Updated: Nov 19, 2019
What is the average wedding budget?
The wedding business in the UK is a whopping 10 billion pounds with the average wedding costs coming in at £22,000. Investing in a smaller, more intimate DIY wedding at a Chateau can stand to save you a lot of money. Many couples are choosing to spend a chunk of their budget on quality accommodation and time with friends and family.
Top Tips for a DIY Wedding at The Chateau
Have fun, wedding planning should all be about fun, creativity and most of all, enjoy the journey. This is where Chinon comes in. Chinon and Saumur are full of some of the top artisan shops in the region. There is no better way to enjoy the selection process then sampling local produce.
Consider making your own
Cheeseboard from the Saumur Cheese shop; wow the aroma as you walk in is intoxicating and will make your mouth water
Dessert table from one of Chinon's amazing chocolatiers; you'll be like a kid in a candy shop, the difficulty will be holding yourself back
Drinks table; the Loire valley is full of vineyards and Quintin from Loire Vineyard Tours can take you on a journey of discovery on a bike sampling the local wines
Breadboard; you will find yourself making a b-line for this shop in the centre of Chinon, sampling the delicious bread combinations. Be warned though, the queues are about endurance, but so worth it!
Oh, I don't think I mentioned the goat's farm, a beautiful walk from the Chateau, through the woodland and over the brow of the hill. A trail you should consider to nurse a hangover the day after!
The Advantage of a DIY Wedding
1, An informal and relaxed vibe
Our lives are busy, and with the advances in technology, we find ourselves cramming more into our day. Without a doubt, life has certainly taken a more informal slant. Emails are now addressed as "Hi", the "Dear" being dropped in favour of a more friendly and quick approach. Can you believe it, the new iPhones now have Siri addressing us as, uhhhuuummm, instead of "I'm listening!" To counterbalance this, many of us find ourselves searching for a "no fuss" relaxed vibe to our parties and weddings are no different. Couples now seek to create their own wedding celebration, making it personal and saving money in the process. Besides, it is a lovely way of including and involving everyone.
Maybe, a simple picnic in the park with a beautiful Loire Valley Chateau as a backdrop, bring your own food and provide rugs for your guests to take home as a little gift from yourselves.
2. Keeping costs low
We all work so hard to earn and keep hold of our pennies, what with Brexit and the economy, there is certainty in the uncertainty ahead. Therefore, looking after every penny is a top priority for many. With super talented friends who are willing and often desperate to be part of your special day, harnessing that free resource is paramount to keeping costs low.
Iphones are now so advanced they beat many professional cameras out there on the market, and it doesn't take an expert to use one. Children and teenagers make great photographers; let's face it, they know how to take pictures, especially with social media and the apps available now.
At the Chateau consider a download zone, create some handmade cards with the hashtags or dropbox details on them, to encourage guests to download before they forget. Enlist a teenager to take a video can be fun, they often have a different perspective to us grown-ups and a firm handle on the latest video apps.
3, Spending time with those you couldn't do without
Ditching the large weddings and opting for a smaller, more intimate guest list, enables couples to spend quality time with those closest to them. No longer do they need to spend time talking to Great Aunt Doris, who they haven't spoken to since they were 6 years old. Time counts and being selfish on your wedding day is ok; after all, your wedding day is about you.
Prioritising your shinny pennies is crucial. With that said I'm not sure why I say pennies, we spend most of our money these days electronically, but the sentiments remain the same. Accommodation accounts for a big chunk of the budget, a touch of luxury is what everyone remembers, especially if they have travelled far to celebrate your special day. Therefore, spending a little more will make all the difference.
A Chateau will ensure you spend more time with your friends and family while building memories to treasure for a lifetime. Imagine getting the venue ready the day before, in a relaxed fashion, perhaps with a glass or two, filling your heart with the hustle and bustle, laughter and music, with everyone contributing to your day. The following day is about resting, nursing the sore heads and finally strolling into the local village to enjoy and soak up the atmosphere. Don't forget to have a glass of Rose wine and a spot of lunch with your favourite people. Not that I'm encouraging drinking, but one or two is ok....right?
4. Personal touch
The personal touches will shine through, and your guests will cherish them as one of their top memories. No one knows you both, quite as much as you do, and this is an excellent opportunity to tell your story your way. It has never been easier, the internet is full of simple and effective inspiration, most of which can be done in advance.
If Paul and I got married again we'd have a, make your own gin bar, with all the herbs and spices. There would be two gins served, a groom's Tarquins gin with a slice of blood orange and a Brides Cotswold gin with a slice of pink grapefruit and a bay leaf. Oh, how I wish we could have our day again.
5. Limited availability restrictions
Can you image, you've set your heart on the venue, wedding photographer, videographer, makeup artist and florist? Now you have the unenviable task of coordinating a date, which suits all parties and includes your friends and family.
Headache stopped, with a DIY wedding you'll only be looking at a limited number of suppliers and of course, yourself as the wedding planner. All of a sudden, the choices on dates are abundant, phew.....