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Big wedding and budget

Hi everyone, 

I was wondering if anyone has experiences of big weddings and doing it on a budget?
We have done a guest list and it comes to 150 day guests and 200 evening! Basically at the minute we are working out how much we can save and then working out an approximate date :)

We’d like a wedding where people spend the weekend with us so if you know of anywhere that has a good reputation then please send a link! 
Also, not ruling out a wedding abroad so any experience of that would be lovely. 



  • I would say big weddings cant be done on a budget, not if you want to feed and water everyone properly. Also the kind of venue that will allow hundreds of guests to stay over with you wont come cheap, even without exclusive use. If you do go abroad then bear in mind that lots of people wont go so you may not get your big wedding at all. I think you need to do some detailed research and decide your priorities so you can then allocate your budget accordingly- venue, guest list, accommodation, dress etc
  • d144d144 Posts: 46 New bride
    I love big weddings, sharing special days with those who you care about make life worthwhile. My first thought is that you need to think about the type of wedding that you want, and who you would like to be there. I do not think that you will be able to invite 200 evening guests to a weekend location or abroad. So you can either have a local wedding with everyone you are thinking of having, or a weekend away maybe with the 150 day guests. I believe most day guests will be willing to pay for their own accommodation if you give them enough notice. So a hotel wedding for 150 is difference budget one for 350. If you decide that you want to have the large wedding then its onto venue and catering. Costs vary enormously for the venue and catering. Venue costs can change according to the day of the week and time of year. Venues that are not normally wedding venues often offer the best value, such as schools they can have beautiful grounds) and buildings owned by charities. Conference centers often offer weddings with accommodation. Food costs, obviously 3 course meals cost a lot more per head than a hog roast and buffet. If you look at some dry hire venues, alcohol will be cheaper and they can usually recommend local caters who work on a budget. When you decide what type of wedding you want, please update here with your preferred area numbers and budget and I will look suggest some options. Darren

  • Thank you! 

    Currently looking at barns/marquees in the North West. Still unsure of budget though 

  • That'll never happen for under 10k!
  • d144d144 Posts: 46 New bride
    Marquees can be more expensive than barns and halls as you have to add in loos, power and tables and chairs on top of Marquee hire and ground hire. So if you want to go this way it is cheaper to find a venue that has a permanent marquee as they are not specially providing everything for one event. I think you may struggle to find barns that will hold your numbers. Some private schools have great grounds and large halls with oak beam ceiling that might feel similar.

    I did a quick search and found a hotel with a stunning ballroom that reminds me of the Plaza in New York, with similar flowers and lighting this venue would be stunning. The ballroom can sit up to 300 for a meal so I think you could have 150 day and 200 evening guests. The prices are very competitive and they have accommodation so you can make a weekend of it. 

    The Price of Wales Hotel Southport Merseyside PR8 1JS


  • The problem with a big wedding is even just at a basic level, it costs way more than you think to feed everyone. The cheapest we found (even for buffet style) was around £45pp, and then there's booze, which unless you can do yourself, you're looking at £20pp roughly for a bit at the meal, a bit to toast and a bit for the drinks reception.

    My friend had a hog roast and that was still around £15pp for 65 people, so its just really hard to keep costs down on food and drink. If you can find a way around that though, you will save loads!

    Another thing is if you're looking for somewhere where people can all stay and its a weekend type event, are you catering for guests each day? Again, even casual food options will still run into the thousands before you realise. Costs for the accommodation are high too, unless you pass this costs onto guests but then you're restricting who can attend due to affordability.

    Weddings abroad can be cheaper, but i think when you start getting into that many guests the amount you save is pennies, especially when you will be sacrificing the guest list anyway to make it happen, 150 people will not all fly over for you.

    The main things that will determine the budget here are the venue, guest list and catering options inc booze. If you can find a way to get around all of those cheaply, then you'll have a better chance. Also worth noting if you're looking for a "package" type venue, or a more stereotypical wedding venue, the higher the guest list the more it'll cost just to get a venue that allows that capacity. Once you get over 150 it goes in6to a whole new bracket of exclusivity so you'll be a bit more limited on options. A DIY type wedding or using something like a marquee or teepee can be a good alternative, but then there's all the rentals (loos, kitchen, flooring, chairs tables ect) it again soon adds up.

    Good luck with it all and i really hope you can find somewhere!
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