Wedding Planning Advice: The Budget

10 tips to help you set and stick to your wedding budget

Budget, the dreaded word! But every wedding needs one. How else are you going to know if you can afford Bruno Mars to sing your first dance song (you probably can’t) or Dave Benson Phillips (remember him) as your DJ (you probably can). So before those eternal questions are answered you need to set your budget.

Setting a budget is difficult because all weddings are different, but you do need to have some idea of how much you should spend on each supplier so you don’t end up with debt you’re paying off until your 25th wedding anniversary! There are example wedding budget breakdowns out there but sometimes they don’t really line up with real life and can underestimate the cost of quality supplier so do take them with a pinch of salt.

We’ve got some handy hints below to help you set your budget and manage it along the way.

1.      How much do you have and how much are you willing to spend? That total amount is what you’re trying to stay under. However, always allow an additional 5% on top as your contingency should you go over budget e.g. with a £25,000 budget keep a separate £250 that you can dip into if you need it.

2.       How many people do you actually want there? This number is one of the biggest factors as it will influence your venue and catering costs. £25,000 can stretch a lot further with 60 guests than 150 so don’t go overboard on the invites if you want to use your budget wisely.

3.       Once you know your total budget and number of guests you can start researching venues to get an idea of the likely cost of the venue. Do your research first so you know if it is a fair price for the location, size and style you want.

4.       The venue and catering are normally the biggest chunk of your budget and could take up to half of your total budget which sounds a lot but is totally normal. Try to avoid going over two thirds of your budget though as you’ll be left with very little to pay for everything else.

5.       By the time you’ve booked your venue and catering you often find yourself in a  ‘what’s left?’ scenario, so now’s the time to earmark any specific priorities you have e.g. if music is the most important thing then ringfence a decent portion of your budget so you know you’ve got enough and pick slightly cheaper suppliers for other parts of the day.

6.       As always, do your research on each industry to check that what you’re being charged is the norm. It will still vary depending on supplier quality, ability and location but always try to get three quotes from similar suppliers. This ensures you know the price is fair and may also give you some leverage to negotiate. Try to research and get estimates for some key elements (photographer, videographer, florist, wedding dress and bridesmaids) before you book anyone so you know either you can afford everything or pinpoint the areas that are lower priority where you need to make savings.

7.       Don’t forget styling. It doesn’t appear out of thin air and can really make your wedding stand out so it’s worth holding some of your budget back for this.

8.       Try not to worry about money. If you can’t afford something think about how much you really want it and whether you can compromise elsewhere. If you can’t, is it really worth breaking the budget for? Would it really affect your day if you didn’t have it?

9.       Keep a log of everything you’ve paid for and what you still need to pay and try to have a separate wedding bank account so it doesn’t get mixed up with the money you spend on a daily basis. Keeping your budget logged and separate makes it much easier to track.

10.   Pay everyone before you jet off on your honeymoon, not only have all the suppliers worked hard to give you a great day but you also don’t want to come back to an inbox full of wedmin!

Wedding Planning Advice: Stress-free Planning

Stress buster wedding tips to control your inner Bridezilla

Wedding planning might seem like fun when you’re tasting cakes but  most  people find it stressful and overwhelming. It can be a hard slog if you’ve never put together an event before, and why would you if you don’t work in the events industry. If you want to be more of a Bridechilla than a Bridezilla we’ve got four handy tips that will see you through the planning process.

1.       Break up your jobs into manageable chunks. Most couples allow at least a year for planning and yes, your to do list may look long, but if you break it up into the jobs you need to do per month you’ll find the whole thing a little easier to manage.

2.       Set out your priorities. Work out what’s important to you and make that your priority. I know it might seem like everything has an equal weight but it’s your wedding so you get to choose what to focus on.

3.       Do your research. Spend some time looking into suppliers and styles you like to narrow down what you want before you start the booking process. This will help give you a clear vision and avoid the stress of wondering if everything works together later down the line.

4.       Be realistic. Unfortunately planning a wedding is a lesson in compromise, a good way to start a marriage some might say. The compromise that normally takes place is between the vision in your head and the money in your purse. Be practical, think about what you and your guests actually need on the day and then decide on the things that are nice to have. You may think your wedding won’t be the same without them but your guests are more likely to remember going hungry over a perfectly decorated room.