Some people are lucky enough to be able to have their dream wedding, no expense spared! However the majority of people have saved an amount of money for their wedding and cannot exceed it. This is where having a wedding budget comes in.
This is no point starting married life with a heap of debt, just so you can have one day of luxury. Your wedding day is meant to be a happy celebration of your love for, and commitment to, each other. Having sleepless nights worrying about how on earth you are going to pay for it does not lead to happiness.
First things first, have a discussion with your future spouse about how much you can realistically afford to spend on your wedding. Are you paying for everything yourselves, or are family members or friends helping you? Do you have a fixed sum already saved, or are you saving in the months leading up to the wedding?
If you don’t feel you have enough just yet, or won’t have by the time you plan to marry, you have the option to delay the wedding a few months so you can afford all you’d like, or if you do not want to delay you will need to cut back on some things in your wedding budget.
Whichever you decide, don’t leave yourself short. Remember those emergency costs that crop up in everyday life, my point is be sensible about what you spend. Now enough of the lecture!
How do you start a budget? Once you’ve had your discussion with your fiancé about how much you are willing or able to spend on your wedding day, grab a pen and paper, or set up a spreadsheet if you’d rather. Now list everything you can think of that you may need for your wedding. Main items will be:
Other popular items, though not always needed are:
Of course you do not need all of these things and there are plenty of more items that can be added to the list if you wish! Next decide which things are most important to you both, as these are the things you are not likely to want to compromise on. For example, for our wedding, our wedding photography was very important to me, my husband wanted to make sure the food was good, and we both wanted a evening venue with a large dance floor suitable for Ballroom dancing. These were our priorities, and in fact our two biggest outlays were catering and photography.
Once you have decided what your priorities are you can do some research as to how much these cost, or alternatively set a maximum cost that you are willing to pay for them, and find a supplier to fit this figure.
You can continue to set prices for your remaining items, however these may need to be a little flexible. For example if you have set the cost of table decorations within your wedding budget to £100, however you find the ideal table centre pieces will cost you £150, you can either try to find a cheaper alternative, or you will need to reduce the budget amount for another item. So lets say you decide to have a smaller cake which will save you £50. As long as you stay within the TOTAL wedding budget, that’s fine. It is all about compromise, and that is something you will need to get good at in married life, so start now! 🙂
So you have your wedding budget planned, now each time you purchase or book something I recommend that you add it to the running total of outgoings, and to check your plan to make sure that you are on track with staying within the total wedding budget.
It is so easy to get caught up with having extra things here and there, I know I did! My hope was to keep my wedding to £8,000 or less, but we spent way over that! I will write another post on how to make savings in areas of your wedding, some that I did, and others that I have found since our wedding.
Now, time to crunch some numbers…
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