How much does a wedding cost
I've been in the wedding business for quite some time now; the somerset area is extremely popular for those newly engaged couples looking for the perfect venue to stage their wedding day, I do have a small list of some of my favourite receptions, which you can view (HERE) should you wish.
Preparing a wedding for some can feel pretty scary, some consider it a challenge, detailed spreadsheets, every detail added and costed.
I recall photographing a wedding in Bath where the best man actually produced the Brides wedding spreadsheet during his speech, every minute of the day was documented from the time of the flowers arriving through to the time of the coffee being served, the Bride loved the fun this added to the speeches however you could see that she realised that maybe she had gone a tad overboard with the detail.
I do say to all many of my clients…”the most important thing, remember to enjoy the day” should some of the finer details not go to plan, it really doesn't matter, firstly, the only person to notice would be you and secondly, It's your wedding day, love it!
Apparently the latest statistics for the cost of the average wedding is around the £24,000, some other sites state that £25,000 - £104,000 however I personally don't feel it's necessary to set such a high budget for the wedding day, as I tell my daughters, it's about your love, this is what counts.
I have photographed some incredible weddings throughout my 25 years of being a wedding photographer, I've photographed weddings in incredible castles, Abbeys, Italian Villas, beautiful beach resorts. I remember one particular wedding, where the Bride and Groom had arranged an air display, Full karting track setup for the lads, pony rides for all the children, a full wardrobe for all the ladies to choose a new outfit for the evening, celebrity look alikes serving the wedding breakfast, a full piece dance band and much much more, oh yes the wedding favours were, watches for the guys and beautiful Bottega Veneta scarves and perfumes for the ladies.
In the same year I also remember a wedding I photographed near Bath where the newlyweds were emigrating to New Zealand, the Bride had been brought up in a gorgeous little village pub, it was a wonderful August day, there were 10 rustic benches in the garden of the pub, with crisp white tablecloths, wild flowers had been chosen for the table displays, it looked wonderful, 50 guests, it was such a wonderful, romantic wedding, one i remember fondly.
So, maybe the question one needs to ask is not “how much does a wedding cost but what's really important for my wedding day?”
Whats important when planning a wedding?
I won't say too much about this subject but remember, the wedding dress is intimate and personal for a woman - it's so important to reflect the personality and style of the bride.
The internet is obviously a great place to start looking, look for special offers, maybe your guests stay is included in the price, one of my top tips, Look for a venue that isn't necessarily a wedding venue, I have photographed weddings in some incredible places that weren't on the wedding venue radar!
The catering can be the biggest expense, it's normally charged per head, you naturally have to think about your guests, their personalities, so you could provide a sit down meal or if you feel the would be up for a BBQ or Hog Roast, I photographed a wedding in a small wooded glen a few years ago and all the guests received a picnic basket, it was beautiful, such a magical wedding.
The Wedding Cake
Cup cakes look great, one of my lovely Brides, had an evening where all hers lady friends made the cakes, Cup cakes are very popular with the guests. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a Grandma or friend that could make your wedding cake, it's a lovely to make the wedding cake very personal to you.
Naturally you want to book me :) I could say you can cost cut on this service but I won’t, the reason for booking a professional is obvious, your memories from your wedding will stay with you forever, even with today’s technology, I-phones getting better and better, experience is what counts. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is!
The Invitations/Wedding program
One wedding I photographed, every lady had a beautiful ornamental fan, the sheet music from the wedding was used in the creating of this gift, the wedding took place on a beautiful lawn overlooking the hills of Granada, after the ceremony, the majority of the fans were left on the lawns to be collected by the staff. Handmade invitations can look lovely, ribbons, card, can be sourced from the internet, another lovely way in making the wedding personal.
I recorded a wedding in Paris and the Venue was a bloom with flowers, the table floral displays were phenomenal, they were so huge, the guests had difficulty seeing the other guests opposite them across the table. Another wedding, the Bride had spent £9000.00 on the flowers for the church, again if money is not a problem then great but perhaps give the flowers as gifts to guests.
There are several options, wildflowers are my absolute favourites, pastel colours look wonderful for the Vintage wedding to the super classy wedding however remember simple can look stunning too!
A good idea is to write yourself a list, talk to family and friends, ask them, what do they feel is important, gradually plan a list of your wishes and what is important to the two of you, don't feel you have to invite everyone on the planet, remember -
“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It's a choice you make - not just on your wedding day, but over and over again”
Michael Gane - thefxworks