Money Diary: How My Wedding Cost Twice My Budget

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of women how they spend their hard-earned money on one of the biggest days of their lives: their wedding.
This week, we're with a copywriter and architect living in London who set their budget at a modest £7.5k. As you can see, things didn't exactly go to plan...
The Basics
Jobs: Copywriter + Architect (newly qualified)
Ages: I’m 25; my husband is 26
Location: North Islington, London
Combined salary as a couple: £61,500
Wedding location: Just outside Henley-On-Thames
Number of bridesmaids: Three
Number of groomsmen: Two
Flower girls? Nah, my friends haven’t had any girl kids yet!
Page boys? Yep, two: my husband’s cousin (aged 10) and our nephew (aged 2)
What were your ideas at the beginning about how you’d spend money on your wedding?
When my husband proposed, we were in a really, really different place to where we are now. I had left a job I hated and my husband was a full-time student with no income, so thinking about wedding spending was frankly terrifying. I'd never saved a penny in my life (my student loan went on a Mac laptop, MAC and McDonald's) and while my husband was studying, saving was impossible. He actually said at the time “I reckon we can do the whole thing for £5k” (LOL!) and while I knew this was blue-sky at best, I thought around £7.5k would be enough. (Again, LOL.)
We agreed the following would be prioritised: the venue, the entertainment and the photographer. It was very important to us that the wedding focused on our guests and their experience, rather than us having a ‘special princess day’. Also, you can’t redo the photographs of your wedding day, so investing in someone who will create images that you’ll look back on for generations to come was important to us. I thought my dress would cost around £700-£800 but I had no real clue on suits and bridesmaid dresses. We had no idea you had to pay for the registrar, wedding certificates, giving notice, etc… Why does no one tell you these things?
Long story short: We were a bit out of our depth!
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