The Hidden Costs Of Planning Your Own Wedding

Planning your own wedding? It can be an incredibly exciting and nerve-jangling experience. Many people choose to split responsibility with a professional planner, but if you want to take on the challenge and go it alone, you’re going to need all the tips and tricks of the trade to make it the best day for the smallest outlay.

At Better Venues, we’ve been hosting weddings in our many spaces across London and the UK for more than 20 years, and by experiencing the many wonderful occasions we’ve been lucky enough to support, our team have picked up a few key pointers to keep in mind when bringing together all of the key elements for the biggest day of your life.

The Entertainment

Imagining live music in the midsummer air? Taking your entertainment outside can make for an incredible experience, but often complicates the setup of your event. From having a dance floor laid out to the many necessary wires needing to be waterproofed and concealed, enjoying full outdoor functionality at your wedding demands expertise and expense.

Jump into your social networks and track down a talented friend or friend-of-a-friend - emerging musicians and performers, particularly those local to your wedding location, will often be able to offer you more bang for your buck, and can add a characterful community atmosphere to your celebrations.

Hiring a DJ to keep the party going may seem like a commonplace necessity according to modern wedding tradition, but with curated Spotify playlists, WiFi and many a willing volunteer music aficionado in attendance (there’s always one!), there’s no need to splurge money on a professional when everyone carries the requisite technology around in their pockets these days.

The Venue

When choosing your venue, be sure to sit down with the venue’s management team and discuss the full scale of your ambitions and requirements for the day. They will be able to advise you on how best to keep costs down and account for everything you’ll need.

Negotiating the right venue package can save money on sourcing and organising your own external providers. Many venues will have recommendations for or relationships with local caterers, musicians, electricians, florists and even security firms - so if you’re looking to keep things simple, always ask your venue provider what’s possible and make the most of the connections and services they can offer you.

There are, of course, far cheaper venue options to consider than hiring a space. You can’t buy great weather, but with a stroke of luck, you can have an incredible post-ceremony celebration in a park or public green space. For something a little more private, ask around for friends and family with the outdoor space to host your guests. One way to save on your dining experience is to book a swish (or even just your favourite) restaurant - the decoration and service come included, and you’re guaranteed a simple, convenient and satisfying dining experience.

The Guests

They may be one of the most important elements of the day, but your guests can be the biggest hidden expense of the lot. Keeping them fed, entertained and comfortable can cost enough, but there are many more secondary expenses that it’s difficult to anticipate or budget for. Indeed, overspending is often a cardinal sin of planning your own wedding - it’s far better to cater for your guests to a certain level, and then innovate the rest.

If you want a large wedding party, you’ll have to sort out their matching suits, dresses, buttonholes, the works - so save money by declaring a loose colour scheme and allowing your friends and family to fit around your style, rather than mirror it. A nifty way to save money across the board is to turn the number of people attending to your advantage - rather than sending out extravagant wish lists for presents you don’t really need, ask guests to each bring flowers to the ceremony and decorate upon arrival, or each to bring a particular buffet item to the reception venue in advance. These people are coming together to celebrate you both - and giving them each a small responsibility for the day will make them a part of it.

What hidden costs have you discovered? Do you have any bewitchingly simple money-saving tips for soon-to-be-newlyweds? Let us know!

Visit the GLL and Better websites

Better is a registered trademark and trading name of GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise and registered society under the Co-operative & Community Benefit & Societies Act 2014

GLL operates under a company and VAT group structure:

Greenwich Leisure Limited, IPS Registration Number 27793R and Inland Revenue Charity No XR43398 (parent company); GLL (Trading) Limited, Company Registration Number 04234158 (subsidiary).

Registered address: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London SE18 6SX.

Inland Revenue Charity no: XR43398 VAT registration no: 219749179

Contact us

© Copyright GLL 2014 – All rights reserved.