Phone anywhere when planning your nuptials and just by dropping the word wedding into the conversation the price of food, flowers and clothing miraculously doubles.
Look at any wedding literature and it is likely to use the words ‘best day of your life’ pushing you into buying those £200 shoes and that £1,000 cake you probably didn’t even want.
There is huge pressure for couples to spend big on their big day and it seems many people bow to this. According to a survey by the website www.hitched.co.uk in 2017 the average cost of a wedding was an eye-watering £27,161.
Last November with a firm idea of spending considerably less than this we embarked on planning our modest day. A small ceremony and day reception followed by a slightly bigger evening ‘do’.
I phoned numerous places who all came back with sky-high prices; a small local hotel which offered a ceremony and meal afterwards quoted £4,000 just to hire and between £79 and £125 per person for a meal.
We changed our plans looking for a reception only venue. I phoned another local hotel enquiring about a meal for 20 people and they gave me a price. When I later mentioned it was a wedding reception they told me to forget the original price as weddings were ‘completely different.’
We eventually sat down and talked about what was really important for us on the day and if we were prepared to spend that amount of money.
We decided we would rather have a great holiday later in the year and a registry office with close family was fine, followed by afternoon tea.
We spoke to the landlord of our local pub who was more than happy to waive the cost of room hire with the promise of fifty-plus thirsty guest. Some catering friends agreed to help out with food.
I spent a long time looking at dresses and eventually found my dream dress in River Island of all places; not a traditional wedding dress but one I loved.
My shoes were from eBay and veil from Etsy. Flowers were from Leeds market and the groom’s ring from Amazon. I used my late-Mother’s wedding ring which had huge sentimental value. I decided not to have bridesmaids, although my 17-year-old niece is going to be a witness.
The Pound Shop and B&M stores were great for wedding decorations. I indulged a bit on hair and beauty treatments and we asked family members to take photos and post them on a Facebook page for us.
Clearly this type of wedding is not for everyone and if you have always dreamed of the glitter and glamour that is totally your choice.
But starting married life with a bill for £27,000? No thank-you. I’ll be raising my glass of Prosecco on Saturday afternoon knowing that we can look to the future without worrying how we would ever foot the bill.
Registry Office Wedding £250
Day reception £200
Evening reception £250
Wedding dress and shoes £75
Best man suit and shoes £48
Groom suit £150
Bride Hair and Makeup £75
TOTAL = £1148