MAR_13_Cost of wedding.indd


MAR_13_Cost of wedding.indd
“We saved £4000 with
a mid-week package”
photography: natasha hurley (
Jenny Williams, 27, and Antony Birch, 37, went small in the day
and big in the evening at Cooling Castle Barn, Kent
The strategy
Savvy savings
“On the way to Cooling Castle Barn, Antony
said to me: ‘Make sure you don’t fall in love
with this place because it’s probably going to
be out of our price range!’ Funnily enough,
after the show around it was Antony that
said we shouldn’t bother looking anywhere
else. It was perfect.
“For a Saturday, the wedding packages
were around £9000 for exclusive hire and a
seated meal for 80 people, so we looked at
the mid-week deals. They included
exclusive hire, a meal for 30 guests with half
a bottle of wine per person and sparkling
wine for the toasts, a two-tiered wedding
cake, flowers, table numbers, the table plan,
a buffet for 150 evening guests and the disco
– all for £4800. So we booked a Tuesday
after a bank holiday, which made it easier for
everyone to come. It was difficult sticking to
30 people, so we paid £56pp for another 23
day guests and saved money by inviting
more people to the evening do.”
“The idea was to take a basic package and
add some personal touches, so we had a
friend make the stationery, place names,
table names and the table plan. For the
favours, I filled silver buckets with tissue
paper and chocolate hearts, tied with
luggage-style tags.”
Little luxuries
“After saving so much on the venue and
details, I decided to treat myself to a £1200
lace dress from Berketex Bride. There were
cheaper options but I wanted something
with a bit more sparkle.”
Top money-saving tip
“Look at out-of-season months or mid-week
packages. People will still be able to make it
if you give them enough notice. Also you’re
in a position to negotiate – I got the chair
covers down to £70 total, because nobody
else needed them on that day.”
By Andri Benson, Always Andri
Be realistic on numbers
It’s easy to get carried away and invite too
many evening guests because it’s cheaper
than inviting them to the day, but don’t
lose sight of your overall budget. Work out
an affordable cost per head and stick to it.
A fizzy welcome
A welcome drink shows that even though
you couldn’t invite them to the whole day,
your evening guests are still important.
Champagne can be costly though, so serve
sparkling wine with fresh berries instead.
Jazz up the buffet
A three-course meal can cost between
£50-£100pp whereas evening food is only
£5-£15pp. Caribbean and Indian dishes
are cost effective as they can be made in
batches and served in small bowls.
It’s all about timing
What time you serve the evening food
depends on what time you have the
wedding breakfast. You can’t avoid people
wanting to eat twice if the wedding
breakfast is early, but serve the buffet
earlier and they might eat less. You can
always put out sweet treats later on.
DIY entertainment
Save on music with an iPod playlist or
create a photo booth with instant cameras. 119
MAR_13_Cost of wedding.indd 119
08/01/2013 15:52