Wedding for less than £1000

Hi everybody, and welcome to today's musings.

As usual, my blog posts are often based on conversations I have with individuals when discussing weddings and ceremonies. Today's  blog talks about weddings in the midst of so much uncertainty with Covid-19.

At present, some of us may be lulled into a false sense of security as the Prime Minister has started to  reduce some of the lock down measures that we have been subject to over the past weeks. However, without trying to scare monger, as a health professional, listening to the science, I am feeling cautious and feel that this pandemic is far from over.

Over the past few weeks,   I have spoken to a number of people who have either cancelled their wedding or are looking to reschedule. There are also a number of people who are putting off even arranging a wedding because of the uncertainty.

Without a doubt, our lives have changed for the foreseeable future and even when out of lock down, in the absence of a safe vaccine, then social distance will still be a part of our new normal in one form  or another. We can NOT give up, we have to carry on and live with whatever restrictions the virus imposes on us. Life is precious and as such we need to keep calm and carry on.

Of course, there is another terribly sad side to this pandemic story, unfolding around us.  Apart from the loss of life, which is immeasurably sad, people are also and will continue to worry about the financial implications of Covid-19.

So, back to the conversation I was having that this blog is based on. (I also asked if it was OK to share an anonymous version of this chat).

This morning I was chatting to a couple who has been engaged for a couple of years.  They have some complex planning issues with family and close friends across the world, and it is these issues that have prevented them thus far from making any firm wedding plans.  In fact , Suzie, (name changed) told me that she wished they had just eloped! Now this  for some people, is an acceptable solution, but for Suzie and her partner, not so. Both being only children, they desperately didn't want to cut their parents from their wedding.

So, we chatted about what was important  to them for their wedding.  And interestingly as the conversation unfolded, Suzie admitted that even during our conversation, she was realising that certain 'must haves' were now either at the bottom of the list or actually something she no longer wanted.

So initially they had wanted

  • A Large wedding - they had loosely talked about 300 guests.
  • An inclusive wedding in an approved venue, they had looked at three venues websites, but hadn't gone further.
  • A full wedding breakfast followed by a band and evening reception. They had even discussed having all guests present at all parts of the day, however even though financial aspects were not a top priority,  they had baulked at potential costs.

During our discussion, I asked her if having so many guests was still a top priority. Suzie's answer brought a lump to my throat as she said " As long as our families and friends are safe,  we would probably be happy with just parents, grandparents and our closest friends present".

I then asked  about the venue, and this made them laugh. I was told me that as they couldn't even now envision such a large gathering, then a large venue now seemed excessive." We did chat about some local venues that have  smaller rooms, but they felt that it would be a downgrade, rather than a change they had chosen.

We talked about the  catering, the band and all of the other items on their wish list, (I haven't listed all above)  most had  become an unnecessary worry for them to arrange (not something any couples wish in their wedding planning). Therefore,  within ten minutes this couple, given the space to explore, realised that within the current  climate they now wanted a much more intimate wedding.  This couple had loosely priced up their initial wedding in excess of £28,000. 

So after chatting about other options and without talking about their plans on here, they have settled on a totally different wedding.  I can tell you now, how you can easily come in at under £1000, if you wish to, pair down your wedding by making choices about you and not about your guests (who should want you to be happy whatever you choose).

Intimate wedding ideas

A 2 x 2 simple marriage ceremony - i.e speaking the contractual words at a registry office. Remember most registry offices do not offer the simple service at peak times, they are usually midweek. See here for details, but including the legal notices , the cost is approx £127.  The costs of the registrar coming to an approved venue is usually not included in a venue quote, and along with the legal notices of marriage are an added expense to every legally binding marriage.

My fees as a celebrant, would include so much more than a couple get in a civil ceremony, it includes approximately 20 hours of writing / preparation of a beautiful and bespoke ceremony. Regular meetings/ calls, the couple having the opportunity for a read through of the ceremony to make sure they are happy, help with vows,  a ceremony that contain religion or spirituality or one that can be secular. The ceremony can be held at any time, and in any place.  The cost is approx £595

A venue?  well, this is where a celebrant wedding is perfect. If you or a friend have a large garden, a barn or a home bug enough for your required number of guests, then the venue will cost £0.  A celebrant can take place on a beach, in the woods, in fact any number of free places can host a beautiful wedding ceremony. Take a look at my Pinterest boards which shows some beautiful small venues.

Look at alternatives for flowers,   in one of the most beautiful weddings I attended, the bride carried a bouquet of garden flowers which were picked by her best friend that same morning. The bouquet and posies were taken home by parents and grandparents to enjoy after the wedding.

Photos is an area you may or may not want to go DIY. In current times even smart phones can deliver absolutely stunning results. A friend of mine didn't hire a photographer, she allocated different  friends tasks to catch certain moments on 'film'. She ended up with thousands of photos to choose from, a number of which made a formal album that they had printed for a nominal amount.

Cake? what about a dessert table? You could either ask everyone to bring a dessert, or you could arrange a desserts table . If you are having an intimate wedding, do you really need a 3 tier cake? 

So, as you can see for a registration of marriage, and a bespoke wedding ceremony, you will have paid less than £750 which gives you change for a meal or a buffet?

What I want to say to finish,  is that it doesn't matter! What this whole pandemic is showing many people, is that  priorities are changing, but falling in love isn't.  You can still get married, you can adhere to small intimate ceremonies, especially if social distancing or small gathering rules are still in place, and yet you can still have the best day of your life!

If you would like to discuss your 2021 wedding plans, feel free to contact me/ You can also be assured that every wedding that is booked comes with the reassurance that as none of know what the future will bring, if next year their are episodes of further lock down, or Covid - 19 restrictions that prevent your wedding happening, then we will not charge to move your date.