Welcome back! Hope you've had a great week enjoying the engagement announcements and having fun with your new fiancé. It's now time to knuckle down and decide when and how much this wedding is going to cost.
The average cost for a wedding is £30k! However, in a few minutes, I am going to let you in on a special wedding format that Eliza and I came up with which ended up saving us thousands!
But firstly here is a breakdown of the average wedding costs:
Wedding venue: £2,790
Reception venue: £3,919
Attendants' outfits: £436
Mother-of-the-bride outfit: £349
Groom's outfit: £439
Engagement ring: £3,037
Wedding rings: £809
Other wedding jewellery: £176
Gift list: £2,400
That's terrifying, right?! Now, don't panic.
Eliza and I aren't exactly struggling for money; however, we believe a wedding day shouldn't cost quite so much.
So what did we do?
We broke the rules! What!? I know it's risky, but as a wedding magician I have seen all the things that work and all the things that don't.
Here is a typical wedding format:
- Wedding ceremony
-Exclusive reception with speeches (Full meal)
-Evening reception (more guests invited along with another full meal)
The problem with this format is all your evening guests who aren't invited to the wedding breakfast have no choice but hang around for the afternoon and then come back later on. This may be ok if they live locally but a lot of our guests traveled miles (even Scotland) to be there.
So here is what we did:
-2pm Wedding Ceremony at church
-Hour of canapés & Cakes at the church
-Speeches (still at the church)
-Evening reception on a Boat cruise in Windsor
Why? Here are the top six reasons:
1. This way the "reception only guests" can enjoy the ceremony, speeches and an hour of mixing and mingling all in one venue in one sitting. Now they can travel back home in plenty of time! Plus, they feel like they've been part of the whole thing because they have watched the speeches, seen the cake cutting and drank a toast to the bride and groom in the church.
2. Another strength to this format is that we had great lighting and sound at the church and the main hall looked fabulous, and because everyone was seated as if they were at a show, their attention was fixed on the speeches.
3. We saved money having the service kick off AFTER lunch at 2pm so only had to provide canapés and then a proper meal on the boat in the evening.
4. Hiring the church was far more competitively priced than a hotel or other wedding venue would have been, and offered everything we could have asked for.
5. We had so much generous feedback from the guests who weren't invited on the boat. They loved the fact that they got to witness the wedding, hear the speeches and have some entertainment.
6. The boat had a relaxed buffet and no formal seating which meant we didn't need favours or a seating plan - a big money and time saver!
There are a few more benefits which we may come to in a few weeks time. This is an option which worked for us and can work for you too depending on the rules of the church venue and your own personal preferences.
Some other cut backs:
1. We got quality invites on a 50% off deal at vistaprint.co.uk
2. My wedding suit was then used for my magic performances (not a one time use)
3. We didn't make an order of service. Everything was just projected onto the screen (saves money and trees).
4. A friend adjusted Eliza's dress
5. The format of the boat allowed us to scrap most of the items that are expected (e.g. no favours).
6. The buffet option saved a lot of money compared to a sit down meal.
Either way, you need to decide on your budget and distribute the money accordingly. But please please please do not cut back on the entertainment! Yes, yes - I already know what you're about to say:
"That's because you're a Wedding Entertainer Iain..."
Let me just stop you there. That may well be the case, but it doesn't negate my argument. According to recent polls, 78% of brides wish they had spent more on entertainment. You see, nice table decorations are great but people forget those in the end. What they all remember is how they felt on the day, and the entertainment is the only thing will really inspire emotions in your guests. You don't want them feeling bored, you want them LOVING the day!
CLICK HERE To Book The Wedding Entertainer of the Year 2017.
If you have any questions about this week's topic, do pop it in the comments section below. I'll see you all next week as we discuss wedding dresses!
I may get my wife to write that one...