Welcome to my new weekly wedding blog series – A Guide to Planning a DIY Wedding on a Budget.
After getting engaged earlier this Summer, we are looking to get married in Somerset in September 2016. With only one slight issue – our lack of funds! Apparently the average wedding in 2014 cost a staggering £20,983! So if, like us, you feel nauseous with the thought of spending that kind of money, then A Guide to Planning a DIY Wedding on a Budget is just what you need.
Regardless of the lack of money, we also love the idea of doing things ourselves and not just handing all the organising of our wedding over to someone else. This is our big day and we want to be involved and feel part of it. Then once the excitement of being married has worn off we can sit back in the warm smug glow of the couple who won’t be paying off thier wedding for the next ten years!
Luckily we are in the fortunate position of having lots of lovely, creative and generous friends and family who are happy to pitch in. So through a series of begging, borrowing and cutting corners we hope to get married for under £3,000. The hunt for a Somerset wedding venue started this week and although we didn’t really know exactly what we wanted, we knew we wanted something fairly rustic and laid back. So no fancy cars, sit down four course meal, chocolate fountains or six piece band for us!
We definitely wanted somewhere close by (ideally within 30 mins drive) so we could nip back and forth to set up and decorate, with camping for family and friends who didn’t want to pay for hotels and taxis. Most importantly we wanted somewhere fairly relaxed e.g allowed music after midnight, access to the venue for at least a few days prior to the event and no restrictions on being forced to use the venue’s suppliers, i.e catering companies (this one is surprisingly common). As we don’t need a kitchen (we’re thinking cold lunch and hog roast evening food) this also meant we had more flexibility.
We have viewed 2 completely different venues, from the very posh – the gorgeous Sparkford Hall complete with a a wedding licence, basement nightclub, grounds, accommodation for 38 plus camping for £14,000 to the equally beautiful but rustic Woodford Farm for £1000 with beautiful views, a lovely lake complete with ducks in thier own Duckingham Palace and camping (marquee and generator extra). But in the end we’ve found a local Somerset land owner to rent a field for £150 and a friend who got married a few years ago rented a marquee including tables and chairs for £1000, so our venue costs come in at £1,150 plus the costs of toilets.
So my advice to you when looking for a venue is work out what’s important to you and ask the relevant questions. Some to think about are:
- When can you have access to the venue to set up?
- Do you have onsite accommodation or camping facilities?
- Do you need access to a kitchen – if using a marquee, you may need to factor a field kitchen and refrigeration?
- Do they provide a bar? Can you sell your own alcohol? Do they have a licence?
- Toilets – are there enough? Do you need to hire any?
- What time does the music have to stop?
- Who is responsible for the cleaning up?
- When does the venue have to be vacated the next day?
- Is there a limit on numbers?
- Is there adequate parking?
So I would ask all your married friends for advice, put the feelers out amongst friends and relatives for friendly land owners, marquee companies and catering companies – you’ll be surprised how much you can save!
Remember you can buy all your wedding decorations, wedding tableware and wedding stationery from Party Packs here
See the next post in the series A Guide to Planning a DIY Wedding on a Budget | Setting a Wedding Date