who is getting married in London on a small budget?

who is getting married in london?

ihave no idea about where to start looking for london venues..ive been looking online, but it is all expensive.

we are thinking about may 2009.our budget is not very big. approx £3000, then something extra depending if my family offers to pay for something.

we are having approx 45-60 guests. plus minus, as some might not come due to the fact they have to fly in from norway. but it should be fine.



  • whereabouts in london do you live?
  • BRIDE100BRIDE100 Posts: 884
    We got married in Herts and even that was stupid expensive - for everything not just venues!

    Every venue we looked at was more than your budget (that was for 80 people though and we were just looking at hotels) but can imagine that actual London is even more.

    What about hiring a hall?

  • are you looking at a civil or church wedding? for that budget, if you're looking for a civil venue then based on experience of pricing elsewhere then i would say you won't find any "all in" prices for that, so you will be able to narrow the list down quite drastically by looking for places that will let you marry without insisting you also have the reception there. then maybe look for a restaurant with about the right number of seats that you could hire out for the evening - then you would probably just be paying for what food your guests actually order. and weekdays are usually cheaper as they're less popular. hth x
  • hi there, for your budget forget hotels, i have looked at 200 plus venues in and around london

    the best thing I can recommend is restaurants or pubs who do deals such as no hire fees (they may have a min. spend which in most cases is around 2,5K but I am sure you can negotiate
  • our budget is bigger than yours but still small particularly for london - essentially cut out all the 'standard' wedding venues. A few things i've picked up that might help:

    - Fridays or Sundays are usually cheaper than Saturdays,. and weekdays can be even better

    - restaurants as above are often likely to negotiate - we are having the whole of a restaurant in north london as we are having 130 people, but many have private rooms. Where we're getting married they have a really nice private mezzanine area that would work for your sort of size. (Haven, in Whetstone)

    - Pubs might be worth checking out - some have really nice function facilities - there's one in grenwich, the name has escaped me, but it was great value and would have been a strong contender if it wasn't so far away

    - Council owned properties are very cheap, some of them are not too bad either

    - Church halls definitley worth checking out too

    Basically, it does take creativity, and possibly some compromise - think of a cream tea or buffet instead of sit down dinner, dj instead of band, or even ipod provided music, homemade stationary, candles instead of flowers for centerpieces... but it can be done!!

    Good luck!!
  • fsm21fsm21 Posts: 471
    Hello bride09, I am getting married in London this August and I totally understand that prices are massively steep in the capital. Like uniqueusername, we have got a larger budget but we have specifically had quite a long engagement in order to save up (& because we had just bought our first home shortly before getting engaged!).

    I would recommend avoiding the more 'central' parts of London and look in the more suburban areas where better deals can be found, and I would definitely second the restaurant and local church halls idea above. I think the fact your numbers are not massive will help you keep your costs down. Silver-service wedding breakfast is far more dear than having an informal canape or buffet reception so there are significant savings to be made there!

    Let us know what sort of ceremony you want to have & whereabouts in London you are based x
  • jojoPMjojoPM Posts: 825
    I live in South East London, our budget is a little more than yours more like £5000 we are having a church wedding and hiring a local hall, flowers we are kind of doing ourselves apart from the bouquet and button holes and corsages, favors and decor bits etc. I'm buying on the internet and the high street. It can be done but you'll have to do loads of research. Reception food will be a buffet that a family friend is doing we just have to pay for the ingredients. Sainsbury's provide a food ordering service for buffets etc. alternitively some friends or family could prepare your own bits, all the supermarkets do the frozen party food that you just stick in the oven which are quite nice.

    There are loads of options don't worry. Where in London are you I might be able to help with some contacts? Feel free to email me.
  • Hi,

    You CAN get married in Central London if you look hard.

    The Register rooms at Marylebone are quite pretty: http://www.westminster.gov.uk/communityandliving/registrar/marriage/councilhouse.cfm

    And if your budget can stretch a bit then I can recommend where I'm getting married which is the Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park.

  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204
    whereabouts in london do you live?

    i live in stockwell, but by our wedding time we will move. we r planning to move to like zone 4 or 5 maybe in the south.
  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204
    we might be able to pay abit more as my family hopefully will offer some money but around £3000 pound we can pay ourselves. i guess we can stretch to £5000 if we do not find anything to our likings. or atleast it would be up to 5000 pounds if my family helps out.

    i want a proper wedding, deff no pub and i would not compromise on a few things, like i want candles and i would like a sit down dinner, i might go for buffet though if we go turkish style. my fiancee is turkish and im from norway so deff no church wedding image a restaurant could be ideal but it is not my first choice, im interested in renting like a hall or something that also ca do the civil ceremony.

    i do not want to get arried in the city hall places, cause i want to walk down the isle and feel like im sort of doing the church thing.

    like i said i live in stockwell, but we will deff move this may further outside so maybe when we move we will see what they have in the area we will live in.

    thanks for al your comments, please add anything else that could help me. i appreciate it. ive been living in london for over 4 years now and many things here are alot cheaper then in norway but not when it comes to renting a hall... image

  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204

    You CAN get married in Central London if you look hard.

    The Register rooms at Marylebone are quite pretty: http://www.westminster.gov.uk/communityandliving/registrar/marriage/councilhouse.cfm

    And if your budget can stretch a bit then I can recommend where I'm getting married which is the Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park.


    thank you very much! i didnt want to get married at a reg room cause i wanted to walk down an aisle, but thanks for that! one of those rooms looks great! image thanks alot. the place ur gettingmarried is also great and affordable but can they only do it for a maximum of 5 hours...thats abit short wedding for me image

    norwegian weddings partys are abit longer image

    thanks alot, very helpful.im looking into it though.
  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204
    showtunes girl:

    what is your budget if i may ask? and r u hiring a caterer and what type of bar are you having, cash or open? do they provided everything at this hall? or can you bring your own drinks etc/
  • Hello

    One of the best weddings I have been too was on a tight budget in central London. The couple got married at Marylebone Register Office which is a really lovely venue - the rooms are quite grand and you can walk down the aisle. They then hailed a black cab from outside (this was very cool with her in her wedding dress) to go to the reception.

    They held their reception at Brown's Restaurant just off Bond Street. They just booked out the tables for the afternoon and everyone ordered off the menu! They paid for the meal and wine with it and then we all just brought our own drinks at the bar afterwards. I don't know exactly how much it cost, but I know their budget was small and that we all just had such a good time! It was really informal and fun.

    My suggestion would be to look at restaurants rather than hotels. I am sure any number would be happy to do you a deal if you booked them out for the afternoon - especially if you got married on a week day.

    Good luck!

  • Hi,

    You can extend your hire at an hourly rate for however long you want but then I think it can get a bit pricey. To be honest, they've actually put up their prices quite a bit in the last year or so. I think because they were previously charging a very low rate in comparisons to other central London venues. My fianc???? and I actually got in so early that we only got the venue at the 2006 price which is £800!

    We are only having the ceremony here and then moving on to a Chinese restaurant down the river: www.chinaboulevard.com They do also do wedding ceremonies there if you are interested.

    The Pump House doesn't provide catering but are pretty easy going about most things so you can do your own thing. Email Catherine Davies there: [email protected] with any questions you might have.

    Also bear in mind that the hire fee like all places will not include the registrar's fee which in Wandsworth is about £199.

    If you are on a strict budget, I would go with the Marylebone Register's office and then blow the money on the reception!

    Oh and my budget is about £11k including the honeymoon so I think I'm doing ok!
  • I'm south London too with a low budget of 5000 (although that seems massive to me!). Our reception is going to be at the HSBC Sports Club in Beckenham. Quite reasonable (only 700 to hire but you do have to use their catering) and a very pretty venue in lovely grounds. I looked and looked and there is not much that is beautiful and cheap but do check out Charlton house in Greenwich as it's council owned and therefore not expensive.
  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204
    thanks everyone.

    our budget does not include the honey moon, we will take that out seperately. well, i think there are deff many nice restaurants to get married in. so thats an idea aslong as i have dance floor area and enough space.

    hwoever i would not want a day time wedding.

    Can I get married in reg offices which i dont belong to??
  • Hi, yes you can get married at any register office but you will have to give notice in the council that you get married in.

    Also what do you mean by you don't want a daytime wedding? You have to have have your marriage ceremony finished and signed before 6pm in England for it to be legal. We are getting married as late in the day as possible at 5pm.
  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204
    ok thanks image no i meant the reception. sems someone here said that they has the reception in the day at browns,.

    i want the seremony around 4, then the wedding reception to go on throughout the rest of the evening.

    is the way to do it: give notice of marriage, then look for venue etc. or do you have to give them the date when you give notice...? i am looking alot on line, and i found great information on most things. how far in advance do you give notice when we r marrying may 2009? plus we r moving in may this year so we will belong to a different reg office then,.
  • jojoPMjojoPM Posts: 825
    I think your best option is to wait until you move - things will be alot clearer then. Do you actually know where you're moving to yet?
  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204
    no thats the thing we will know in the end of april image then we will be moved in the new apt in may, and then we will have one year for our wedding which should be enough time. but it is so good to read up and look around now image jojoPM are u married? or r u getting married in london as well? image
  • jojoPMjojoPM Posts: 825
    I'm getting married - our venues are booked since this January and our wedding is in September so I would think a year to plan should be fine.
  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204
    thanks image good luck with your wedding. where r you going on honeymoon?
  • becsparkelbecsparkel Posts: 224
    Hi Bride09 - I'm getting married in London also and have found it a very expensive business so far!! I know a friend who got married at LE GOTHIQUE in tooting, it's round about the area you are thinking of moving to but I don't know how much it would cost:


    b x
  • Bride09Bride09 Posts: 204
    i think we r going with a restaurant, as it is the better and cheaper choise. easy and great i think image
  • netallynetally Posts: 539
    Hey, I live in Herts but am looking at London venues cos they seem to fit my style a bit more. Most of my local venues are barns or stately homes! I want something a bit more contemporary. The wedding will be in Apr 09 and our budget is 6k including the honeymoon. (Prob a week in Tunisia where we first took a holiday together!) We're having 50 guests, so a fairly small wedding.

    We like the look of Islington's registry office, as it's in a nice location and the Court Room looks stunning. Reception venues we're looking at are the Zetter Hotel (which may require a small parental contribution!), the Tab Centre in Shoreditch, White Swan pub in the City which is a lovely gastropub and the Gun in Docklands which is similar. We're having a weekend there soon so we can go round all the venues and try the food etc. Sounds really fun!
  • Fredericks restaurant in Islington is lovely. I have been to a wedding there, they have a lovely sweeping staircase. check out the website, but I dont think its that expensive
  • wearmydresswearmydress Posts: 122
    Hi, I'm an SE london bride too, I'm getting married at charlton house in greenwich next sept, the hire is about £2200, but that is for 3 rooms, which includes the long gallery (it is a jacobean house owned by the council) for the ceremony, so is a bit more special than some registry offices. The reception is in the old library which I love as it seems really grand, but not overly fussy. We are going to be able to keep the budget down because they let you cater everything yourself (the kitchen hire is included in the price) including drinks with no corkage charge.

    We are saving money by making a lot of things ourselves, or finding family and friends who can do it for us as a wedding present, e.g. mil2b is making the cake, a friend is a good photographer, an aunt is a good seamstress, I'm going to do the invitations and put my own flowers together, etc.
  • sammyjoeuksammyjoeuk Posts: 3,596
    You could also check out www.theurdang.com the prices are reasonable.x
  • I'm getting married in Camden soon. Our budget was nil but we've spent around £5k I think all in. We are making people buy their own booze and are just having a buffet with friends DJing and bands playing (friends). Friends are doing the flowers (only a bunch for me though), my hair, my make up and helping us decorate the garden.

    They will be enjoying themselves so why not let them pay for a lot if it! image

  • I'm having my reception in Harrow, it's coming in at about £3,000 for 50 people, 3 course meal, half a bottle of wine each, champagne for the toast, DJ, evening buffett and chair covers...
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