbetween sets)

    Flowers is £155 for 1 bridal, 2 bridesmaids, 1 Flower girl and 9 buttonholes.

    No transport needed

  • I know exactly what I'm looking for in terms of flowers/decor. Bridal bouquet, 3 bridesmaids bouquet, one flower crown for flower girl, 4 buttonholes, altar display, long and low for top table, no centrepieces  just candles and foliage for my guest tables.  i don't mind artificial when it comes to foliage for the tables, but definitely fresh when it comes to bouquets. I know gypsophilia is cheap, which is great, because I just so happen to love it! I also like hydraganea, and lots and lots of foliage! I'm probably going to be looking for more foliage than actual flowers. I like a really rustic wild sort of look when it comes to flowers. So based on what I've said do you think that would come in quite expensive or cheap?

  • Hi MrsS2b5,


    have you thought about artificial flowers to bring costs down I'm getting married abroad and thinking of using I have ordered some samples so will see what they turn up like.

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    I don’t have real flower centrepieces and my flowers are coming in at around £950.

    This includes the following:

    1 Bridal Bouquet

    1 MOH Bouquet

    1 Junior Bridesmaid Bouquet

    2 Flower Girl Wands

    2 Floral Crowns for the flower girls.

    2 MOB/MOG corsage

    1 Groom buttonhole

    4 Men buttonholes

    2 Pageboy buttonholes

    1 Long and Low arrangement for the registrar table (will then be used on the top table)

    1 Floral Arch

    Staircase decoration of ribbons, flowers and foliage. 

    Hope that helps. 

  • Thanks that helps a lot. I was looking to spend about 700 - 800 so that gives me hope that it's doable! Will have a look at the artificial flowers too, would love to know what your samples are like ellie82

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    I have artificial flowers for my centrepieces. I decorated jam jars and then arranged the flowers myself. 


  • It really does depend how much you are willing, able and prepared to spend on various things..... our whole wedding day is coming in at under £5k including dresses and rings, and we don't feel we're compromising on anything or missing out!

    I would do a lot of research into different options and costs, then decide your priorities before you spend any more money x


    This forum is  great resource - take some time browsing people's planning thread and wedding reports to see what's achievable with different budgets (and fwiw, I'm using PinkLilac for silk flowers.... their samples are really lovely quality and realistic.... definitely worth a look).  

  • Personally, I think that's more than do-able. But It's down to personal preference and what you want out of the budget. 

    We're paying £795 for our photographer. Transport isn't needed as all in one venue, DJ included in the price of the venue, flowers I'm making my own spent £30 on foam flowers and materials. 

    Write down out of what's left what you need to buy/hire etc and then prioritise it in order. Hope that helps x

  • I think it depends largely on the costs of your remaining "big budget item" vendors. A good tog can easily run £3000.  Even if you spent only £1500 on your tog, that leaves £3200 for literally everything else, including other traditional large-spend items like flowers and cake.

    After your big budget vendors, you need to figure the costs of your non-negotiables, things that can't be DIY'd or cut.  Non-negotiables can easily run a few thousand pounds.  Things like the church or officiant fee, post for your invites, cost of thank you cards, etc., all easily add up.  Let's say these items add up to only £1000 - after the £1500 tog, you're now at £2200 for everything else - and we still don't have a cake or flowers figured.

    After the big budget items and the non-negotiables, you have the costs of things that couples typically forget.  Have you priced out what suitable under-your-dress lingerie will cost?  A decent bra & panties is well over £100 alone. You are being gifted your dress, but I doubt they also going to pay for your lingerie, shoes, hair clip, earrings, etc.  Are you planning to hire help for your hair and make-up? Brides on here constantly moan over the £250 spent there.  DIY'ing is less than a pro in many cases, but it still isn't cheap. DIY'ing your make-up means buying good make-up yourself and buying more if the first products don't work out. DIY'ing your invites means buying good quality cardstock, including extra for test runs - and you still can't avoid the cost to post them.

    Don't get me wrong, £4700 is a lot of money - but it will go fast. My suggestion always is to pick the things you want to do well and cut the things entirely that aren't important. People would always rather have good quality food than another jam jar favour. Your photos will be your permanent keepsake of the day, but no one really needs another photobooth experience and large light-up letter aren't exactly novel anymore, so don't skimp on your 'tog. Cut the things that aren't important and focus on the things that are, and don't forget to budget for the non-negotiables and the easily forgotten costs.

  • Elz2017Elz2017 Posts: 316

    Agree with all that's been said above - prioritise the non-negotiables, and cut what you don't need (unless you kind of do need it cos you want it so much - I've just had a blow out on some very stupid shoes I absolutely didn't need but hey...) A lot will depend on what kind of wedding you're having - for example ours is a relaxed handfasting so we've scrapped having bouquets which makes the flowers MUCH cheaper cos we're just having foliage and a few roses for decoration, etc... however we've spent more than we thought we would on having a good photographer (still under a grand though) Also - candles (or fake candles if a fire risk) and fairy lights off ebay are cheap as chips and make everything look pretty...

    On travel and guests - it may just be that all our family and friends are absolutely mental, but we're having our wedding on an island, involving for most people a flight, train/car for 45 mins, then a 45 min ferry... and casual response to the save the dates suggest people are going to do this from all over the world, even folk we didn't expect to come all the way from Australia! So no, half an hour is probably not too much for most people (some people will whinge, get confused and ask a million questions, but very few from what we've experienced!)

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