Pixies in the Cellar

Are All Inclusive Wedding Packages Worth The Money?

by sarah • November 3, 2022 • Wedding Planning Guides

If you’ve just started to plan your wedding, this is probably one of the first questions you’ll be asking yourself. Wedding packages in Manchester are big business, and when you throw ‘all inclusive’ into the mix, it sounds like it could be a really good deal!

On the surface, you appear to get everything you need – a venue to get married, a room and furniture for dining, all the food and drinks you need, decorations, and sometimes even hotel rooms. Many places in the North West will often offer you a variety of wedding packages to choose from.

But if you were to decide on an all-inclusive wedding package, would it be worth the money?

Always check what the wedding package includes

The first thing to check when looking at a wedding package is to see what it includes – and that means reading the small print. With the majority of pre-set packages, you usually don’t get everything you need, and often get things you don’t actually want.

For example, you may get tablecloths, chair covers and napkins, but if you want to add any colour to your room dressing, you have to pay extra. And what about it you want a cake table or a cover for your gift table, are they free?

If they’re not included in the package, they’ll often be expensive to hire separately.

But you if decide to dress your room separately – and get a venue that gives you all the furniture you need but with a blank slate (like at Heaton House Farm), you only need to pay for exactly what you want.

Be wary of guest numbers

Wedding Packages in Cheshire, Manchester, Staffordshire and across the UK are usually priced on a set number of guests. So if you know you’ll have about 100 guests coming, you can choose that package and be safe in the knowledge that everyone will be catered for, at a set price.

But what if you have an unusual number of guests? What if you have a few more than the package allows?

Adding on extra guests to wedding packages can be very expensive. Sometimes as much as £100 each, when the only addition is a meal for one more person. And taking numbers away won’t save you any money either.

If you choose to get your own caterers in, you’ll know from the outset what the cost per person will be – and that doesn’t change if you have 10 more guests. And if you have less guests, it might even go down too. (Plus – you can choose the exact kind of food you like!)  

What about drinks packages at weddings? 

All-inclusive wedding packages sound amazing when they include drinks! We’re not going to lie, we love the thought of a wedding where the drinks are free all night.

But as with most things in life, unfortunately there are always limitations and exclusions. And drinks packages are actually where a lot of venues will make their money.

For example, you might get ‘red, white or rosé wine with your meal’ but what that could mean is just one glass per person – no top ups, no wine on the table.

Or it might be you’re promised 3 glasses of champagne per person. But not everyone will drink champagne, whilst some may only have 1 glass. Will you get the extra bottles or some money back if they don’t? No, of course not.

The other options for drinks are to just have a paid bar at the venue – where either you or your guests pay for their drinks – or to bring your own drinks to a venue that may or may not charge corkage.

No corkage sounds great – you just bring whatever drinks you want, and the venue won’t charge you anything to open them. But remember that a bar helps to pay for the staff at a venue to serve the drinks, so a no corkage venue will likely make those costs up somewhere else.

If you are bringing your own drinks, you’ll need to make sure you’re well prepared in advance, buying in everything you need, and getting it transported to the venue. Make sure you have enough too – if you run out, you could be stuck! And what if somebody wants a different kind of drink, and you don’t have it?

At Heaton House Farm, we prefer to keep things simple, straightforward and cost-effective. You choose the amount of wine you’d like – and you only pay for what you use (so nothing’s wasted).

Then we have a fully stocked cash bar. You might wish to put money behind it, or just ask your guests to pay for their own drinks. Either way, you know we’ll have absolutely everything you need, at normal, every day prices. No hassle, no stress.

Do you want personal and unique?

When it comes to all-inclusive wedding packages that have everything you need all for one price – flowers, venue dressing, food, drinks and the venue – it can be a great deal. But only if you like what is included.

Swaps and additions usually don’t come cheap. So if you don’t like the standard flowers, want to change one colour for another, or need to swap one dish for something different, it will cost you extra money. And the more changes you make, the more you’ll have to spend.

And of course – packages are designed to please everybody. They will be nice and pretty, but they will be generic. Don’t be surprised if you see wedding photos that look almost identical to yours.

That’s OK with some couples. But if you want something different and unique, you’ll want to avoid a wedding package and choose an unusual wedding venue.

Outdoor festoon lighting is including in all our weddings, at no extra charge. What you use them for, is up to you!

At Heaton House Farm, we don’t offer wedding packages

We’ve found that all the couples who share their big day with us want to put their own stamp on our barns. They want to turn our farm into their perfect wedding venue – and that’s exactly what we want to help them do.

We give you the canvas, and you create something beautiful. You’ll get all the essentials you need for one price – and then you can choose everything else yourself – whatever you want.

Have a theme in mind? Why not come and talk to us about how Heaton House Farm could be the venue for you – without needing a wedding package that might blow your budget!