So, those of you reading this regularly will be aware that, on 27 December, Jeffrey and I had two potential reception venues that we thought we could see ourselves holding our wedding reception in. These venues took quite a lot of work to find as we really aren’t in to the generic, stuffy wedding venue options out there. Unfortunately we haven’t really got much further than this. In the meantime two of my friends – Nicola and Lizzi who got engaged to their boyfriends 11 and 5 days before us respectively, have since set their wedding dates having got their venues booked. I am now fearing that Jeffrey and I are lagging behind and really want to just get the venues sorted, get it in the diary and forget about it all for a little while. No such luck yet.
Now, we’re not behind in the way that we don’t have neither the civil ceremony or reception venues sorted. While we don’t have the ceremony venue booked yet – we were too late in mid-December 2010 too book for August 2011 apparently, and too early in January 2011 for March 2012 – we do know where we want the ceremony to take place, and that it’s available when we think we want it, so we will be booking that as soon as we can be sure of the reception venue.
But the reception venue is proving to be a difficult one to pin down. The two potential venues we like differ significantly – one is nice enough community-type venue in lovely surroundings on the outskirts of Regents Park, the other a BEA-U-TI-FUL Georgian house in a lovely central London square. The first is a lot cheaper in terms of venue hire, the latter much grander and seriously cool. We knew when we saw the house that we could really make that into something special. However, there was one problem. While the first venue has tables, chairs, tableware, catering options and staff all ready to go, the house has not a snitch of what you would need to have 50-60 people come and eat and have a nice time. This means external caterers are a must. And oh my word, what a farce. External caterers, with equipment hire and staffing are just extortionate. Granted, we have only had two quotes so far (however these were from caterers that are recommended by the venue as they need to have full insurance and have worked in a Grade 1 listed venue before), but it’s looking like the whole second option is off. We are looking at having 60 people absolute tops for the whole day – ceremony, drinks reception, sit down meal or buffet, dance (without DJ or DJ equipment might I add) – and the quotes we received were both between 7 and 8k.
Yup, between 7 and 8 THOUSAND of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s very finest British pounds for 60 people (plus 5 kids) to sit down and eat (see the image to see what that looks like in actual physical cash, dough, wonga, cheese, paper, money, peas, or whatever you like to call it). That worked out at around £108pp not including venue hire, flowers, clothes, drink, ceremony venue, and whatever else it is you need to pull off the British idea of a wedding. When Jeffrey and I are funding this wedding completely by ourselves need I tell you that this is waaaaay over our anticipated budget for the whole thing? We just can’t justify spending that much money when we really don’t earn that much; spend at least 65 per cent of our monthly take home pay on mortgage, living and commuting; and own just 50 per cent of our flat – and that on mortgage.
So we’re hoping the first, community-type venue comes up trumps. But in the meantime we’re also contemplating other ways we could spend our wedding day. And let me tell you, it probably wouldn’t be via the conventional route, and may well disappoint or annoy some people. But we really want to enjoy our wedding day and really do see it, like I said at the end of my very first Sophie Kingo’s Getting Married post, our wedding day is a means to an end for us. It marks the beginning of the rest of our lives together, rather than what is often, for some, a chance to be centre of attention for a day. We’d much rather invest in our future than blowing our hard-earned cash on an over-priced wedding day.
I’ll be sure to keep you informed…