Talking about money is never fun but one of the first and most important – steps in the wedding planning is creating a wedding budget.
Sorry to say this is the least exciting part of planning a wedding but it is a very necessary step!
Your wedding will likely be the biggest (we are forgetting pandemics at the moment!) and most expensive party you’ll ever host. Whether you are spending £10,000 or £100,000 determining a budget (and sticking to it!) will help control costs in a world where they can very quickly spiral out of control.
So here are my ten top tips of how to create a wedding budget that will help you say “I do” in a way you can afford!
1. Don’t start spending yet…you haven’t even worked out your Wedding Budget!!!
While it may be tempting to start booking suppliers and buying decorations the minute you get engaged, my best advice is to STOP! Avoid spending any money until you have really thought what you want and worked out a budget. You budget will dictate what you can realistically afford to spend on all elements of your wedding. Shopping will be tempting but if it doesn’t fit into your budget you will be begin your wedding planning journey in the red and that really isn’t’ where you want to start.
2. Consider what type of wedding really want
Have you always dreamed of a fun festival tipi wedding in a field or a chic and swanky luxurious wedding in a stately home? Or are you more the rustic in a barn with a BBQ and games? Are you adamant about a Saturday wedding or are you open to a Friday or a Sunday or even a weekday? Is it an evening celebration or does a brunch wedding sound like more fun or perhaps a three day celebration? Do you want to get married in a super popular month like June or September, or have you always longed for a winter wedding.
Your wedding style, venue, time of day, and even the time of year all come with their own price tag and are factors you should consider when figuring how much your dream wedding is going to cost you.
3. Research to plan for your Wedding Budget
The average cost of a wedding in the UK is just over £30,000. Bear in mind this number is an average and can vary widely based on location, guest numbers, style and many other factors. You don’t have to spend this but bear in mind the weddings do cost money.
So that you don’t fall over in shock when talking to potential suppliers I suggest you do some homework first and research what average costs in your area for photographers, florists, venues etc. Obviously these will vary but it will give you a starting point. If you can ask your friends and family on what they might have spent on various suppliers. Being informed about prices within wedding planning will allow you to have realistic expectations.
4. Determine who will be contributing to the Wedding Budget.
Are you and your fiancé paying for your wedding independently or are your families helping you? You need to work out who will be paying. It is time to have those slightly difficult and awkward conversations, but they are so important as it will impact your wedding planning and the bottom line.
I suggest you approach your families individually and have an open and honest conversation asking if they intend to contribute. They may be willing to contribute a lump sum or an amount specific for a particular element of the wedding such as the photographer, or the transport, catering or venue.
Traditionally one family was responsible for most of the wedding expenses but these days both families often join forces as well as the couple to help pay for the wedding and contribute to the wedding budget.
5. What are your non-negotiables?
So this is the moment to do some deep wedding day soul searching! What really is the MOST important factor for you for your wedding. The you is both as individuals and also as a couple.
Is it your dress? Do you have a certain designer you have always dreamed of wearing? Is there a venue you have driven past every week eagerly longing to be able to drive up to for your wedding? Have you always imagined dancing to a funky live band all night long? Is it the flowers…do you want an abundance of flowers throughout?
Whatever they are, these are you non-negotiables and will become your priority costs and you should allocate more money towards them.
Next determine what would be nice to have but you day wont be ruined if you can not fit them into the budget. You will need to allocate some money towards these but not all!
Lastly what thing don’t matter all at? Are menus a waste of time? Do you need to give favours? Do want to serve champagne and cocktails or just stick with one during the drink’s reception? This is where you can allocate very little money for these expenses.
6. Consider your guest list.
So even if Maths isn’t your strong point this one is simple….a wedding with 200 people on the guest list will cost a lot more than a wedding with 50 people on the list. The more people invited will mean a larger venue or marquee, more furniture, more food, more alcohol, more cake, move invitations etc etc… the list goes on. There are benefits of having a smaller wedding and spending less money is just one of them.
Follow this link for helpful advice on small weddings. https://honourandpop.co.uk/micro-weddings-8-considerations-to-help-you-you-decide-if-a-mirco-wedding-is-for-you/
7. Wedding Budget Number Crunching Time
It’s time to put it all together now that you have been through the steps above. What amount of money do you feel comfortable spending? Does you dream wedding and proposed guest list realistically align within your budget? If not, make some adjustments or concessions. Repeat this process until you reach a wedding budget and spending plan both you and your fiancé (as well as your families, if they are contributing) feel good about.
8. Discuss how you will be paying.
So you have a budget…but where exactly is the actual money coming from? Will you be using your savings? Have you got future income can you set aside? Will you be using use credit cards and if so have you thought how these will be repaid.
A wedding – while a once-in-a-lifetime event that deserves to be celebrated – is not worth going into debt. This is really important! While it may be tempting to rack up the credit card or even take out a loan to pay for the big day, I really urge you to think beyond the wedding. You do not want to start your marriage off drowning in debt.
9. Will it be a spreadsheet or an app to keep track of your Wedding Budget?
Whether it’s with a budget tracking app, Google docs, or a good old fashioned Excel spreadsheet, you need a system to track your spending. To begin, enter in all the anticipated wedding expenses and their estimated costs. Don’t forget to account for shipping and deliver costs! In the another column, note the actual final total, and adjust the remaining balance of your budget if need be. Save receipts and record each and every penny you spend to know exactly where your money is going.
Many couples open a separate account the is used only for wedding expensese. This allows for a clear and concise record of what is coming and going out without any mix up with your household and everyday spending.
10. Remember the hidden costs so often forgotten in the Wedding Budget.
There are several hidden costs that will creep up in your planning that you may not have factored in….corkage fees, cake cutting fees, marriage license fees, extra postage for an overweight wedding invitation, last minute purchases the week of the wedding, etc. etc. etc. Create some cushioning in your wedding budget to cover these last minute and easily forgotten expenses. Individually these costs are relatively inexpensive but collectively, they can very quickly add up and put you over your budget if you do not plan for them in advance.
So there you are. I hope this blog is helpful but if you would like any guidance please do contact me via my website contact form – https://honourandpop.co.uk/contact/ or follow me on my instagram account for inspiration and help https://www.instagram.com/honour_and_pop/