Bride Tips on Wedding Costs – Part 2

This article carries on Bride Tips on Wedding Costs – Part 1

6. The Bride’s Extras

 I’m actually embarrassed to admit how much this extras actually cost us. The shoes, underwear, jewellery,  spray tan, nails, hairdresser and beautician for the big day….it added up to a lot of money. Yes, you may want or need all of those things but shop wisely. I spent £80 on a pair of shoes that nobody saw (other than the very tips of the toes) and haven’t been worn since, £120 on underwear that my husband merely glanced at before flopping into bed and £80 on jewellery that is buried somewhere at the bottom of my jewellery box, never to see the light of day again. I could have halved that amount by shopping more wisely and staying away from designer brands, saving £140. I also spent about £100 on an outfit to wear in the evening but ended up (as my friends warned me!) not wanting to take my wedding dress off.

7. The Evening Buffet

We paid £10 per head for 180 people for our evening buffet, at a total cost of £1800.  I was worried when I finalised the numbers because we actually had 200 guests at our evening reception  and I thought there wouldn’t be enough food for everyone. But the venue assured me that not everyone eats, and it was the right thing to do. They weren’t wrong. When I saw the amount of food left over at the end of the night that was being scraped into rubbish bags, it was heartbreaking. In fact, I have yet to see an empty buffet table at the end of the night at any wedding I have ever been to. The buffet is – and should be – a gesture, not a three course meal.  We could easily have catered for 150 people and still had food left over, saving us £300. My advice: Don’t let the venue scare you into catering for more people than you actually need to.

  8. The Wedding DJ

 And finally, onto the part that probably brought you to Barney’s website, the wedding entertainment. Our Wedding DJ  cost us £400 and if I could do it all again, I wouldn’t have given him a single penny. He was useless. From the wedding DJs I called, I was mostly given quotes ranging from £250 to £750. When I received my first £1000 quote, I nearly spat my coffee out. Having never organised a party before, let alone a wedding, I assumed that all wedding discos were pretty much the same…that they turn up, play music and get everyone dancing….so why would we pay £1000 if we could get one for £400? I clearly remember hanging up the phone after our conversation and actually laughing, then calling a cheaper one to make the booking.

I hate to admit this, but of all the mistakes I made in our wedding planning, this was the biggest. Our evening reception was a complete flop. In my head – for all of those months I’d been planning it – I wanted everyone to be enjoying themselves, to see lots of people on the dance floor and to hear all of the music we knew and loved being played. And as silly as this may sound, I actually wanted the whole night to feel special. But it just didn’t happen. Our first dance didn’t even feel special due to a half-hearted announcement that left most people unaware that it was even happening. To be honest, for the money we spent, we could have hired a couple of speakers and plugged in an iPod. Would it have made the night better? No, not at all. But it would have saved us £400.

One of my friends got married last year and having been witness to my completely disastrous evening reception, she set aside more money for a professional wedding DJ. And as much as I hate to admit it, it was by far the best wedding I have ever been to.  I was as jealous as hell. I tried to console myself with the fact that we just didn’t have enough money in our budget to pay more money for our wedding DJ, but I knew that was a lie. My priority had been to focus on (and spend money on) making everything look pretty, and even though it did, this ‘prettiness’ did not in any way entertain our guests. That prettiness didn’t leave us with any lasting memories. That prettiness, in fact, went pretty much unnoticed. When I first met Barney a little while later at another friend’s wedding, it cemented the fact that we’d made a terrible mistake. I can totally see now the importance for an exceptional wedding DJ.

If we’d cut back on some of the things I mentioned above, our reception could have been absolutely fantastic – not just for us but for our 200 guests who, to be honest, looked uncomfortably bored for most of the night. I can’t stress this enough. You obviously want everything to look wonderful on your wedding day, but feeling wonderful  is so much more important as this is often the memory that is taken away and remembered the most.

Nobody will notice your lack of wedding favours.  Nobody will comment on the size of your cake or floral arrangements.  Nobody will have a clue how many ‘heads’ you catered for at the evening buffet. But I guarantee that everyone will remember how boring or exceptional your evening reception was.

To sum it all up – make sure you spend your money wisely and remember that even though it’s your wedding day, you want your guests to be happy and entertained. It’s not rocket science – if you want your guests to be entertained, you have to realise the importance of your wedding entertainment!  Just think of yourself as a guest at your wedding, rather than the bride, and won’t go far wrong.

Posted in: Advice, Wedding Related

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