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How to Plan a Wedding with £35k

I've been asked a lot to do a blog on this so here we go guys! I am going to take a wedding budget of £35,000 and show you how I split that to allocate to each supplier and why.

Remember you do not have to spend £35k on your wedding, I'm just talking you through it with an average example amount and then you can work out what you want to pull from this, you could find less you could find more... but most importantly you do you guys!

Let's just say, I'm slightly glad I got married before I became a wedding planner because I have seen some amazing things and I would want all the things! I would either want all the things or none of the things and I'd have it complete stripped back but anyway... if I was planning a wedding now I'd be looking at around £35,000 to have a nice, slightly more elevated wedding than I had in 2014.

Now I'm going to be completely transparent with you, my wedding back in 2014 cost me £19,000. We DIY-ed the flowers and the decor, we provided our own alcohol and I had a friend make our cake, if however we had someone else do these elements for us then we'd probably be closer to £25k.

Sadly things have all gotten a little bit more expensive since 2014 and I tried to split a £30k budget for you but, I'm going to be honest, I couldn't do it honestly and realistically for you so I've based it on £35k. Remember you don't have to spend this much, you do not have to have all these things, you do not have to spend these amounts on these suppliers but let me walk you through it and explain why.

FREEBIE ALERT - I have a budget split document for you with all the percentages that you should be looking to allocate to each supplier so please do go and download that now!

£35k Split

For the purpose of this breakdown I have based this on a wedding of 80 guests and I would be allocating the below amounts to the following sectors.

Venue Hire - £10k

Now venue prices will vary depending on guest numbers as you obviously need somewhere that will fit everyone. The venue price may also then vary on whether you're getting married in peak season (April-Sept), in the off-season and weekend or midweek. Location around the country also will have a huge part to play in it. You are therefore most likely looking at £10k for a peak season Saturday.

Catering (Food & Drink) - £10k

Yep you read that correctly, another £10k on food and drinks so already that's nearly two 3rds of your budget gone. This gives you roughly £120 a head which may sound like enough but it will ultimately depend on what you want. For example if you just want a hog roast then it's not going to cost this much, however if you want bubbles and canapés at your drinks reception and a 3 course sit down meal then this is what you're looking at. It's the one place I would say try not to scrimp on as you do not want hungry guests! This also wouldn't include drinks for the evening reception and you'd most likely have to have a cash bar.

Photographer & Videographer - £4k (£2k each)

This cost is not for high end professionals but it's also not for cheap professionals, this cost is for people that are good at what they do and provide excellent quality photos and film. Having someone cheaper than this I would consider; how long have they been in the profession, what kit are they using and how experienced are they. I wouldn't cut back on these two suppliers as these are the people that keep the memories of your wedding day forever and you do not want to look back and think they look pants!

Flowers - £2k

A lot of wedding and event florists will actually charge a minimum spend of £2k, some might not but then they might not be as experienced. You might even want to do your own flowers (it was a huge regret for me that I did my own flowers btw!) but I appreciate some of you may be in that situation where spending this much on someone else to do your flowers just isn't viable.

Decor - £1k

This could be for chairs if you need to bring these in, but hopefully these are included in your venue hire otherwise you won't have much else to spend on decor. Or this money is for all the little extras and props you may want such as candlesticks, card boxes, elements for your tablescape, favours, lounge furniture etc. it's not a huge amount but it's what we've got and you'd need to think about things in a priority order.

Stationery - £500

With this price point realistically we're not doing invites or save the dates we would need to do these electronically and this budget will go towards on the day stationery such as place names, individual menus, table plan, table numbers/name, welcome sign etc. It still means you're able to have some personalisation on your wedding day.

Hair & Makeup - £500

This budget would only include hair and makeup for the bride including a trail so if you want to have both mothers and the bridesmaids done then it's not available within your budget and you'd need to have a conservation with them about them paying for themselves. You could give them the option of getting both hair and makeup done or they might just want one thing done and prefer to do the other themselves.

Entertainment - £1.2k

With this budget you would get a very decent DJ, if you wanted a band it would be more and will vary depending on the amount of people in the band. The rest of the music throughout the day would need to be a Spotify playlist.

Legalities - £500

This is to go towards your marriage license and any other legalities you may need. If you're looking to have a celebrant they are booked separately and not through the council and would range between £200-£300.

Cake - £300

This is a good amount for a cake, it's not going to get you an artisan cake maker but it will get you a lovely cake! You may not even want a cake and would prefer to have a doughnut tower for example which is going to be a cheaper option.

Attire - £3.8k

Next is your attire and this is to include your dress, bridesmaids dresses, grooms suit and any groomsmen suits. It's not a massive budget for this sector but again it's something you might need to compromise on such as buying vs renting or are your asking for your bridal party to buy/rent their own. The amount of people in your bridal party will also be a huge factor on how far this amount can stretch.

Evening Food - £1k

Bare in mind when ordering evening food you usually don't cater for the entire wedding party, it's usually 60-70% that you cater for as not everyone will eat.

So there we have it, £35k split into the major suppliers and elements that you'll need for a wedding. You'll see I haven't included transport as in my mind you are staying onsite for the entire wedding at the same location and guests are making their own way there and back.

It really is amazing how quickly you can spend your budget, I hope this gives you a good idea of how to split your budget. You can always save on some areas and allocate them to others, you might not want certain suppliers that I've mentioned so can use that money elsewhere.

Just remember when you are booking and paying for a supplier you are booking their expertise, their experience and their knowledge.

If you need help with splitting your budget no matter what the amount then please download my FREE budget split document by clicking here!

AND... don't forget to download my FREE, yes another FREEBIE, wedding planning checklist!

Happy Planning

Lauren xx


Photos by. Joshua Gooding

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