If you haven’t seen across our social media, Nick and I got married in August and there was honestly so much I had no idea about until we had to do it. I hope my post at least helps one person / couple.
You Need To Give 30 days [minimum] notice to your local registry office When Planning To Get Married
When you decide to get married you are required to give notice and fill in forms at your local registry office and it has to be done at least 30 days before your ceremony otherwise it won’t be able to be official. If you are getting married at a venue not a registry office this still needs to be done but you also need to book your registrar and make sure your venue is allowed to do weddings. There is a fee for this – we had to pay £35 per person and if you mess it up you have to pay again!
Call your local registry office if you have questions they are full of knowledge.
book a Wedding photographer ASAP
We booked ours at the time of getting engaged (a year ago) but unfortunately they pulled out days before the wedding and we had to find a replacement. Make sure you have researched your photographer and have a list of the ones you like in case one is unavailable or cancels you will have already got a list of alternatives. Videographers are awesome but expensive – if you can afford it then look into as an add on. Some Have Two – Three Year Waiting Lists!!!
If you are local to me in Hertfordshire then we used Louise and she was 5 stars.
book Your Marriage venue OR Venues ASAP
We had to book the registry office and a place for the reception, so you need to decide if you are going to do it all in one place, in two places or just do the formal part. My brother did the formal part, we went for a meal and he had the party a month later, it all depends on what you want to do.
We used our local social club and it was brilliant. It was low cost, perfect sized and the staff were awesome, if you are local to me then check them out here. Venue can also depend if you want there to be alcohol available or not, parking, hosts, outdoor vendors etc.
Some places charge for tablecloths, chair covers, corkage for food/alcohol and bar staff so make sure you ask all the questions. We paid £60 for corkage, £50 for staff, £100 for the hire and £45 for prosecco on arrival, we got plenty of time in the venue and lots of compliments.
decide on guest / party size early on
As soon as we started looking at venues we knew we needed to find out allowed numbers, our registry office allowed 50 guests but this doesn’t include the photographer or the couple. They also had a smaller room which was only 12 guests. Our reception venue could hold 80-100 so that wasn’t an issue. We were very aware of how our numbers could be restricted in the current environmental climate (2022) so we kept it small and didn’t go too crazy.
The guest party size also decides on the budget so don’t stretch yourself with lots of guests if you can’t afford it. It is about you and your other half not who can have the most guests. A lot of ours didn’t turn up so we are glad we allowed for no shows in our budget.
decide if you are going to hire caterers or do it yourself
We decided to do a buffet style meal over a sit down meal due to our lifestyle, the budget and how we wanted our day to go. We much prefer picky bits and buffet style over a sit down meal and that meant we could keep the food budget under £100 excluding the cake. We had our mums help with the buffet and we got a friend to make our cake for a bargain price of £50 and it was delicious. All our guests loved the laid back style of the day and it meant we were not restricted to timings, and we weren’t paying per guest for food. We couldn’t justify £40-£50 per person for a fancy meal and it just wasn’t very us. Decide what you want early on and then shop around for the best prices, deals and ways of doing it. Pinterest was a massive influence on our wedding as we realised we could DIY a lot to keep costs down.
prepare for the cost
We didn’t realise how expensive weddings were in all honesty. We thought registry offices were the cheaper option but now a days there really isn’t a cheap way to get married. Churches in my area were around £600 and the registry office was £282 for the ceremony plus £35 each for the pre wedding meeting. The wedding certificate also costs £11 per copy after the day and you will need this to change your surname so you can’t avoid buying it.
We saved an awful lot for our wedding but still kept finding extra costs everytime we did the budget. WE love our rings but we didn’t get traditional wedding rings we just picked rings we liked because as soon as you put wedding in front of it companies shove £100 on top of the item.