When we hear the word wedding, one of the first words that may spring to our mind is expensive! For lots of couples you may have a rough idea on what you are happy to spend on the day but your not really sure if this is realistic, and others see it as an overwhelming question that will become clearer to you as you start planning. Both can end up making you feel uneasy about the whole thing. So in order to stay on top of it, it is wise to have a plan! So I have a step by step guide to help you plan your wedding budget with ease.
Once you have your budget, it will serve as a brilliant guide throughout planning.
Work out what you are happy to spend
First things first, you both need to work out what you are happy spending on the big day. You may be basing your decision on what you earn, your savings or what others you know have spent on their wedding day, but it is important to remember that your wedding is typically one day of your life. So being happy with the amount you spend is very important, the last thing you want is to regret spending too much and having to live with that!
Most newly engaged couples have no idea what weddings cost, as if you have never planned a big event before, why would you. So do some research on the internet and ask married friends to help give you a rough idea. Keeping in mind that your day is your own and it does not have to fit into 'a typical wedding' category.
Some parents like to contribute to the wedding, if so have a serious chat about the money early on so you know what you have to play with.
If you are saving for your wedding, work out how long it will take you to save this money so it gives you a realistic approach.
How to break down your budget
Thinking you have less than your full budget is a useful good tip as this will cover any surprises that may occur and gives you some leeway.
A common approach on how to look at your budget is to half the total amount. Look at one half for the venue, including food and drink, etc. Most venues will give you the price per head which will put your budget into more light as you will know whether your guest list is affordable.
The remaining half, is for items such as flowers, your dress, a photographer, transport and stationery. My advice is to work out what is most important to you. It maybe the style, it maybe the food, or it maybe finding the best photographer. I realise all of it is important to you but there will be certain aspects that you are less fussy with if the budget won't allow it. You may desperately want your favourite band to play in the evening so everyone has a fantastic time, but this may mean you spend less on your dress to do so. You get the idea!
Make a list of all the things in the order of how important they are to you both.
When working on your budget, just like anything else in life, gathering quotes from different suppliers is a must. Remember to check for VAT and delivery costs and don't be afraid to chase down a good deal too.
If your super organised it may be tempting to book all your suppliers early which is fine, but remember you will not receive a refund if you decide to cancel with them if you change your mind. So be 100% when deciding to book.
How to stay on budget
It is so easy to lose sight of your budget once you get knee deep into wedding planning, and you have money going out all the time, so keep referring back to it as a useful reminder.
Create a spreadsheet which can help you keep on track what money has been paid like deposits as you go.
By keeping track, you can quickly and clearly see if you are spending more than you originally planned on things, if so avoid burying your head in the sand as it will only get worse, you can adjust things as you go before it gets too far in for you to change the outcome!
I have created a handy 'Wedding Budget Checklist' that you can download for free to print out and fill in as desired. All you need to do is Subscribe to the email newsletter to receive your freebie, which can be found on the bottom of the homepage.