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MrFrodo

Original Poster:

20,722 posts

127 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Has anyone here organised their own weddding reception on private land?

As of Sunday, the future Mrs Frodo and I are engaged to be married and we're looking to do something a bit special on a rather limited budget. The local options are, frankly, scary. One of the alternatives is to set a marquee up on my parents' farm.

I'm aware that's going to involve a lot more work than getting an prepaid package at a formal venue, but I'm curious to find out what exactly are the pitfalls. Has anyone else followed the DIY approach?

Farm is possibly a slightly grand term for what's actually a rather boggy, hilly small-holding in the arse end of nowhere, so the logistics would be, erm, interesting. But it would be a rather lovely place to hold it and it means we could actually decide what to spend the money on, rather than being forced to pay through the nose for things like corkage.

Mobile Chicane

17,797 posts

97 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Marquees are expensive, plus you'll need to hire loos, and you'll still need catering, serving staff, etc.


ewenm

27,006 posts

130 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Have you considered the halfway house of booking a local pub or restaurant rather than a big formal venue? It could make costs more manageable while still having the facilities all there.

pjdow

539 posts

39 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Congratulations.

A DIY home wedding can work out expensive...

A marquee, with toilets, power and provision to hire crockery glass, fridges etc can be very expensive.

I would recommend getting quotes for this before anything else.

If you are happy with the price then move on to thinking about food and drink.

If your are giving away the booze then a licence is not required. If you plan to have a bar with item for sale you will need a temporary event notice and a licence on site.

Depending on your numbers it is often cheaper to not charge for drinks!


A lex

12,002 posts

118 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
We looked at doing a large Marquee in our garden for our wedding next year.

The costs were significantly higher than booking a venue.

The main cost is man hours - for both construction and removal of the marquee and then for all the staff through the day.

As a guide our venue is costing us roughly 10k - the same day in a marquee in our garden was going well north of 20k before we told them to stop calculating as we wouldnt be doing it.


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pjdow

539 posts

39 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
And...

After doing the sums you may realise that corkage charges are not unreasonable after you have taken into account all the costs of offering drinks!

joewilliams

2,004 posts

86 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
It depends what you want really!

We had around 80 people in my parent's garden. I hired some marquees from a client (£80), borrowed a big-ass gas bbq from the local college (£0), chairs, tables & cutlery from village hall (£30), and got a portaloo (£80) & refrigerated trailer (£120).

Food was a load of quality sausages & burgers from a local butcher (£90) and booze cost something like £300 (ordered a few boxes of ale from the pub, bought cheapish supermarket wine).

Including various other miscellaneous bits, total for a good day was about £1000.

I wouldn't want to have done it any other way.

Studio117

3,193 posts

76 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
My pervious job envolved working weddings every weekend amongst other things. The costs for what you actually get are eye watering.

The old 3 course meal, piss-up and a crappy disco playing chart music is such a stale format imo. I liken it to going to wetherspoons and then to the local 'night spot' afterwards.

Personally I wouldn't waste thousands inviting lots of people I didn't really know that well or like.

How about a dinner in a nice restaurant for say 20 of close friends and family. And then hire out the local pub for an evening? If you want to keep the standard format?

I reckon thats doable with 4k.

Just not mentioning the word wedding will save you a lot.

Camaro

1,153 posts

60 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
My sister did the DIY approach this year really well. It wasn't a big wedding do at all and cost less than £1500 in total.

registry office
back to hers for the 'reception' which was a shed load of Sainsburys food servings all ready to go.
Then in the evening, hired out a corner of a really lovely local restaurant/pub and had a bloody good night.

It's all great having a big do and fancy this and that, but when it comes down to it, have a nice, low cost affair with only about 20 people max, it makes it seem far more special.

Oh and her car for the day was my dads '67 Mustang. Not bad at all!

5potTurbo

4,329 posts

53 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Some friends had their wedding reception in the grounds of the bride's grandparents in central Sweden. Apparently, all told it would have been cheaper to have the entire affair in a 5* hotel anywhere else in Europe - including flying all the Swedes to wherever they needed to get to.

Have a look at "epic bbq" where another PHer hosted a bbq reception recently; that could give you some idea, at least.

tintinvilla

29 posts

30 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
I went down that route and found it cheaper we had a marque in the back garden and a buffett with a Help your Self approach every one was happy

MrFrodo

Original Poster:

20,722 posts

127 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
joewilliams said:
It depends what you want really!

We had around 80 people in my parent's garden. I hired some marquees from a client (£80), borrowed a big-ass gas bbq from the local college (£0), chairs, tables & cutlery from village hall (£30), and got a portaloo (£80) & refrigerated trailer (£120).

Food was a load of quality sausages & burgers from a local butcher (£90) and booze cost something like £300 (ordered a few boxes of ale from the pub, bought cheapish supermarket wine).

Including various other miscellaneous bits, total for a good day was about £1000.

I wouldn't want to have done it any other way.
That's the sort of format I was considering if we were to take the DIY approach.

The local raft racing club has a marquee that it hires out for a pretty nominal fee. The Otter brewery is 20 minutes down the road and does a very nice line in kegs, while my dad is on the village fair committee with access to the mobile bar they use. A barbeque outside plus a table of nibbles and salad bowls in the marquee would do us nicely.

I know that's still far from trivial to organise, but my point is we wouldn't necessarily follow a formal sit-down format.

ewenm said:
Have you considered the halfway house of booking a local pub or restaurant rather than a big formal venue? It could make costs more manageable while still having the facilities all there.
This is another major option. We both like the idea of a rural theme, so a thatched pub somewhere with a field out the back or something would be good.

We haven't decided on a particular format just yet, but we're quite keen to do something different to the usual sports hall or social club options that you find at the budget end of the spectrum.

Twincam16

27,646 posts

143 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
One of the most effective weddings I've been too, that didn't look the slightest bit cheap at all, was one of my Aunts.

They booked out a restaurant overlooking the Goyt Valley, just south-east of Manchester. The wedding was actually held there, and they were driven to the venue by a friend of theirs who owned a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. He would have come anyway so they just paid him for petrol money - no car hire needed.

Being a restaurant, after the ceremony itself the party moved to the bar for drinks while the staff rearranged the room, putting the chairs that were in rows in front of the altar around tables for the meal - no need for outside catering.

Moved back to the restaurant to the meal, then back to the bar for the reception. They had a band, again, it was one of their friends' bands so it was at mates rates - no hire needed.

My Auntie works for the police. Among her friends at the station is the scene-of-crime photographer - so no need for expensive wedding photography (and no, before you ask, he didn't draw a chalk outline around everyone or come round putting people's personal belongings in little plastic bags).

And obviously it was a restaurant, so it had a well-stocked bar. They put sufficient money behind it for everyone to have at least one free drink.

So as far as I can tell, if you want a wedding on the cheap that doesn't look or feel like it was on the cheap, all you need to do is find a nicely-situated restaurant. The only people in the restaurant who won't just be doing their normal jobs (and therefore won't need 'hiring') will be the registrar. Then you'll need:
-A mate with a luxury saloon
-A mate with a band
-A mate who's handy with a camera

I really don't understand why people who can't really afford it spend house-deposit sums on weddings. It's the rest of your life that's the important bit, so if that one day comes close to bankrupting you, where are your priorities?

Also, WMC discos, Peter Kay-sketch dancing uncles and lukewarm vol-au-vents on buffet tables aside, some of the tackiest weddings I've been to have also been the biggest and most expensive. The best are the warm, genuine, heartfelt ones where everyone really does wish everyone else the best of times and the conversation, rather than the sideshows, are the best aspect.

Other than that I guess the dress could be a bit pricey, but as for the kind of people wanting all the men wearing matching suits - oh dear. Get a grip.

Pet Troll

836 posts

63 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
My sister recently got married and had the reception in a marquee at my Grandmothers house (as did my parents when they got married).

There were about 100 guests.

They hired a marquee, I don't know the cost.

Didn't hire toilets as there are 3 in the house and the marquee was right by the house.

Hired glasses from Tesco, think it worked out free of charge as you pay a deposit and then get the deposit back minus any breakages.

Caterers supplied all crockery, cost about £1600 for a hog roast and a couple of drinks ladies to serve drinks.

It worked very well for them and was a very enjoyable day.

MrFrodo

Original Poster:

20,722 posts

127 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Twincam16 said:
Then you'll need:
-A mate with a luxury saloon
-A mate with a band
-A mate who's handy with a camera
yes

We're quite fortunate in that respect. My (future) missus is a professional musician and so are most of her mates, so we have more bands and PA systems on offer than we know what to do with. A friend of mine has a photography degree and a very nice SLR (which he's rather handy with). Another friend is starting a company making wedding cakes and has offered her services and we know a couple of people who might be able to lend a suitable wedding car.

Rather than getting half a dozen toasters and a couple of posh teaspoons that we're too afraid to take out the cupboard we're going to ask people to provide their services, irrespective of the venue.

Podie

41,424 posts

160 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Majestic do sale or return booze... and, IIRC, free glass hire.

StevieBee

4,703 posts

140 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Have helped out with a family that's done this three times.

As mentioned, a good marquee, with lighting, dance floor, seating, decorations, etc, is far from cheap. Caterers will need portable cookers, etc.

Parking logistics are often overlooked. You mention a 'boggy field' so if it rains - tractor on stand by to winch people out?

These are not generally done to save money but simply as an alternative to the 'identikit' type packages you get in established venues.


Twincam16

27,646 posts

143 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
MrFrodo said:
Twincam16 said:
Then you'll need:
-A mate with a luxury saloon
-A mate with a band
-A mate who's handy with a camera
yes

We're quite fortunate in that respect. My (future) missus is a professional musician and so are most of her mates, so we have more bands and PA systems on offer than we know what to do with. A friend of mine has a photography degree and a very nice SLR (which he's rather handy with). Another friend is starting a company making wedding cakes and has offered her services and we know a couple of people who might be able to lend a suitable wedding car.

Rather than getting half a dozen toasters and a couple of posh teaspoons that we're too afraid to take out the cupboard we're going to ask people to provide their services, irrespective of the venue.
I guess I'm lucky in that, were I to get married, I can count among my mates a number of photographers and luxobarge owners who would get invited anyway (I'd probably pick the bloke with the 'wedge' AM Lagonda), and who would do it free/for beer/petrol money/at mate's rates because, well, they're mates.

I can't understand the motivation to get wedding videos. No-one in my family has ever had one shot and I can't conceive of anyone watching them back anyway. Photos, on the other hand, are printed out, put in frames and cherished, and yet they cost a lot less than a video.

Seriously, has anyone ever watched a wedding video? Other than the ones that get sent to You've Been Framed after the groom trips over the bride's train and demolishes the cake?

arfur sleep

1,136 posts

104 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
mate got married 18 months ago - organised themselves.

registry office for legal bit with family and close friends only

back to village hall where they had a non-legal, non-faith blessing for everyone else.

village hall had been hired and they decorated themselves with a home made buffet was served as wedding breakfast.

local pub supplied some keg beers etc and a couple of serving staff - all other drinks were provided by the happy couple and sold on via the manned bar.

local covers band played in the evening sandwiched either side by a local mobile disco bloke (who was actually really good).

top draw and whilst it wasn't cheap as chips it certainly wasn't anywhere near the 10-15k they'd been quoted for the hotel packages on offer locally.

Wacky Racer

22,138 posts

132 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
I wonder how many people splash out £10,000k plus on a fancy wedding and honeymoon in foreign shores and end up divorced three or four years later.

Plenty here on Pistonheads I'll wager...scratchchin


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