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Judy Mansfield, an experienced wedding celebrant in our region , considers all aspects of Weddings, from Traditions to Practical Tips, from Champagne to Speeches, Bouquets and Budgets in a series of regular articles on all aspects of weddings.

Judy Mansfield, an experienced wedding celebrant in our region , considers all aspects of Weddings, from Traditions to Practical Tips, from Champagne to Speeches, Bouquets and Budgets in a series of regular articles on all aspects of weddings.

In this first article, Judy looks at what happens following the Proposal

Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married!

How exciting – now the fun starts, all the planning and saving so that you can have the day you have dreamed of.

How exciting – now the fun starts, all the planning and saving so that you can have the day you have dreamed of.

What do you decide first? The Dress? The Cake? The Flowers? So much to plan!

The very first thing you really should turn your minds to is the Wedding Budget. It used to be that tradition dictated that the Bride’s Father paid for everything…  However, times have changed, and it is often the couple themselves who pay for their big day, although parents of both partners usually chip in generously.

Given that the average cost of a wedding is now around £24,000, it is a huge amount of money for just one day.   This figure, from a Bride magazine survey, does include some expenditure which I haven’t considered in this series of articles: The Engagement Ring; the Mother of the Bride’s outfit (really? Do couples really pay for Mum’s outfit?) and the honeymoon , coming in at around £4000).   But even without these items, at 2 weeks in the sun, that still leaves almost £20,000 of expenditure – where does it all go?

Wedding Budget


Average Cost £

Venue and Reception 10,000
Photography/Video 1,500
Wedding Dress 1,750
Grooms Outfit 320
Wedding Rings 650
Bridesmaids/Pageboys 475
Flowers 550
Cake 300
Décor 500
Hair and Make up 275
Entertainment 650
Stationery 250
Sundries (Favours, gifts for attendants etc) 200
Total 17,420

One of the most expensive items is the wedding venue and reception – costs can come in at around £10,000.   It is very easy to get carried away in your quest for the dream, but if you plan first, before you start the rounds of wedding fairs, you are less likely to overshoot your budget.

Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married!

Think carefully about what you can afford.

Too often, in the search for their ‘Perfect Day’, couples are taking out loans, maxing out their credit cards, spending way more than is wise, when with a little judicious looking around, and deciding what is essential, and what is ‘nice to have’ and what is plainly unnecessary will avoid tears and stress over affordability.

Think about prioritising your budget.

Wedding expenditure should be on the things that will last for always.   Your wedding rings, your vows and the photographs will remain long after guests have forgotten the favours you slaved over, or whether they ate beef or chicken, or what the DJ played…

An essential item for any wedding couple, in my view, is Wedding Insurance.   I always think with insurance, it isn’t a case of whether you can afford it have it – it is a question of whether you can afford NOT to take out insurance.   Most stores, such as John Lewis or Debenhams, offer affordable wedding insurance that not only covers you against illness or cancellation, but also failure of your suppliers to deliver on the day, or going bankrupt…    Peace of mind is priceless!

When you are contacting suppliers for quotations (you ARE going to ask for quotations, aren’t you?), one of the questions you should ask is for evidence that the supplier is insured at least for public liability. We will cover ‘Suppliers and Questions You Should Ask’ in the autumn.

In the meantime, set up your To Do List and the Spreadsheet, ready to keep control of your spending, and have fun doing the rounds of the Wedding Fairs – see the list below of the ones I know about – if you know of others, come and let me know on my Facebook Page.

Next time, I will cover some of our local venues, PLUS an article about the legal requirements for giving notice to be married….

Future articles will consider Venues, Home or Away, the Traditions surrounding weddings, entertainment, Budget or Blowout, Church or Civil ceremony, and much, much more. ..

Judy Mansfield

Judy Mansfield, an experienced wedding celebrant in our region , considers all aspects of Weddings

Banburyshire Info Wedding Editor

International Civil Celebrant at Cherish Ceremonies


tel: 01926 930393 mobile: 07713 278699



Wedding articles that may interest you.

Help! I’ve Been Asked To Read At A Wedding! Top tips on how to read at a wedding

Today’s tradition is something no wedding can possibly be without…. can it? The Bridal Bouquet!

TEN reasons to choose a Celebrant for your Wedding Ceremony

The Wedding Budget….. Setting the Budget. A Step by Step guide!

The Quaich, or Loving Cup. This is a wonderful Celtic tradition.

The ritual of handfasting dates back centuries. Indeed, it is one of the oldest marriage unity rituals. Tying the knot

Want to be certain all your wedding planning bases are covered? The top things for planning your wedding are:


Wedding service providers – that come recommended.

From honeymoon experts to photographers, cake makers to boutique caterers, you’ll find plenty of local suppliers who can bring your wedding vision to life.

Kevin Merry Horse Draw Carriages.

A horse-drawn carriage is the perfect way to arrive at your wedding in style.


Why not make your wedding magical?

Our original Victorian carriage is drawn by two stunning black Fresian horses and can be decorated to complement your chosen flowers or colour scheme. The carriage can be used open or fully closed, ensuring your occasion is a success, regardless of the weather. This carriage can carry four people.

We have other horses and carriages, so your entourage can also travel in style – we can tailor our carriages to suit your personal needs.

Based in Oxfordshire, we offer our services throughout the south of England.

“The carriage, horses and of course yourself and staff really carried off the elegant and dignified start to our married life we were looking for…” Chris and Emma

“Thank you so much for being part of our special day. It was a dream come true to have such a beautiful horse and carriage, I felt like a princess!” Jess and Daniel

For more information about viewings, prices and availability, please do not hesitate to contact Kevin Merry, he will be more than happy to discuss your individual requirements.


Tel: 07976 219830

Web: www.kevinmerry.co.uk


Sam and Steve Photography.

For YOUR Documentary Wedding Photography.

Sam and Steve Photography. For YOUR Documentary Wedding Photography.

Ok, it may sound formal, but in fact it is anything but!

Documentary wedding photography means telling stories, documenting the wedding in the same way as a photojournalist would. Reportage, candid, observational wedding photography are other ways of describing our approach. We prefer “story telling”. However one chooses to describe our approach, the key point is this; we tell the story of your day in photographs. Who was there, what happened when, what was going on whilst that you missed in the excitement of the day. Everyone will tell you the day will go so quickly; its true.

Let us provide the memories that will last a lifetime.


We’d love to hear all about your plans….

Let us know all about your wedding plans and we will be in touch in a jiffy. If you use Hotmail, Gmail or similar, don’t forget to check your spam filter if you haven’t heard from us within a day or two.


Tel: 01869 226255

Web: www.samandstevephotography.com

Address: 101 Isis Avenue, Bicester, Oxfordshire OX 26 2GR


Vine House Studios.

Experienced and trusted wedding photography by Vine House Studios.


Need a photographer for your wedding?

Then take a look at Vine House Studios. Ivor McCullagh & Becky Moyce are one of the leading wedding photography duo’s in the Banbury area.

View the reviews on Google

Address: Vine House Studios Heath Farm Swerford Chipping Norton Oxfordshire OX7 4BN


Phone numbers:
Studio – 01608 683880
Becky – 07581 784707
Ivor – 07791 763329

Web: www.vinehousestudios.co.uk


Darren Bedding Photography.

Looking for wedding photography inspiration?


Meet Darren Bedding wedding photography.

Known as the perfect gentleman who takes everything in his stride. With a fast developing reputation of delivering high quality photographs with excellent customer service. Both ensure a reassuring experience.

Capturing intimate moments enabling couples to relive their beautiful memories for a lifetime to come. This is where your family legacy begins.

View the reviews on Google

Darren mainly works throughout Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, and the Cotswolds. Although has been contracted to work throughout the UK.

Address: Prescote Manor in Cropredy Oxfordshire.


Phone numbers:

07867 801693

01295 273108

Web: www.darrenbeddingphotography.co.uk


Cherish Ceremonies.

For the Wedding Ceremony of your Life …

Plage Keller, on Cap d'Antibes wih Cherish-Ceremonies

Unique and beautiful ceremonies that you will always cherish.

Judy the Celebrant designs beautiful bespoke weddings ceremonies. Find out why more and more people are choosing Judy as their Celebrant by visiting Judy’s reviews

Judy is based in Warwickshire, but travels worldwide.


Tel: 07713 278699 or 01926 930393

Web: www.cherish-ceremonies.co.uk


Bloomin Events Florists

Specialists in Weddings. For that independent personal touch.


Modern, Classic, Dramatic and Elegant Floral Designs.

Visit our website and take a look at our Weddings galleries.

Orders can be taken on our website www.bloomin-events.co.uk/

Tel: 07880 618 899


Offering you a home, business or venue consultation at a time that suits you. From large scale venue decoration to the smallest detailing in your bridal bouquet, we will design a package to suit tailored to your unique requirements.

Offering a same day delivery service, which we have FREE delivery in Banbury and only a small delivery charge elsewhere.


Fresh Wed.

Fancy a Beautiful Wedding Video?

Who doesn’t want a video as that special keep sake. Fresh Wed – capture your most special day with high attention to detail, quality and production value. Making your memories last forever with our bespoke video service.

Contact Fresh Wed today

Email: enquiries@fresh-wed.co.uk

Tel: 07815 311509

Web: www.fresh-wed.co.uk


Sweet Celebrations balloon decorating service.

Sweet Celebrations. YOUR balloon decorating specialists.

Sweet Celebrations. YOUR balloon decorating specialists.

On-site balloon decorating service to suit all occasions as well as supplying top quality Balloons designs for collection.

Balloons are exciting and add magic to any size of celebration, function or party. They have versatility, movement, colour and tremendous visual impact.

At Sweet Celebrations we specialise in decorating venues, weddings, parties, christenings, anniversaries proms and corporate events from subtle table decorations to elaborate themed decorations to transform you venue.

Sweet Celebrations only use the highest quality qualatex balloons with a wide choice of colours and designs.

Balloon clusters starting at £8.00.

Try our a renowned balloon decorating service.

For more information or a balloon quote please call us on 01295 269472 or e mail Ken and Jane on

19-20 Church Lane
OX16 5LS


Cakes by Kit.

Wedding Cakes by Cakes by Kit

Cakes and cookies for all occasions.

Traditional celebration, and wedding cakes by Kit.

Here at Cakes by Kit, I believe in making your cakes look amazing and taste amazing in equal measure!

I have been using my creativity and baking skills to make delicious cakes for over 20 years.

I can offer you beautiful and delicious cakes and cookies that are a great centerpiece for every occasion.


“If you are looking for that perfect cake for your special occasion, look no further than Cakes By Kit. They offer a 5 star service and VIP treatment for all their clients. I would highly recommend them as professional cake makers.” Source Google

See more reviews on Facebook

Contact Karen at Cakes by Kit


Tel: 07870 500919

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/CakesByKit

Web: www.cakesbykit.com


Smillies Cakes & Pops.


Looking for some inspiring wedding cake ideas?

Every bride-to-be wants a wedding cakes that looks as good as it tastes, and with Cakes by Smillies Cakes & Pops you can be sure to get the best of both worlds.

All products are made to order and use only quality ingredients including locally sourced free range eggs and our homemade jam in our filled cakes. Wherever possible Cakes are made within 24 hours of delivery to ensure freshness and allowing you to enjoy them for longer.

We can offer products to cater for specific dietary requirements such as diabetic, wheat intolerance and dairy free.

Plus; we offer, Sweetie Treats, Vintage Cart & 3ft Ferris Wheel, popcorn carts, cheese carts, 4ft LOVE, venue decoration including chair covers and much more.

Tel: 07969 728751

Web: www.smilliescnp.co.uk

Facebook Page: Smillies Cakes Pops

Address: 2 Maple Close Woodford Halse, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 3ND


Wedding Catering Services by First We Eat.

Wedding cake by First We Eat

Whether you are looking for handmade chocolates as favours, a cake with a difference or to feed all your guests, we can help you make your event special.

We use only fresh ingredients – with as many as possible sourced locally. Special dietary needs are not a problem and we are happy to talk gluten, dairy and nut free menus. We have some example menus but all menus are tailored to your needs and budget.

We have catered for most things from corporate lunches through to weddings with over 120 guests – but also birthday parties, marriage blessings, christenings and engagement parties!

Why not give First We Eat a call on 0753 034 2312 or email .

Website: www.firstweeatuk.co.uk




Indulgence Boutique Catering.

Award winning boutique caterers specialising in the creation of sensational menus. Experts in weddings.


Heavenly food presented with impeccable service.

Your dedicated Indulgence wedding expert will ensure your day is utter bliss, from the first sip of Champagne to the last crumb of cake.

A wedding is probably the most important day of two peoples’ lives. There are no rehearsals. Indulgence’s professional and talented team combined with their entirely bespoke wedding catering service, will ensure that whether your needs are simple or sumptuous, classic or contemporary, every culinary desire you have for your wedding day will be delivered with passion and meticulous attention to detail.

For enquiries, please contact us:


Tel: 01295 690888

Web: www.indulging.co.uk

Address: Main Street, Farnborough Banbury OX17 1DZ


Sharon Priscilla Bridal and Occasion Wear.


Have your dream wedding dress designed and crafted just for YOU!

At Sharon Priscilla everything is made to the highest quality standards for what we see as possibly the most important clothing purchase you will ever make.

Sharon Priscilla is a family run business based in the heart of Oxfordshire. Creating bespoke wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, occasion wear, veils, tiaras, bridal sash belts and jewellery.

Booking an appointment is essential;


Tel: Sharon 07866 742349 or Louise 07834 599865

Web: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SharonPriscilla

Address: Crouch Street Banbury OX16 9PP

Everything to do at Sharon Priscilla is woven around the individual needs to create a truly unique item of clothing.


Cherwell Edge Wedding Venue.

Cherwell Edge Wedding Venue

Your Wedding day is one of the most important days in your life.

Here at Cherwell Edge we will play our part in ensuring that it will be one you remember for years to come.

We have a range of packages however, should you have any specific requests we would be very pleased to try and accommodate you.

Our Head Chef has put together some wonderful menus for you to choose from.

Please feel free to discuss these and any other dietary requirements with the Wedding Co-ordinator

Address: Cherwell Edge Golf Club, Appletree Road, Chacombe, Banbury, Oxford, OX17 2EN, UK

Phone: 01295 711591


Web: www.cherwelledge-weddingvenue.co.uk




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Rolls Royce's outside St Marys in Banbury


Banburyshire Info provides a comprehensive resource for residents, businesses, and visitors to the Banburyshire area.

The site crammed full of useful and essential information such as travel times, news from the area, events and business pages.

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