Q&A: how much would you estimate a decent wedding budget?

| April 9, 2014 | 2 Comments

Question by mellowlellow: how much would you estimate a decent wedding budget?
OK so I live in Scotland (not that it’s particularly important) and I’m looking into planning my own wedding for the beginning of 2012. I’m on a bit of a budget. I don’t need anything overly fancy and the guest list is going to be particularly small (30 guests max) and I wondered if anyone could give me a rough budget that you think I could achieve this on as well as any tips if you have them. I would like to have the ceremony outside somewhere but really don’t care about the reception. Is it silly to try do this on my own having no knowledge or experience as to what the hell I’m doing?

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Answer by politically correct
There are lots of wedding budget calculators out there (just google it); here’s just one example:
http://www.ourdreamwedding.com/index.cfm?page=wedding_budget_form_1&crid=7

However, you’ll at least need an estimated grand total that you are planning to spend. Then, the calculator can help you estimate costs. You can always take out or add in items, but that way you have an idea of what to shoot for.

It’s not silly to do this on your own. Many people do this completely on their own. The key is to stay on budget, and be as organized as possible. You’ll need a binder to keep track of all your research, and another binder to keep track of all your contracts. But it’s completely do-able. Good luck!

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  1. morphia says:

    No it’s not silly to try and do this yourself at all. I got married in London a few years ago and had 40 people at the wedding. It cost me £1200 for everything including my honeymoon and i certainly didn’t skimp.

    One of the problems you’ll notice is that as soon as you mention the word ‘ wedding’ when booking anything the prices always seem to go up. You don’t need special ‘ wedding packages’ most of the time.

    Make your own personalised invites online. There are loads of websites that you can download packages from. Email invites to as many guests as possible and save on the postage..

    Have a late afternoon / evening wedding, so you can all move straight on to dinner ( rather than needing a wedding breakfast and evening reception). Book a private room in a nice restaurant for a ‘ Celebration dinner’. Avoid using the word ‘ wedding’ and watch how much cheaper the menu options are for the same food.

    Instead of fancy trinkets and bags of sugared almonds etc on the tables as gifts for the guests, buy each guest 1 lottery ticket or scratch card, put into an envelope with their name on, and this also doubles as a place setting. You never know, one of them might win a fortune.

    Find a photography student and use them as your official photographer.

    Contact a local ‘catering college’ and look at the possibility of getting your cake made there, or buy some M&S or supermarket ready iced fruit cakes and decorate yourself. ( again ebay does great decorating kits). Do you really need a big elaborate cake, for 30 people? Buy a smaller ‘posh’ cake for display and that you can be photographed cutting and get some cheaper, undecorated ones that you can cut up for people to take home.

    I got my wedding dress from Ebay for less than £100 ( traditional, sleeveless white dress with corset back and some crystal detailing) and i really would defy anyone to be able to tell i didn’t spend £1000 without looking really closely. Ebay is a great option for getting very good quality and very well priced wedding clothing. Just remember to ask for the exact measurements of the dress rather then just rely on the size. Also remember that most wedding dresses, whatever the price, need some simple alterations that can be done by a local seamstress.
    Again, look at local collages or universities that offer courses in fashion and see whether one of the students or graduates can make your dress.

    If you want to have the ceremony outside and save money, you could always look at country houses / hotels etc that have a garden area you can hire. Even if they are not registered for weddings, you can always have the official and legally binding marriage ceremony at your local registry office and have a blessing outside with all your friends.

  2. I love my love says:

    first find a venue & caterer. you have to provide a good meal and hall for the guests. that’s the #1 priority. so find out what kind of menu you can afford for 30 people. where I live, it will cost at least $ 50 per person for a plated meal or buffet. if you just want heavy apps, crudite, etc, the cost will be cheaper. after you determine what you can pay for food, then you can figure out how much you have left over for flowers, limo, decorations, stylist, gown, invitations, and the thousand other little details weddings have. you can skip the ones you don’t want to pay for, like I did (no favors).

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