U-turn on wedding plans!

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  • Posted: 3 Jun 2019 10:48

    U-turn on wedding plans!

    Hi all,

    We have booked our wedding for 09/10/20 at a lovely beach front hotel in the UK and got a really good deal of £5,700 for 50 day guests with a sit down meal, 30 evening guests, a buffet, DJ, overnight stay after the wedding etc etc. However, I have started to majorly stress over money.

    We don’t want to be saving and planning for years and it’s important to us to get married next year as we would like to move house, discuss having a baby etc and at 34 (me) and 38 (him) we don’t want to hang around too long.

    I was looking at an original budget of 12K for the wedding and £6-7K for the honeymoon however I really don’t want to be scrimping and saving for the next year and a half and I have a lot on this year in terms of already booked holidays, house decorating etc etc. He already has the money saved and I feel bad about him spending his savings on something that I want (he wants to get married abroad but is happy to have the UK wedding if it makes me happy).

    So, I’ve been thinking of scrapping the formal UK wedding and getting married abroad and incorporating this into our honeymoon. This would save us around half of what we originally planned, if we have a party when we get back.

    I am thinking of asking the venue if we can keep the date and change it to an evening reception with speeches, first dance, a buffet etc. I appreciate we will probably have to pay for the DJ and the overnight stay. We have paid a £500 deposit but the contract states if we cancel more than 12 weeks before, we only lose 20% of it (£100). I have paid a £300 deposit for the photographer but I would like to keep her for our reception and hope she may do it cheaper as it will only be for the evening.

    Has anyone else got married abroad? Did you book through a travel agent?

    I have worked out that my priorities are 1) us being married 2) the dress 3) speeches 4) celebrating with everyone. I really can’t muster any enthusiasm for spending loads of money on flowers, invitations, favours etc and all of the nitty gritty details.

    I appreciate that not everyone will be able to come but i’m Happy to celebrate back at home instead. The only issue is that I have already asked six close friends/family to be bridesmaids and I estimate that three of them may not be able to afford to come to the wedding. 

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading x

  • Posted: 3 Jun 2019 12:30

    Re: U-turn on wedding plans!

    It sounds ideal but be honest with your venue now.  They may not allow you to transfer the booking to an evening party.

  • Posted: 3 Jun 2019 14:15

    Re: U-turn on wedding plans!

    I would double check the wording of the cancellation policy - 20% of the deposit for cancellations sounds very low, are you sure it doesn't mean 20% of the cost? For comparison, ours is 50% of the venue hire cost if we give 6 months+ notice, or 100% (over £2k) if less.

    As Paula said, I would have an honest conversation with your suppliers, and be prepared that they may not want to swtich to evening only, as this wouldn't be as profitable for them, and they may prefer to offer the date to someone who will take th whole day.

  • Posted: 6 Jun 2019 9:48

    Re: U-turn on wedding plans!

    Your honeymoon budget seems huge to me relative to the wedding, and you haven't listed that in your top priorities - is it an option for you to go ahead, but delay a honeymoon (or vastly reduce your budget for it). This would also mean you could incorporate gift contributions to the honeymoon. You don't need me telling me but you then also don't "need" to buy favours or have flowers - or, you can absolutely minimise any spend on these things if that makes you happier. 

    If you are already now set on getting married abroad, given money is an issue I would just urge you to make sure you are fully aware of how much money you will really lose if you cancel your existing booking. 






  • Posted: 7 Jun 2019 9:10

    Re: U-turn on wedding plans!


    We found there were lots of hidden costs getting married abroad :( I initially wanted to as we both have huge families and the the cost of a uk wedding was spiralling. We also were intending to have the wedding and then carry that on to our honeymoon (same country etc) but then a lot of guests were also thinking of making the wedding their summer holiday, staying for a week or two after the wedding.. this made us reconsider because we really didn’t like the idea of our honeymoon turning into a huge family holiday 😂😂

    We found that a lot of abroad packages give you very little choice in regards to cake options/ flower options/ food options etc it all seems to be just one option per price bracket :) 

    Like the previous two posters, I agree that your price & hotel seems like a fantastic deal. And I do think you’d have to contact the people you have already booked to ensure they’re willing to swap. My fiancée is a wedding photographer and after being booked for a full day wedding, it would break contract to change the hours etc, which might incur other costs. 


    At at the end of the day you just have to think about what you want, and if it would bother you that certain people may not be able to attend 


    Hollie x

  • Posted: 17 Jun 2019 18:06

    Re: U-turn on wedding plans!

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the advice.

    I looked into weddings abroad and, like you said, there are lots of hidden costs. Most are about 1K on top for a symbolic ceremony only and 75% of your guests have to be staying at the hotel where you marry.

    My OH isn’t keen on spending our honeymoon with people either and he would have to pay for his mum to go which would defeat the whole point of trying to save money! 

    We have had a chat about it and we are going to stick to the original plan. I’ve decided I will try to save as much as I can between now and October (which is when I don’t have anything non-wedding related to pay out for) and then start saving properly post October. I’ve identified areas in which we can save (i’m not going to have fresh flowers for the centrepieces and I am going to try and get the dress I like second hand etc etc) so i’m sure that we can do it. 

    Thanks for your help, it’s much appreciated x

  • Posted: 18 Jun 2019 9:23

    Re: U-turn on wedding plans!

    I'm glad you had a chat with your H2B and feel a bit better about things - sometimes just coming up with a plan makes all the difference - it gives you back the feeling of control.

     hope you have a wonderful wedding! X

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