Wedding Costs – The Facts!

It’s no secret that weddings are an expensive thing, but just how much they can cost never fails to surprise newly engaged couples. Today Samantha shares the secrets behind your spending, to help you understand just how much wedding suppliers actually cost, but why they’re totally worth their weight in cofetti… 

Whilst it isn’t always necessary to fork out a fistful of cash for your wedding day, it is important to remember that for some aspects of your wedding, your hard earned pennies really are going a long way to ensure a perfect day.

As a wedding planner, I often hear questions asked over the supposedly ridiculous sums of money being requested by certain suppliers for the services they supply. But it is important to remember that in many cases, your finance doesn’t just fund what you see on the day. Hours and hours of hard work, quality equipment, and professional commitment go in to your wedding, both before and after the big day itself – so here’s a little glimpse in to the truth about supplier fees, and why many in the industry are simply worth their salt when saying ‘I do.’


The facts: Most photographers will snap away for an average 10 – 12 hours on a wedding day, capturing your every tiny moment from when you put your mascara on, to when you cry it off again during the first dance. They never miss a beat to ensure that you don’t miss a moment.

That’s a long time to be running around on your feet come rain or shine, with a heavy camera around your neck, different lenses in hand, and with a back pack the size of a small suitcase never leaving your side either. Often, they don’t even get a spare moment to nip to the loo or grab a sip of water between shots of the bridal party and your mingling guests.

Photographers work hard. Fact.

Not to mention then the hours – days! – spent editing on average 600-1000 photos after the wedding, to ensure you get that one memorable snap above your mantelpiece. And, of course, there’s the engagement shoot they did with you a few weeks before, the endless emails, the studying the venue and day plan, and the travel they put in to being there on your day… those extra hours really do clock up!

I’m a big believer in good photography, and truly feel that where your photos are concerned it’s worth paying well. These are the memories that will last a life time… and you’re paying for an artist, after all.

Look out for: Photographers who offer a full package from start of the day until shortly after the first dance, rather than by setting time restraints. Second shooters are always a bonus for maximum coverage (they have to be paid as well though!), and how many photos you receive after the wedding and in what format all counts in ensuring your money goes far.

Recommended Spend: £1,500 – £3,000. 

Wedding Costs - Oh So Perfect - Sarah Gawler


The facts: Pretty much the same as above! These guys use some bloody expensive equipment don’t forget, and that needs insuring too. It might seem pricey now, but in years to come, having the beautiful footage of your father’s speech will prove truly priceless.

Look out for: What equipment will your videographer use on the day – is it HD and loaded with snazzy extras? Will they be using a drone? (They should use a drone – drones are AWESOME). Find out how long the finished video will run for, and whether your guests can download copies of the highlights too.

Recommended Spend: £1500-£2500


The Facts: The cost of a florist will of course depend largely upon the sort of flower display you’d like for your wedding. If you want big, blousy blooms, large red roses, lilies, and peonies a-plenty, it’s important you’re prepared to pay for them (or else consider cheaper alternatives!).

But even so, a florist is responsible not just for styling the day itself, but for all the creativity that goes into helping you implement the bulk of the décor. Often, they spend long hours in and out of consultation with you making a plan to help achieve your dream floral vision, and in the days before the wedding they work all hours taking delivery, visiting the flower markets, and prepping and pruning the perfect posies, in order to put it all together on the day – which in itself will take a whole morning!

There’s also all the props and pretty vases, candles, ribbons and wire, that come together to create a floral feast for the eyes.

Look out for: photographic examples of a florist’s work will give you a clear vision of what to expect for your money. Find out whether you’ll need to hire props and vases separately or if this is part of the package, and will the florist be growing her own seasonal blooms or ordering them in?

Recommended Spend: £1000 – £3000 (depending on your expectations!)



The Facts: Brides are often rather surprised at the cost of a wedding cake, but remember we’re talking about a cake that’s at least 2 tiers bigger than your standard birthday bake, and with enough sponge packed in to feed the hundreds!

Quality cakes use quality ingredients – Belgian chocolate, freshly laid eggs, the finest sugar – these things don’t come cheap! Your cake maker will spend a good few days working in her kitchen to ensure the base is perfectly balanced and the right amount of spring is in your sponge. As for icing – that sugar crafted cascade of flowers will have taken oooh hours of fiddly perfection to get right!

Look out for: Try before you buy – look at previous examples of your supplier’s work, and go for a tasting to choose your flavours.  Delicious cakes are something to be sampled! Find out where your cake’s ingredients will be sourced from and the quality of them, plus whether your hire includes a stand and set up fee too. If you’re after something more exquisite, find out where your cake maker trained and what creative qualifications they have to justify their cost.

Recommended spend: £350-500 for 3 tiers. 


Live Music

The facts: When you hire a band, it’s important to note you’re not booking one man; you’re probably booking 4 or 5 of them. Similarly, you’re not just paying for 2 x 1 hour sets – you’re paying for the hour set up, the set, the break, the set again, and the break down – and that can be 5 or 6 hours on site, not even counting the travel.

Then there’s the rehearsals… learning the new songs you’ve requested… preparing your playlists… it all adds up!

At the end of the night, think how exhausted you felt after dancing. Yep, them too. Being super cool on stage comes at quite a toll!

Look out for: Consider how many people are in the band and where they’re coming from – could you look for a group that’s smaller or nearer? Check out their current playlists and repertoire – do they already cover most of the songs you want to hear or will you be asking for a few extras? Will they take requests on the night? Make sure you listen to their music in advance, even if it’s a recording or a video, to see what their talent is really all about and how they respond to their crowd.

Recommended Spend: £800-£1,200



The Facts: Remember that time you hosted Christmas for Mum, Dad, Granny, Grandpa, your Aunts, Uncles, their seven unruly children, and Great-Auntie Norah’s dog? Well imagine that, but times it by 10. Yeah. Stress.

Your caterers will have been up since dawn peeling and prepping fancy vegetables, chilling chocolate, and trying to work out which wine is for the tables, and which is for the bar. Not to mention that last night they set up an entire kitchen in a field for you.

A good catering team doesn’t just consist of the one chap you were emailing beforehand, there are chefs, sous chefs, waiting staff, bar staff, delivery people, office people – a whole small army of people involved in ensuring the starters come out at 18:00. These people have been working for days to prepare your wedding breakfast, and they won’t stop when it finishes either. Pots need to be cleaned, cutlery filed, and ovens collected; all before they can sit down and tuck in to a sandwich.

Look out for: What equipment does your caterers/venue already have at their disposal, or will they need to hire something in? Do you need a generator for them? A chiller unit? Where will they source their ingredients, and what’s the presentation like? Will it be silver service at the table, or a help yourself buffet? Always go for a tasting to get your menu just-so and read up on past testimonials about not just the food but the service too. You pay for top quality in a restaurant, so do it on your wedding day as well.

Recommended Spend: £80-£100 per head. 

Wedding Costs - Oh So Perfect - Sarah Gawler

So there you have it, it’s not just a case of popping on a frock and raising a glass on the day. Hours and pennies go in to a wedding, not just for you the organised bride, but for everyone involved in making your dream come true.

Sure, cut your budget where you can, and there’s lots of ways to do so too. But where quality is concerned, sometimes you really do get what you pay for… so spend those pennies wisely!

Post written By Samantha Kelsie Imbimbo and first published on Wedding Planner. Post later published on Oh So Perfect and UK Celebrant blogs. All images in this post are by Sarah Gawler Photography and show images from Jonathan and Muncelle’s wedding – planned and coordinated by Oh So Perfect. 

Top Tips: Wedding Gift Etiquette

oh so perfect wedding gift etiquette advice

Ah yes, the old wedding gift conundrum – it does get rather a lot of brides in a flap! Back in the day, couples didn’t live together at all before their marriage (oh, the sin of it!) so having a gift list was essential to the guests giving them a great start in their married life and new home!

Today, many couples already live together for years before they’re wed, so to ask for money has really become quite the norm. And if you don’t want any gifts at all, well, quite frankly you’re probably going to get something because people like to give! This is their celebration too and many people will feel awkward about giving nothing.

Your best option is to write a very polite little note on your invitation letting guests know that whilst you’re really just super thrilled they turned up, if they do want to contribute something then a few pennies wouldn’t go without thanks….

Here’s some ideas to help you say yes please to gift giving:

Jill and Nick - Oh So Perfect - (10)

It’s completely normal…

…to feel awkward about asking! A lot of brides feel strange about asking for money or gifts, but giving is normal too! Your guests will be expecting instructions on gift list/money/vouchers etc so don’t feel bad about asking for it, or they’ll feel worse about asking you!

Be clear, be polite…

If you have a gift list – give full details. If you want cash – make that clear. If it’s going to charity – give the full charity name. Your invite is the giver of all information, so make it clear and don’t beat around the bush, but at the same time remember to be polite about it too and maybe include a little poem to keep it sweet.

How dare you!

OK, I’ll be honest… whether you request gifts or not, there will be some guests who simply don’t give. But you know what, it doesn’t matter! Those that don’t will have still probably forked out for a new outfit/transport/hotel/babysitter to be with you, so if they decide a gift is one step too far then don’t hold them to ransom over it, just be grateful they were there and say thank you all the same.

Jill and Nick - Oh So Perfect - (13)

Giving for every budget…

If you do opt for a gift list, be sure to include something to suit everyone. Close friends, family and those with pockets generously bursting may wish to spoil you, but those who perhaps don’t have the cash will need to look for something small, so make sure you include items that cover a whole range of budgets (and plenty of little bits to keep those with small purses happy!)

Give to Charity

Still feeling weird about it all? Ask for charitable donations instead. That way, if someone still wants to splash out they can, and you’ll all feel good in the long run.

Wedding Fund

We all know weddings can get expensive, and chances are if you asked for money it’s probably to help re-accumulate a few of the funds…right? So don’t be afraid to admit this either. Perhaps set up a ‘contribution list’ – £10 towards the flowers – £50 for the dress – £100 to guzzle champagne – let guests feel as though they are contributing to the celebration by asking for them to make a ‘donation’ towards the wedding, and have Aunt Nellie sit proudly at the table knowing she paid for pudding.

I vouch to give…

If cash isn’t your bag, how about vouchers instead? Request vouchers for a particular shop to help in decorating your home, or travel agent gift vouchers to fund the honeymoon. This way, guests won’t feel as though their gift is going quite in to your back pocket, and you can still ensure the generosity goes towards what you want it to.


Whatever you opt for, just make sure you say thank you!

Jill and Nick - Oh So Perfect - (8)

This article was written by Samantha Kelsie Imbimbo and first published on It has since been published on and All words are the copywrite of Samantha Kelsie Imbimbo and all images from Oh So Perfect.

‘The’ Dress Meets The Accessories…

Diary of a Wedding Planner

Regular readers of the blog and my Oh So Exclusive – Diary of a Wedding Planner will no doubt be well aware that I am currently putting together an outfit for the Under The Vintage Veil first birthday bash in Brighton next weekend… (read my previous ramblings on this here).

This outfit has become quite a feature on the blog! I’m now in serious danger of it becoming quite an anti-climatic reveal when I get to post about the party in two week’s time, but for now I’ll continue playing the game and posting about it’s progress!

Well I am very excited this afternoon to have an update – the outfit is almost complete… This morning the lovely man that is my postman delivered the handbag, shoes and, oh yes, that head dress to Perfect HQ, and I am delighted with the results!

The headdress has come from the wonderful creators at Crown and Glory, who you will know from my previous post, helped redesign and create my perfect floral headband in time for the event. I am very pleased with the result, although I must say it is slightly more on the pink side than I was expecting. However, I have decided that despite it’s current beauty, in order to tie it in just a little bit more with the colour of my shoes, I am going to pop down to Hobbycraft tomorrow morning and purchase just one or two more flowers in a bright purple to add to to the finished piece.

It’s lovely to be able to get dressed up and don a pair of heels for this event. I’m usually found in flats or teeny-tiny heels due to the nature of having to run about and stay standing for long periods of time at my weddings, so I’m relishing the chance to add a little bit more height and glamour to my outfit for the party. There is a little sneak preview of the finished look at the top of this post for you… I can’t wait to wear the finished result next weekend!

With love,
Samantha x 

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit for our full list of wedding planning, styling and coordination packages and services.

‘Love by’ Under The Vintage Veil

Oh So Perfect – Weddings and Events are delighted to be ‘loved by’ the Under The Vintage Veil wedding blog

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit for our full list of wedding planning, styling and coordination packages and services.

Update on ‘The’ Dress and an Oh So Glorious Crown

Diary of a Wedding Planner

Regular readers may remember that last week I wrote about my search for the perfect dress and accompanying accessories for an event I am attending in Brighton next month: Flower Headbands and ‘The’ Dress

Well my first piece of exciting news this week is that I can now proudly announce that the event is the 1st Birthday Party of the wonderful Under The Vintage Veil wedding blog, which quite frankly all vintage-inspired brides reading this (or even just vintage fans in general!) need to go and check out right now…

The second piece of exciting news is that the dress I ordered online for the event has arrived and is a beauty! I’m normally quite reluctant to buy clothes online, I hate not being able to try something on before I make a purchase, and as I am pear-shaped I quite often flit between sizes and feel the need to take two of each item into the dressing room. I decided to take a risk last week however and bite the bullet – I ordered online. One of my ‘usual’ sizes was actually sold out,which ultimately made deciding on which one to actually buy to try at home a lot easier, and I so I was delighted to find that not only is the dress as pretty as the picture appeared, it also fits – hoorah! Now, I’m keeping the actual dress under wraps for now (just in case!) but you will of course see photos next month when I blog about the event.

So this brings me on to my next piece of exciting news… the flower head dress. As I expressed in my previous post, I am desperate to get my hands on a lovely Lana Del Rey-esque floral crown to wear with said dress for the event, and my desire to find one was slowly turning into an acceptance that I would probably have to get crafty myself.

Well, alas no! I have this week discovered the saviour of all saviours as far as flower head-wear is concerned…

Dear readers, I bring you Crown and Glory. I actually discovered this fabulous little accessory company mentioned on the Rock’n’Roll Bride blog earlier this week and thought I’d take a look at the website where I found this brilliant little button:

You can imagine my delight! A whole section of a website dedicated to purchasing Lana-esque headwear – just what I’ve been looking for!

I found ‘the’ crown to go with ‘the’ dress quite quickly as I already knew I was looking for dusky purple roses, and this one fit the bill. The only problem I found is that my perfect piece is in fact a bandeau, whereas I’m looking for a headband, but I noticed on the website that Crown and Glory also take commissions for bespoke designs and decided to get in touch.

Well I’m so glad I did. Sophie King, owner and creative genius at Crown and Glory got back in touch within the hour, and what a lovely lady she is. Sophie was quick to let me know that she’d be only too happy to turn a bandeau design into a headband, but unfortunately, my chosen piece was sold out (no!) so perhaps I could choose a different one for her to work on for me instead. I emailed back and explained about the event and the dress (yes, she was even lucky enough to see a photo!), and that the purple and roses were exactly what I’d been looking for, and she has kindly agreed to create me my perfect headband from another bandeau which had currently been on loan for a shoot and would be back with her next week. Happy, happy wedding planner!

So, I would just like to say a big thank you to Sophie for being so kind, polite and helpful with my enquiry yesterday afternoon, customer service at it’s absolute best, and now send you all off in the direction of Crown and Glory to go and look at the wonderful headbands, bandeau, clips, combs and fascinators on offer, while I can happily get back to working on wedding planning.

Here’s my pick of some of the other items I’m loving on Crown and Glory…

With love
Samantha x


Need help planning your wedding day? Visit for our full list of wedding planning, styling and coordination packages and services.

Flower Head Bands and ‘The’ Dress

Diary of a Wedding Planner

I’m absolutely delighted to have been invited to a very special birthday party being hosted by one of the UK’s leading wedding blog’s  in Brighton next month. It is a blog I simply love and adore, and I’m thrilled to be invited as not only will it be an incredible night but it will also be a fantastic opportunity to meet lots of other wedding industry names and faces who I admire and am inspired by in my own wedding planning work on a daily basis. (Plus I get to go ‘home’ to Brighton, where my Dad was born and raised and my family still live now).

I won’t name the blog for the moment, as I’m not 100% sure whether or not I’m allowed to just yet (although I will tell you when I know for sure!) but I can say it is a blog aimed at the vintage-inspired bride, and so of course I’m now on the hunt for the perfect vintage outfit to wear!

Today I had a break-through… I think I have found my dress, but I’m not going to share it with you just yet as I like to keep some things a surprise… (that and the fact that it hasn’t arrived yet and may not actually fit!) But even so, I am now looking for the ultimate accessory to go with it.

I’m feeling very inspired by Lana Del Rey’s flower head bands at the moment and think a 1920s style head garland of my own may just compliment this dress perfectly.

So tonight I have been looking for alternatives online, and below are some of the ones I have found so far. It seems though, that a lot of the hairbands I’ve come across are not for sale, instead they have been custom made by those crafty types who run their own DIY fashion blogs, and so that’s got me thinking I may well end up making my own headband too, which wouldn’t be so bad, after all regular followers of my blog know how much I love a trip to Hobbycraft!

Have you seen a Lana Del Rey inspired flower headband for sale online or on the highstreet? Leave your comments below…

With love
Samantha x

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit for our full list of wedding planning, styling and coordination packages and services.

Oh So it begins…

… our first blog post! And the celebration of the launch of our sparkly new website where you can find out everything you need to know about Oh So Perfect – Weddings and Events. But first of all…


and welcome to what we hope will become your new favourite wedding blog!

The ‘Oh So Perfect’ blog is designed to become the ideal companion to any bride or groom currently planning their wedding, whether planning it alone or with the help of Oh So Perfect – Wedding and Events. But it’s not just designed for the happy-couple-to-be, it’s for anyone, male or female, single or coupled-up, who simply adores a good romance, a real-life-love story, or indulging in all things ‘wedding’.

Each week we will be updating our blog with everything you could possibly need to fulfil your inner romantic, and ideas to inspire your own wedding plans, with features including:

  • Examples of Oh So Perfect weddings, cataloguing our wedding planning work for you to see, including our ‘Oh So Honest’ client testimonials…
  • Perfect Love Stories offering you the chance to shout from the roof tops and share your own love stories with the rest of the world, and for all those romantics out there to indulge in a good tale of two sweethearts…
  • Ideas, tips and advice, including wedding planning guidance, theme idea-boards,  and bridal shopping features to help you create your own perfect day…
  • Interviews with some of our favourite industry experts including florists, cake-makers, venues, hen/stag party planners, stationers and more, to bring you the best in UK suppliers…
  • And ‘behind the veil’ gossip from ‘Oh So Perfect – Weddings and Events’, bringing you the latest goings on from our own wedding planners at work, and offering you our weekly ‘Friday Favourites’…

And we want to hear from you too! If you’ve got a theme you’d like us to investigate; would like to be featured in our Perfect Love Stories; want to share your Oh So Perfect experiences; or are a supplier who wishes to share their service with our readers, then please get in touch via our contact page.

We can’t wait to get started!

Best wishes,

Oh So Perfect x

And finally…

… want to thank you!

It’s been a long but exciting year pulling together all the pieces ready to launch our wonderful wedding and event planning business, and we’re so pleased to finally be here! But it isn’t without the help of some fantastic people that we did it, and so it’s only right that we thank them and commend their excellent work here in our first blog post, so…

A huge thank you to:

Bluesky Media – for the fabulous design work that has gone into creating our logo and brand, and for putting together such an incredible website which we’re so proud of!

The Wedding Planner School – who have provided us with the relevant qualifications and continued support to succeed.

Finesse Planning – for teaching us what to do when the wedding cake is a disaster, and showing us how to tackle a tea-light candle fire on a wedding breakfast table without the bride or groom ever finding out!!

Revue Studios – for being continuously supportive of our new venture by offering their assistance in our successful set-up, and providing the best knowledge and advice and  from one new business woman to another.

And most importantly of all…

…I’d like to personally thank the friends and family who have always believed in me and my determination to achieve my dream; with your enduring patience and honest feedback you have kept me motivated and positive throughout.  Thank you to all of you, you know who you are…

… and of course thank you to my very own Mr. Perfect – for simply being oh so you.

Samantha x

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