Stress free wedding planning: your wedding budget
Now I know that the title of this feature might be making you feel distinctly edgy but I’m absolutely not going to lecture you or tell you how to devise or set your wedding budget. Instead, in this post, I’m going to look at all the ways that you can get the very best from your wedding fund so expect lots of tips, tricks and insider secrets.
Without further ado, here’s how to be the boss of your wedding budget…
Whatever your wedding budget, the best place to start is with your priorities. Until you know what’s most important to you, how can you decide where to spend and where to save? And this, of course, comes down entirely to you. If you love great food and drink then finalise these figures first but if you’re opting for a marquee, make sure that you’ve got plenty in reserve to cover everything you’ll need there. Of course, I would say that great wedding photography should be high on your list of wedding must-haves and you can find our pricing details here.
When it comes to gathering quotes, always get at least three from different companies so you can feel confident that you’re in the right area in terms of costs. Don’t simply rely on prices on a website to guide you and always ask for a personal quote from suppliers you’re interested in. If a supplier is going to charge travel, accommodation and also requires food and drink, you’ll be looking at a much higher price than the one you see online and if this happens with lots of suppliers, you’ll be well over budget. Also, make sure that you’re comparing like with like – a caterer’s quote might give a lower per head price than another but if the other already includes service, equipment hire and VAT then all of sudden, it’s much more competitive.
Planning ahead can also help you save and keeping an eye on the wedding blogs for details of sales and special events is a great idea. A sample sale at a bridal boutique could see you pick up a designer gown for a fraction of the original price and a high-street price match event might be brilliant for bridesmaid dresses or even for your honeymoon wardrobe and luggage. Do also sign up for the newsletters of online retailers that you want to purchase from because many will offer discounts to you when you do so.
The budget can easily go flying out of the window in a couple of areas – venue hunting, dress shopping and styling & décor – so let’s take a closer look at these tricky topics. Firstly, if you’re prepared to be a little flexible with your venue, you might be able to book your dream location even if it is a little over budget. Trimming your guest numbers could result in a saving or opting for a midweek date could help as well as could making the most of some late availability if you can bring everything together quickly. Websites such as Coco Wedding Venues give you the option to search for venues with special offers and that can be a great place to start.
Bridal boutiques often include information on the prices of their gowns on their websites so, if one shop only stocks gowns above your budget, don’t go! You just know you’ll fall in love with a gown there and then turn yourself inside out wondering how to get it. Also, ask about alteration costs on your first visit – every gown will need a few adjustments at least and these cost money. Make sure that the TOTAL cost of your gown, including alterations, doesn’t go over your budget.
With so much wedding goodness on Pinterest, in magazines and on the wedding blogs, it’s no wonder that wedding styling and décor can really eat into your wedding fund. Talk to your florist about the most cost effective options and embrace the current trend for foliage because this can really help the budget. One or two really eye-catching statement floral arrangements make much more of an impact that lots and lots of little things and you can also move these from ceremony to reception.
Wedding DIY has become increasing popular of late and whilst being a crafty bride can be great fun, make sure that it’s actually cost effective before you take on projects. Cost everything carefully (including any equipment that you might need as well as the materials themselves) to make sure that you really are saving, especially when you include your time into the equation as well.
My final tip is always to include a contingency in your wedding budget. If your maximum spend is £20,000 for example, set your budget to aim to spend no more than £18,000. This gives you a little wiggle room so a few unexpected costs can be absorbed without stress. Your wedding budget doesn’t need to be a horrible thing and, if you can keep it under control, you can kiss goodbye to worries and enjoy every moment of planning your wedding.
Until next time,