How to work out your Wedding budget
In my blog post where to start with your wedding planning I discussed the 1st 2 things you needed to do to kick start your wedding planning which was a) deciding on a preferred wedding date and b) looking at wedding venues, together with the different things to bear in mind. So hopefully that will have helped all you lovely Brides & Grooms to be on your way, but you may be wondering where to go from here, so here’s my next piece of advice on what to do next in planning your Wedding day.
The most important thing to do is to firstly work out how much money you have to spend as wedding costs can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t have a budget to stick to. So just how to work out your wedding budget? Well you can have an overall budget for the wedding and then to make it easier you can break it down into chunks for each thing, so for example a specific budget for your wedding dress, wedding venue etc. Setting a budget is essential to act as a guideline for all your spending and keeps you in control, particularly if you haven’t got a lot of money to spend. Even if money is no object and you have lots of it to spend (you lucky things!) then it’s still recommended. You may find you end up going slightly over budget, or even come in under budget, but it doesn’t matter as long as you come out as close to your set budget as possible, it’s purely there as a guideline amount. Do also bear in mind to be realistic when setting your budget. There’s no use in setting a budget for say £20,000 if you can’t actually afford this amount, your budget should be what you can comfortably afford. A couple of really good tips would be to firstly set up a savings account specifically for your wedding funds. This will help you keep track of your finances as they’ll all be in one place. You should also set up a simple spreadsheet to record all your costs so that you can see exactly what you’re spending and where any possible savings can be made, helping you to stay within your budget. Don’t forget to keep your spreadsheet up to date and you’ll soon find it’s a godsend!
Another good tip is to prioritise your spending. And by this I mean that you need to work out what is most important to you on your wedding day and therefore where the money should be spent. Everyone is different and what’s important to one couple may not be as important to another, so make sure to discuss it between you and know what you really want. Some people for example will want to focus on a big fancy venue, others will see the wedding entertainment or food and drink as a priority. So do whatever is right for you.
Following on from this, my personal opinion is that it isn’t worth getting into debt over your wedding as it’s hardly a good start to marriage having to worry about repaying loans etc, it’s just not worth it. Instead, my advice would be to save up for your wedding, work out how much money you can comfortably afford to put away on a monthly basis and then set yourselves a timescale of how long it would take you to save enough money to afford the wedding you want. This is by far the best way of doing it. For example, for my own wedding, we worked out we could save £500 per month between us and if we could do this over 2 years then we’d have £12,000, so that’s exactly what we did! We only spent £10,000 though which included the wedding AND the luxury honeymoon and we had everything we wanted, so it can definitely be done on a modest budget like we had with some clever planning, but more on that in later posts.
So, now you know how to work out your wedding budget and you are able between you to agree on an overall figure, what next? Well, once you have your budget in mind you can then decide on the wedding venue(s) and get them booked! Read more about this in my previous blog post where to start with your wedding planning. The quicker you can do this the better, particularly if you have a popular wedding date in mind (Valentines day for example) or if it’s over the summer months with it being the most popular time of the year for weddings. Do have an alternative date in mind just incase the venue you want is already booked on your preferred date, but the earlier you can book the venue the better, do it at least 12 months before the wedding, I think we booked ours 14 months before, but some very popular venues may be booked up to 2 years or more in advance you will find! So get in there quick!
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