You may or may not have noticed, but there’s been quite a ruffle in the wedding world since that BBC article did the rounds last week. You know, the one about the costs involved in masterminding a wedding and how to therefore plan a wedding on a budget.
Now, despite my own thoughts and feelings on this subject (as a newlywed, my own wedding costs are still fresh to mind) this feature isn’t going to be a controversial retort to the article in question; instead it’s quite simply a step-by-step guide to help you get started on tackling the budget topic and deciding on a budget that’s right for you, as a couple.
Budgets are a personal subject and something that should be considered with care, attention and honesty. So whether you’re a DIY Bride on a £5,000 budget or a Bride wanting the full fairytale works with a generous £50,000 budget, this post will help you think about what details are important to you and how to start to plan out your Wedding Day costs.
In the grand scheme of your wedding preparations this might not seem like the most exciting of topics but it is an absolutely essential element. Without a proper budget you could end up running out of funds before you’ve booked all of the suppliers that you need.
All too often couples shy away from sitting down and budgeting because they find it stressful or, they’re not sure where to start, but once you know how to do it, it can be easy and then, even exciting to decide where your money goes.
So, to help you out, here’s a step-by-step guide on budgeting for your Big Day…
Make a spreadsheet
Personally I LOVE a good spreadsheet! However I know my enthusiasm definitely isn’t shared by all!
If the thought of opening up Excel fills you with dread then don’t put it off! It’s the quickest and easiest way to keep all of your information together in an easy-to-scan format, as well as calculating your budget as you go.
Who’s paying for the wedding?
The next step is to establish exactly who’s paying for your wedding.
If your parents and/or relatives are contributing, now is the time to find out so that you can include it in the budget.
Before you accept any money make sure you have an open and honest chat about what is expected of you. While some parents are happy to consider the money as a gift, others might think of it as a stake in your Big Day and may have some requests of their own. It is essential at this stage to make sure that everyone is on the same page from day one to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
Work out how much you can save
Whether you have a date in mind or you’re waiting to see how long it will take you to save, you need to know how much you can put aside every month without compromising your quality of life.
Write down how much you both earn every month and then make a note of all your bills, regular payments and any extras. Then see how much is left over and add in any parental contributions.
Once you have that all important figure have a look at your outgoings and decide where you can reasonably cut back without having to live off baked beans until the wedding!
Set a date
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to set a rough date for your wedding. If you need to then you can base this on how much you’d like to spend vs. how much you can reasonably save.
Another factor to consider is the season in which you’d like to get married. It’s worth knowing that some suppliers give discounts on weddings outside of peak season (early autumn to spring), so if you don’t have your heart set on a summer wedding, a beautiful autumnal celebration or a wonderful winter wedding could be the right choice for you.
Allocate your budget
This is one of the hardest parts of budgeting for your wedding because many couples who are getting married for the first time don’t know how much things cost. This is when a Partial Wedding Planning Service could come in handy as a wedding planner will know exactly what you can get for your money.
This will mean sitting down as a couple and making some tough calls – what aspects of your wedding are most important…? The food, the location, the venue, the music, the décor, the details…? What’s essential and what’s nice to have…?
This may involve some compromise, but once you have your priorities in order, allocating your budget will be that little bit easier.
Before you book suppliers, sign contracts or buy anything at all, make sure you get at least a couple of quotes from each type of supplier (and check whether or not they’ve included VAT in the quote, or if there are any hidden extras that can drastically alter the price).
That way you can see if the day you’ve planned is within reach, or if your numbers are off and you need to rethink.
Give yourself a contingency
Adding a contingency fund to your budget will ensure that if your wedding costs more than you thought it would, that you have sufficient funds to cover this.
Now is the time to double check your budget…
Have you forgotten the essentials…? Are there any extra elements, suppliers etc. you’ve excluded that you think you’ll worry about later down the line…? Have you underestimated how much the suppliers you really want might cost…?
Things can, and do, add up! So make sure that you’re not left short by double checking all of your figures.
You’ve chosen your suppliers, you’ve checked your budget – now it’s time to put down some deposits and spend!
Budgeting for your wedding can be a difficult process, but it can also be really positive and exciting as it’s the first step to making your Big Day happen!
If you’re struggling to put together a budget, or need help with anything else, then please do have a look at my wedding planning services.
Until next time…