Now we’re not here to tell you how much you should spend but we know that overspending is super stressful. Setting your wedding budget is one thing but sticking to it is quite another. How do you stay on budget? How do you avoid temptation and what can you do to make sure you’ve always got some cash in reserve? Read on to find out how to be a wedding planning genius and nail your wedding budget.
Image courtesy of Cat Lane Photography
Creating your wedding budget
One of the biggest issues with your wedding budget can be that when you create it, you’re not totally sure what you should include. So, when you’re starting your planning, before you go too far, do your research. You’ll find lots of information online about wedding budgets so make some notes. Also look for the costs that people often forget because these will be the things that catch you out. Stamps, food for suppliers, gifts for the wedding party, hair and makeup trials and even delivery costs all need to be included.
Image courtesy of Simon Brettell Photography
When you’re deciding how much to spend on your big day, be realistic. You know how much you can afford and you know what you might be willing to cut back on. No-one else can decide this for you so be honest with yourself and don’t agree to anything that will put you under pressure.
Next, it’s time to start allocating your cash. Decide on your priorities and allow yourself to spend more here. Leave the things that you’re not so fussed about until later and look at all the extras when you know you can afford them.
To help you avoid over-spending, our top tip would be to never plan to spend all of your cash. Leave at least 10% unallocated so that you’ve got money for those easily forgotten things. This means that any unexpected bills won’t cause you problems.
Sticking to your wedding budget
Once you’ve put your wedding budget together, it’s time to get planning and remember that your wedding budget is ‘live’ throughout the planning process. Make sure that you update actual spends as you book suppliers and buy things for your wedding. This will help you see immediately if you’re starting to overspend so that you can re-allocate cash or cut down elsewhere.
You also need to be really honest with suppliers. If you’ve budgeted £1500 for photography, you really can’t book a photographer who charges £2500 without making big cuts elsewhere. Similarly, with suppliers such as florists and cake makers, tell them exactly how much you can afford to spend. This will help them create a plan that works with your budget and ideas.
Image courtesy of Cristina Rossi Photography
One thing that really encourages overspending is Pinterest! It’s so easy to pin lots of gorgeous images and then feel that you have to copy them. The costs for all the details, even for things you’re making yourself, will all add up so avoid those long browsing sessions. Think about what’s important to you and how much of an impact these will make on your day. In our opinion, it’s not worth cutting back on evening food so that you can provide wedding favours. Before you get carried away with the details, make sure that you’ve got the big things covered and that you’re clear exactly how much you have in your budget for these extras.
7 top tips to help you stay on budget
We want you to really enjoy everything about your wedding AND avoid any wedding budget stress. Here are our top tips if you want to stay on budget:
1. Make sure that you have a really easy way of tracking how much you’re spending. Whether you use an app, a spreadsheet or a gorgeous notebook, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you track EVERYTHING!
2. There’s no doubt about it – guests costs money! To make big savings, trim your guest lists. To make smaller savings, think about ditching the wedding favours. You’ll save £250 if you cut out £2.50 favours for 100 guests.
3. Try not to be too specific with the variety of flowers that you want. Certain varieties are always expensive whereas if you give your florist leeway to choose what will work best with your theme, you’ll either be able to cut down on your spend or get more for your money.
4. Be clever and let things ‘double up’. Place cards can double as menus or favours or create a table plan that’s also part of your décor. What’s not to love about a two-for-one deal?
Image courtesy of Paul Willetts Photography
5. If guests cost money, so do bridesmaids and groomsmen. It’s really easy to ask lots of people to be part of your wedding party and you’ll then find yourself with big bills, even if you’re just buying a part of their outfit. Again, work out how much you have to spend and use this information to work out how many attendants you can have.
Image courtesy of Benni Carol Photography
6. Read all contracts and quotes really carefully before you sign anything. You might find some unexpected costs hidden in a contract that you didn’t know about that pushes a supplier over budget. Look for travel and accommodation costs and requests for food and drink for example.
7. Cut down on your wedding stationery. Including invitations, RSVP cards and envelopes, information sheets, maps and more not only cost more to print, they also cost more to post. Go for a single sheet invitation that includes your wedding website details if you want to reduce costs.
To plan your wedding like a professional, take a look at these answers to the most common wedding planning questions.