DIY wedding- not all its cracked up to be

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  • Posted: 8 Jun 2018 14:56

    DIY wedding- not all its cracked up to be

    Bit of a long story, I got engaged in October 2017 which was a big shock as my other half really hadn't expressed much interest in getting married before. 

    Both of us want a low key, relaxed informal day with a bit more of a party in the evening in 2019. We did look around a couple of venues in the winter which turned out to be not what we were looking for. We put the planning on hold for 6 months as i was studying and now are looking again. We also booked a village barn with some green space thinking we could DIY a lot of it. 

    Now it's come down to planning, and i am getting cold feet about the whole DIY idea. For two reasons- i don't want to be the point of contact/arranging things on my wedding day and two- have 0 experience in and from what I've read, it involves a lot of input from friends and family which i don't imagine we will get. 

    Now I'm thinking about abandoning the whole idea and started to look at venues, however some of the quotes are outrageous- £7k+ for venue hire without food or anything else. i thought our budget was reasonable (£12k) but turns out that is quite small! 

    Has anyone any experience in hiring a wedding planner/coordinator for a DIY wedding? I don't mind organizing small things like decorations, etc. but not caterers. We're based in Sussex, and our numbers are small for the actual breakfast (30) and more like 80 for the party/reception, and most of the venues have minimum numbers or would just feel like we're rattling around in a big place! 


  • Posted: 12 Jun 2018 14:13

    Re: DIY wedding- not all its cracked up to be

    Firstly, if you decide to stick with DIY, make sure you can go to the place the day before to set up, and the day after to take everything down, because you definitely DON'T want to be doing that on your wedding day!

    We're doing a bit of a combination - we've booked a venue where we have free rein to organise our own bar/caters/decor etc, but the guy who runs it will also help with the set up, and will assist our suppliers on the day so that we don't need to think about it. Maybe look around for something like that? Most venues seem to have some sort of coordinator person who will assist as much as you require them, which means you get the help without having to pay out for a dedicated wedding planner. 

    Budget-wise, unfortunately, whilst your quotes are a little higher than what I've had (I'm in Somerset), I wouldn't say they were totally shocking, considering your proximity to London. The only thing you can do is keep looking, and maybe try negotiating what you get for your money. If you try and book something soon, you might be able to get it for 2018 prices, or you could try going to wedding fairs - especially when they are held at venues you like - as they often give a discount.

    Or, if you don't have a date fixed, you could wait and try to get a last minute deal from a cancellation, but obviously there are no guarantees with that. 

    Some friends of my chap got married last year in Sussex, and it was a nice sized venue for the numbers your are talking about - I'll try and find out the name for you - have no idea on prices though I'm afraid!

    Try not to panic, it will all work out in the end!

  • Posted: 12 Jun 2018 16:01

    Re: DIY wedding- not all its cracked up to be


    I'm based in Sussex and know a decent number of venues. The DIY option isn't a bad idea (we did it ourselves too) but yeah, it does take a bit of effort, things catch you off guard and unless you are an Etsy diva it'll be cheaper to get an all in one venue.

    12k isn't a bad budget for 30 guests at all, but a load more people in the evening will be. Also, many venues in Sussex cater for numbers between 60-130 guests and are priced based on that (in a minimum fee aspect).

    Places that hold smaller numbers (as in all in ones) are Horsted Place, Buxted Park, Pangdean Barn (maybe)

    As for DIY / Dry Hire, Iford Village Hall is a peach, Grittenham Barn is nice and larger. Ummm Brookfiled Barn possibly. You've made me think now. Oh yes, Angel House in Brighton is one of the nicer (non hotel) venues,

    Personally I'd look at Iford Village Hall. Easy to get to but remote. And cheap to hire. Holds 30 really well but you'll need to move some tables for the evening guests (but always factor in a few to several won't turn up).

    If it was a summer wedding I'd recommend a field and a couple of Capri tents like we had. Along with an afternoon tea and a BBQ in the evening.

    But 12k? Totally do-able on your numbers.

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