Couple defend the huge cost of their wedding as trolls have their say

Defiant newlyweds have defended splashing out more than £40,000 on their wedding after being branded 'insane' by trolls - saying they 'worked hard' and sacrificed holidays for their dream day. High school sweethearts Kirsty and Sam Harvey, both 33, tied the knot after being together since they were 16.

The couple booked their £15,470 venue, De Vere Tortworth Court in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, back in 2021 paying for it in four instalments over the years.

The couple spread the payments out while looking after their two sons Dexter Harvey, seven, and four-year-old Teddy Harvey and continuing to pay off their mortgage. The mum-of-two, who works as a wedding stationery designer, believes it was reasonably priced compared to some brides' budgets.

Sam, who is a gas company technical manager, and Kirsty had no financial help from their families and funded it by working overtime, staying in more and sacrificing their annual family holiday. Kirsty revealed their Pinterest-worthy wedding included £1,800-worth of flowers, a £400 two-tiered cake and they spent £2,350 on a photographer and £2,150 on a videographer.

The couple also forked out £3,243 on a week-long stay on the Greek island of Santorini, not wanting to spend more than a week away from their sons. While some online questioned their 'priorities', Kirsty hit back claiming £40,000 is a standard 'luxury' wedding price tag and that they made sure it was all paid off before the big day.

Kirsty said: "We've been together for so long and we never plan on not being together, we were like 'we're just going to have what we want'. We work really hard, we've got savings so we just thought 'we're going to save even harder and pay it off'. We didn't want anything hanging over our heads after the wedding.

"We did have to sacrifice things, mostly our time because we were doing extra hours, which in turn meant we didn't go out as often. We didn't go on a family holiday like we normally do.

"We still had a mortgage to pay and childcare and normal, boring adult bills. We would never have booked anything we couldn't afford. I'm not saying we work harder than everyone else on the planet.

"We are conscious of making sure we have savings, we don't blow money on stupid stuff. We stayed in, we didn't go out, we worked hard and did overtime doing extra hours.

"We work hard but I'm not taking it away from anyone else like nurses and doctors. They're totally different roles. There's trolls everywhere but it was our day, our money, how we chose to spend it.

"We even had some of our family saying 'oh my god, are you spending so much money?' but no one else is paying for it, so it is what it is."

The pair had been engaged since 2016 but after Sam fell ill with Covid and nearly died, the couple felt certain they should wed. At their 'small' wedding of just 60 guests, Kirsty made her own signage and stationery for the day, which she estimates would have cost an extra £2,000.

Kirsty said: "Me and my husband had been engaged for over six years. We had a six-month-old little boy and we had just bought our house, so it wasn't a priority to get married.

"Then we had our second son and then covid came along. My husband was a key worker as a gas engineer, he was all over the country, and he got Covid and nearly died from it.

"The full works, paramedics, in hospital on oxygen, the lot. By September 2021, we were like 'shall we just do it now?' We'd had such a horrible year but we had our boys and our house.

"We viewed Tortworth and booked it on the day, it was the only one we viewed. Everything was better than perfect. Bar our boys being born, it was one of the best days of our lives. I didn't stop smiling.

"We'd been together longer than we hadn't been together, it meant so much to us. As soon as we got home, we unloaded the car and sat with the boys opening our cards and eating our incredible wedding cake.

"These are memories I won't forget. It was so worth the money, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat."

Not only did the mum spend £1,674 on her dress but she also made sure the bridal team were covered for £1,849, and even forked out an extra £200 each for the maid of honour, two bridesmaids, and her mum to get their hair and make-up done. On top of this, 'styling' the venue cost £610, the singer Samantha Harvey cost £2,250, their rings cost £3,440 and 'extra bits' including the DJ, veil, and shoes added on a final extra £2,000.

The mum-of-two hopes that by sharing the costs behind her wedding, it will inform other brides of the 'realistic' price tag behind their big day. Kirsty said: "I wanted to put it on to show people how much things actually cost. These weddings that you see on Pinterest, TikTok and Instagram, they aren't cheap.

"It's totally unrealistic. Another stir [thing that stirred the pot] was saying it's about the average cost of a wedding but for that type of wedding with that venue and those flowers, that is the average price.

"I know people spend double, triple, even quadruple what we spent. I've had brides that have spent so much more. There will be so many opinions along the way, if you spend £1,000 or £100,000.

"Don't get yourself into debt for it. If we couldn't afford what we wanted, we wouldn't have had it. It did wind me up when someone said 'your priorities are showing off on social media rather than spending time with the love of your life on your honeymoon'.

"That was our first holiday together alone in eight years and a week is a long time to ask someone else to look after your children. We would have loved a month-long honeymoon and to spend more money on that but it's not realistic. We missed the boys by then too and they had missed us.

"People are quick to presume that we just want to show off, but that isn't the case at all. Our priorities are our children."

Kirsty shared photos from her wedding detailing the costs online with the caption: 'Total wedding breakdown'. Unimpressed social media users shared their thoughts online.

One person wrote: "THAT cake was 400 quid?"

Another commented: "Nearly £900 for invitations is wild."

One wrote: "That’s insane to spend on a wedding."

Another commented "40 grand for a party haha."

Others were more supportive of the budget they had for the wedding. One wrote: "£1,800 for those flowers? That was a BARGAIN! Yes girl [clapping emoji]."

Another commented: "This is the first wedding video that makes me feel less self-conscious of what we spent on our wedding! And 100% worth it in my eyes too! It’s how you want your wedding to be that matters!"

One wrote: "Honestly 40k seems reasonable looking at the venue etc. There are things I would do cheaper (and did at my own wedding) but everyone has different priorities [smiley face]."

Another commented: "Beautiful wedding! I think you did really well budget wise. People saying 'I spent half of that 10 years ago' have no idea what weddings cost now [laughing emoji]."


VENUE HIRE: £15,470

RINGS: £3,440

HONEYMOON:i £3,243




EXTRAS: £2,000 (Veil, shoes, bridal robe, bridesmaid gifts, groomsmen gifts, bride & groom gifts, registrar, DJ)

BRIDAL PARTY OUTFITS: £1,849 (One maid of honour, Two bridesmaids, one flower girl, two page boys, five groomsmen, one best man, the groom)

FLOWERS: £1,800

DRESS: £1,674

HAIR AND MAKE-UP: £1,105 (bride, one maid of honour, two bridesmaids, and mother of the bride)

STATIONERY AND SIGNAGEL - £2,014.50 ( how much she would have charged - invitations £843.50, on-the-day items £581, signage £590)


CAKE: £400

TOTAL = £40,355