Wedding supplier costs; what you should expect to pay

28 Jun 2022

Industry experts detail how much you should expect to pay for your wedding suppliers and the service you should receive in return

One of the biggest challenges when planning a wedding is sticking to a set budget, especially when you are presented with so many wonderful options for your special day. From the dress and bouquet to your venue and photography, there are so many aspects to consider and most couples will begin their wedding planning with little idea for how much each will cost. 

While cost-saving can be appealing, a sub-standard service will only cause you stress and upset - the last emotions you want to feel on your wedding day. Start your wedding planning with a general idea of how much a good, professional and reliable supplier will cost.

Here, a host of industry experts share the associated costs for a number of wedding essentials and explain just what you're getting for the price you pay. 

Venue

Once your engagement has been announced, the first step in planning your wedding is to set a date and find your venue. This will be one of your biggest outlays and prices can vary considerably, so when looking for your venue find out exactly what you get for your money. 

Lara Barnett, group marketing manager for Bijou Wedding Venues, says: "Most couples plan to celebrate their marriage at a specialist wedding venue; a unique location or a country house with wonderful grounds that can easily accommodate a larger guest list than your average party.

"As you’ll also need planning support, luxury food, fizz and comfortable surroundings, it’s no doubt that the largest portion of your wedding budget (around 60%) will typically be spent on hiring the perfect wedding venue with everything you need to throw a great celebration, included.

"Aside from the cost of hiring the venue (which could also be available to you on a private, exclusive-use basis for 24 hours), you’ll also be gaining the planning support and expertise of the team, the wait staff and service, as well as banqueting tables and chairs, linen, cutlery and so much more. Wedding venues and their teams go the distance to ensure that you’ll be more than satisfied with the money you spent on booking the perfect venue."

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Dress

Another priority is the dress and whatever your budget, your bridal gown should make you feel like a million dollars. By visiting a few bridal boutiques, you will get an idea quite quickly of the prices you can expect to pay. If you're on a tight budget, consider off-the-peg dresses and find out when sample sales are due to take place. 

Offering insight into the design process, and how wedding dresses are made, Evie Maskrey of Naya Bridal in Norfolk says: "The process of making any bridal look is a lengthy one. So many different techniques are used, from draping through to hand-stitching, which always reflects the price. At Naya everything is a one-off. This means each look is crafted from scratch. I have ready-to-buy styles online ranging from £56 to £715. 

"I also offer a bespoke gown service, where I design your own bridal look, which can vary in price – starting from around £900 for more minimal looks, and £1,200 for more complex styles. This includes everything from start to finish for your very own custom look."

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Above: Aria by Naya Bridal, £495

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Above: Cleo by Naya Bridal, £645

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Above: Finn by Naya Bridal, £595

Groomswear

The groom should also look smart, suave and sophisticated on his wedding day and finding a suit that offers the perfect fit while ticking all the boxes in colour, cut and style is no mean feat. Look online or visit menswear suppliers to get a more accurate indication of the price you're looking at.

Declyn Cooper, head of tailoring at Slater Menswear, says: "At Slater Menswear, we have suits ranging from £85 up to £499 on our ready-to-wear range. We have launched a new service in our flagship store in Glasgow called Made To Order, where a groom can choose their fabric and style. Prices start from £449. Given the prices, many grooms buy the suits for themselves and their party and use them as gifts too. 

"Our sizes start from a 34” chest and can go up to 60”+, offering a very wide range to ensure that the party dress the same and we can fit all sizes. We also offer a free alteration service too, to have the full party looking ready for the big day."

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Above: Slater Menswear

Photography and videography

When it comes to your wedding photography and videography, you'll want to put your faith in a highly experienced individual who can perfectly capture all those precious wedding moments as they unfold. Not only that, but you'll want someone who you can get along with on the day and who commands your guests with authority yet likeability. Your wedding photography and videography lasts a lifetime, so don't take this decision lightly. 

Professional wedding videographer and photographer Gaetano Di-Giacomo says: "When you're planning to get married suddenly there are many costs to consider, and you want to make sure a wedding videographer or photographer is included in your budget, but prices vary widely across the UK. The average price that a couple spends for a wedding photographer is £1,800 and suddenly when it comes to wedding videography the price drops to £1,300.

"A wedding videographer is essential to creating a beautiful documentation of your wedding. A semi-professional wedding videographer will charge you between £1,200 and £1,500. Conversely, if you're looking for a professional wedding videographer with more background, you'll probably be looking for something over £1,500.

"My prices start from £1,750 for a single service, with photography and videography packages ranging up to £3,500”. 

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Above: Gaetano Di-Giacomo

Stationery

As the first insight into your wedding theme, your wedding stationery can serve as a personal reflection of you as a couple and offers a beautiful keepsake. Save the dates, invitations, RSVPs, orders of service, menus, table plans, table names, place settings, menus and signage can be provided as an all-encompassing stationery suite or you can choose a selection of the components you need. 

Suzanne Merrylees, creative director at Silk & Ink Designs in Norfolk, says: “Wedding invitations and stationery will vary greatly in price depending on quality, print finishes (digital, foiling etc.) and style the couple are looking for. Couples wanting to use an experienced wedding stationer should expect to allocate around 2-3% of their overall wedding spend to all things paper and print.

"Shop around, order samples and consider the service and knowledge that comes with booking a small business over DIY/mass produced stationery. Choose a designer who reflects you as a couple in your style and tastes for stationery that will be truly memorable. Remember, your invitations are the first taste your guests will have of your big day."

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Above: Stationery by Silk & Ink Designs

Flowers

Beautiful bouquets and floral displays which echo your colour scheme can bring a wedding theme to life in an instant. While the cost for your perfect flowers can be considerable, the price is warranted by the expert services of a professional florist who will advise on seasonal and aesthetic suitability and arrange your floral choices to ensure the perfect finish. The price can also account for delivery to the venue on the day of or before the wedding.

Roz Chandler, founder of Field Gate Flowers in Milton Keynes, says, “The average cost of wedding flowers is approximately £1,500. As with most things in 2022, the cost has risen mainly due to rising energy prices and man power, on top of the cost increase last year due to a shortage of stems from overseas. Flowers are a commodity.

"Moving into next year and 2024, we are seeing more marquee and outdoor weddings than ever before – these are much bigger floral affairs and are cost between £3,000 to 7,000. Arches and Instagram-able backdrops are a firm favourite among brides and these start around £600.

"Alongside the monetary cost, there is also the cost to the earth, however you can save your pocket as well as the planet by opting for locally grown, British flowers that are in season. Ask your florist what they use for displays, as chicken wire and moss can be reused unlike floristry foam, which takes hundreds of years to degrade.

"If you are moving venues between the ceremony and reception, ask if your floristry team can repurpose the floral arrangements from the church to the reception. We recently repurposed urns, plinths, window arrangements, ceremony florals, and even repurposed pew ends to adorn the top table chairs.”

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Above: All arrangements by Field Gate Flowers

Cake

It's the masterpiece all your guests will be waiting for, so don't cut corners on your wedding cake. 

Emma Thorburn of Buns of Fun Bakery in Sheringham, Norfolk, says: "Depending on your size and style of wedding cake and all of the service elements, your cake could be between £350 and near £2,000. We also take transport into consideration and setting up extras like cake stands, knives or flowers.

"The expense doesn’t always qualify taste, so do your homework with your cake maker and look at previous work, read reviews and get sampling or order a birthday cake to get a handle on what they can offer."

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Above: 100-120 portion, priced at £480 plus delivery, time spent on site – optional spacer, cake stand and brownies (Cake: Buns of Fun Bakery)

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Above: 140+ portion, priced at £670 - £720 plus delivery and time spent on site – optional spacer, cake stand and brownies (Cake: Buns of Fun Bakery, Photography: Valentine Studio, Venue: The Woodyard, Flowers: The Norfolk Floral Studio; Event planning: Hardesty Event Design Ltd, Stand hire: Belles and Beaus Wedding Styling)

Grace Giffin, who started her Suffolk cake business Grace's Baking Box in lockdown, says: "Wedding cakes vary greatly in price due to many factors; the main one being what design you would like. Whether you have a simple semi-naked cake or a cascading sugar flower design will make all the difference as this changes the labour time and how much expertise is required from your baker. That’s why a cake for 150 people can range anywhere between £450 and £2,000.

"Other factors are how far your baker has to travel to the venue (a very big factor now with rising fuel prices), the cost of ingredients, how much skill your baker has and whether they are an amateur hobbyist or a professional. Ultimately, how much you spend will be reflected in the quality and wow factor of your wedding cake."

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Above: 150 portion, spiralling sugar flowers with matching mini cakes, £2,000, by Grace's Baking Box

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Above: 100 portion, pressed flower design, £450, by Grace's Baking Box

Transport

Ensuring you travel in style from your ceremony to reception venue is the perfect way to enjoy the VIP treatment on your wedding day. The options are endless when it comes to wedding transport, with a classic car, supercar, VW campervan or horse and carriage as just some of the choices available to couples. But how much should you look to pay?

Kevin Ketteridge, director of Silverline Limousines & Wedding Cars - based in Norfolk, says: "We are often asked 'how much is wedding transport?' and the answer is dependent on the couple's requirements.

"The first would be the date of the wedding; a wedding on a Monday to Thursday in the winter would attract a considerable discount to one on a Saturday in the summer. Secondly, just a bridal party drop-off at the wedding venue would be less expensive than a home to church to reception venue journey. The type of transport is another factor; a vintage style car would command more expense than an executive saloon car.

"It is appreciated that couples have budgeted for their wedding, so it is advisable that they discuss their requirements with a professional wedding transport provider who will advise on options and tariffs and ensure the best available for them."

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Entertainment

Give your guests a party to remember with entertainment that keeps the dance floor filled all night long. Whether you contact a local band directly or use an agency, the same considerations need to be made.

Jonny Ross of Jonny Ross Music says: "The cost for booking a professional wedding band ranges from £500 to £800+ for a solo or acoustic duo, £1300 to £2000+ for four or five-piece bands and £2,200+ for larger bands. If you are looking for a DJ, you should expect to pay £700+ for a solo DJ and £1,600+ for a DJ with roaming musicians, such as a saxophone player or percussionist.

"The biggest factor to consider is that you will be paying each artist for their time and musical expertise that they have built up over many years of performing. Other factors to also consider will be the time of year, day of the week, the long hours, as well as travel expenses. Something else to consider is that they will also be providing and setting up high-end instruments/DJ equipment, state-of-the-art sound systems and lighting."

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