Planning your wedding budget
There’s a point shortly after the excitement of an engagement, when the girls are considering wedding venues and dresses, and the guys are thinking “how much is all this going to cost?”, that means it’s the right time to sit down and start planning your wedding budget.
No one really enjoys talking about finances, but you can’t start organising anything before you know your spending limits, else you’re just asking for problems. With reports in the press suggesting many couples are starting their married life in debt, simply because of their wedding day and honeymoon, this is certainly not the ideal situation for anyone. So before you’ve started trying on dresses, discussing stag weekends and looking for a horse and carriage, you need to decide who is paying for what and which services you can afford.
Based on articles in the press, the average costs of a wedding in the UK is now between £15,000 and £20,000. That is the average that people have chosen to spend, however, this does not mean you need to base your wedding budget on those figures. You first of all need to discuss what it is you actually both want, rather than what other people have done. Some of the most romantic weddings can be small and intimate, therefore keeping costs down.
A few tips for planning your wedding budget
Creating a successful wedding budget needn’t be hard work, as long as you’re both honest about what you want, and well-organised from the start. There are several elements of a wedding that you’ll need to consider, just take a look at the long list of categories in our Essex wedding directory, there’s a lot to consider.
The first step to planning your budget is to open a spreadsheet, and make a list of the services you’re going to hire and the things you want to buy. Start with the more obvious, rings, dresses, suit hire, venue hire, etc. Then add in the things that stem from those, bridesmaids dresses, ushers suits, catering, entertainment, flowers and decorations. Now you can see your list taking shape, you’ll be considering photographers, videographers, transport, accommodation, gifts for the wedding party. Just when you think you’ve added all aspects, you’ll suddenly realise you want a honeymoon too, possibly the most expensive cost of your wedding plans depending on what you had in mind.
Once you feel like the list is completed, then you should go and enter all your estimated costs beside each aspect, if your friends have already been married then ask them what they paid for certain services, it’ll give you a good base on the figures rather than just guessing.
After you’ve compiled your figures, our best tip for your wedding budget is to add 10% at the bottom straight away, that little bit of a contingency is always a good idea to allow for some inevitable little hidden extra costs that you’ve forgotten about until the last minute.
This plan will give you a rough idea of the saving you need to achieve if you are going to organise your perfect wedding day, remember, you will both need to compromise at some point unless funds are unlimited !
We suggest you create a dedicated bank account for your wedding savings, and agree how much each of you are able to pay into the account each month.
If you’re comfortable asking your parents if they would like to contribute to your wedding funds, then now is the time to have that conversation.
Be savvy with your costs
As with any financial decision, you need to do your homework and shop around. Read our article on how to get a discount from your wedding venue, it’ll give you a few ideas on how to negotiate money off wedding venues in Essex.
Speak with a few different wedding photographers, DJs, caterers, florists and other suppliers; however don’t just base your plans on their costs alone, a cheap mobile disco may spoil your wedding reception by playing awful music that you weren’t expecting.
Sit down with your suppliers and ask them clearly what they can do for your wedding and how much they are charging. Services like photographers may well have several packages and offers available, but tell them what you want rather than allow them to sell you something you didn’t really plan for, don’t be afraid to ask for a bespoke deal.
Ask for all quotations in writing, check whether or not any VAT will be added and go straight back to your spreadsheet to add actual costs as soon as you know them.
Wedding planning is great fun if you know what you’re spending and save for it, being in debt leaves you with an awful feeling and is certainly not a good way to start your marriage, so set you wedding budget and stick to it.