Planning Your Wedding - Budget
Apologies for the really long break in this mini series! With winter and spring weddings becoming evermore popular our wedding season didn't really come to close this year, and even with my best intentions blogging has gone out of the window!
Anyway picking up where we left off - lets talk about realistic wedding budgets!
With the world focussed on industries I'm afraid weddings have gone down that road too. It makes me sad to think of a couples day to celebrate their love as being big industry, and I do my best to steer clear of that crazy world by using local small talented businesses who are just making their way in Wales, but even with this in mind the realistic costs of putting on a large event for friends and family can really add up.
The best advice I can give you is to start by working out what your total budget is. Once you have this figure there are lots of tips to help you stick to it, but it's definitely advisable to sit down together, look at realistic costs based on what you want to achieve and come up with a grand total that you are up for spending.
I am then all for coming up with creative solutions to remain within that figure, and depending what style of event you want to have, most things are possible!
Below is a list of general outgoings, along with some creative suggestions to keep budgets down. I hope you find it helpful when setting your wedding budget.. . . .
The venue is one of the most important parts of your day/weekend. Be prepared for prices to start from £4,000 and go into double figures depending on what you are going for, the number of guests, whether it's a weekend or a day etc.
You may be lucky enough to have a space big enough to accommodate a marquee on your own land, or you can exclusively hire out some campsites and other sites that are happy to have a wedding Tipi or marquee up for the weekend, but this is not always a cheaper option - when staring from scratch the hire of everything really adds up!
Marquee hire costs start from around £1,500 for something very basic, but can get above £10,000 if you are having winter wedding and need all the trimmings!
If you are not wanting to spend too much on your day, village halls can be really good value, and many have been newly refurbished into really lovely spaces.
Hire and Decor
It's good to think about hire and decor here as it is really worth taking into account when considering a venue verses marquee and what they supply within the total cost.
Is the venue a blank canvas? Will you have to hire in tables, chairs, tableware and all the trimmings? If you are hosting a relatively large wedding (100 people or above) you can spend around £2,000 on these alone, before you start planning the decor, so it is definitely worth asking venues and marquee companies what they provide within the package.
If you have fallen in love with a blank canvas and need to hire everything in it is generally better to try and source a company that can provide the majority of what you need - That way you are saving on extra delivery charges (and extra pollution!).
Decor is hard to estimate as it can vary so considerably depending on your vision!
At TogetherNess we like to reuse, upcycle and hire in where possible to keep waste to a minimum but, even with these practices, if you are hoping to transform a big empty barn you could easily spend around £2,000 hiring in lights, props and people power to put it all together.
You could slash this budget to £500 if you wanted a simple look and have enough willing/hard working friends and family to help you put it all together!
Again is this something that is included in the venue hire? Or will you need to book extra accommodation? It is often better value to go with a venue that can accommodate you and a large number of your guests.
A good option if you are all looking to keep costs down is to go for somewhere with a mix of accommodation including glamping and camping. That way you have a variety of options for your guests when it comes to both comfort and cost.
This is another big chunk of the budget, in Wales it can start from around £25 per head and can go up to around £60 per head. Good food and talented catering comes at a price for obvious reasons. Quality ingredients are expensive, there are lots of staff involved, and pulling off a great meal for a large number of guests (often in a marquee) is a skill worth paying for.
The number of guests will make a big impact on your overall spending here, but there are some other creative ways to keep the budget down without skimping on quality:
- Sharing platters keep the budget down and have become really popular.
- Choosing local/seasonal produce for your menu can lower expenses, taste amazing and help keep your carbon footprint down!
- Buffets are also a good way of trimming the budget.
- Food vans bring a festival vibe to your wedding and help to keep the costs in check.
- I have even helped organise a wedding where the couple asked all their guests to bring a dish instead of gifts - the spread was incredible!
Bar and Booze
There are a few different options when it comes to the bar. You can either hire in a bar and guests buy their own drinks (you can always put an X amount behind the bar to start guests off).
You can do a booze cruise and just hire bar staff to serve your guests, or you can ask your guests to bring a bottle of spirits each and do cocktails!
Whichever option you go for, generally you will cover the bubbles for toasts and the table wine.
Again the costs involved in this are dependant on guest numbers but it is easy to spend another £1,500 here + an extra £500 on staff (I would always recommend having bar staff if you are bringing in your own booze - there is so much work involved in running a bar, and it's chaos without staff!)
Wedding bands start from £500 and can go well into the thousands depending on what you are looking for... . .
You may also want live ceremony music, and it is possible to hire wedding bands that will perform for the ceremony and evening. It is worth liaising with bands about what they will offer.
DJ's start from around £300 with their own PA. Maybe you know some musicians or DJ's? If you do have friends that are up for playing it is important to bear in mind that PA hire costs can start from £500.
It is such a lovely luxury to have a professional capture your day, and although a friend or family member could take on this role I would always advise hiring a photographer that suits your style.
You can expect to pay between £1,000 and £2,000 for a photographer depending on who you decide to go with.
Paperless is such a great way to go when considering your budget and the environment, and is accessible to most now'a'days.
If you are planning a large wedding setting up a wedding website can be really helpful to both share and collect info. There are some small costs in involved in this.
If you have your heart set on traditional invitations there are lots of ethical options available. You will want to put aside around £500 of your budget here + possible printing costs for name places, menus etc.
As I am sure you know TogetherNess is a big supporter of local grown seasonal blooms! As well as being the ethical option it is also often more cost effective.
The cost of flowers is obviously dependant on how many you are hoping to have, but there are other ways that you can keep the budget reasonable here. If you have plenty of time and feel inspired you can buy in buckets of locally grown flowers for surprisingly reasonable prices and arrange them with friends and family the day before.
You can start from £200 if you want to keep it simple, but go up to over £1,000 if you love the idea of flowers everywhere and someone else to do the floristry!
Dress and outfits
Again how to budget for a dress?!
I have known brides to find their perfect dress second hand for £300 with no need for alterations, and brides who's dream gown has been in the thousands with extra alteration costs on top.
It is hard to put a figure in here, but this is definitely an area with a lot of scope and if you are on a tight budget there are so many stunning pre-loved dresses out there waiting to be worn again!
We love it when a dress finds a new bride to be loved all over again.
Other costs to take into consideration are;
Cake - Staring from £100 and again going up to large figures! Do you have a talented friend who would love to make your cake?
Hair and Makeup - Staring from £100 up to £500, finding local stylists it's much more cost effective!
Registrar fees - If you are calling a registrar out to a venue you are looking at £450.
Rings - Again starting from £100 and can go up into the £1,000's!
Toilet hire - If you need to hire in toilets for your event you are looking at spending another £800