How much have you got to spend?
As soon as you decide that you are getting married, then it’s time to start thinking about your wedding budget. How much can you afford to spend? What would you ideally like to spend? What areas of your wedding day are the most important and, therefore, need a bigger chunk of the budget? What can your scrimp on – or even get for free?
Ideally, you want to begin your married life free from large debts, so taking out a loan to cover your wedding isn’t the best idea. Work out how much you can afford and only take out a wedding loan if you can pay it back interest-free and can cover the repayments.
Organization is key to planning a wedding and sticking to an agreed budget. At the beginning of creating your budget, you should speak directly with both set of parents, or anyone else who may be contributing to the wedding about expectations and responsibilities. This can be an awkward topic, so be sensitive of others’ financial situations – especially in these difficult economic times. Some couples like to break down their budget into percentages. As a general guide, couples tend to spend 40% – 48% on their wedding reception and assign smaller percentages to all of the other categories. This is where you can decide on where you would like to put emphasis – you may want to put more on the reception and less on transportation and favors. There’s no right or wrong, it really is a matter of personal preference.
One thing worth spending time on is to do some brainstorming with family members, friends and your fiancée to create money saving strategies. Maybe you’ll discover someone has a talent you never knew – finding someone with artistic floristry skills could save you thousands! Don’t forget about your resources…do you have a possible free venue available to you? Can you round up a group of people one night to help make up the favors?
Choosing any day other than Saturday can save hundreds of pounds, even thousands in some cases for bigger and more popular venues. Keep an open mind at all times. Perhaps you always thought Saturday was such a great day to get married – but if you can save £4000 on a Friday evening ceremony and give all your friends an amazing after-works party, then everyone wins! There are so many cheaper alternatives around – from DIY wedding invitations to cut-price vases for your centrepieces (once they are covered with gorgeous flowers, nobody can see the vases anyway!). Check out alternate ideas for dresses, invitations, food, etc.
Most of all, you have to be willing to do some research online if you want to save lots. From DIY wedding invitations through to make-your-own favour boxes, there are savings to be had everywhere!