When I got engaged two years ago, I knew I had quite the task ahead of me planning our dream wedding. While I’m really excited about it and loving every minute of being in this ‘bride bubble’, one of the main struggles I face is making sure I don’t go overboard with unnecessary spending. I’m sure all brides to be know the struggle…
It can be so easy to get caught up with what we see on wedding blogs and Pinterest and wanting it all. From multiple dresses on the wedding day, to donut walls and lavish décor – is there really any need for all of this? If you want it and can afford it, go for it, but if you can’t afford don’t feel like you need every single piece of wedding paraphernalia to have a beautiful day. For me, the key to sticking to my budget, as well as enjoying the planning is to make sure I’m doing this for me and only me (and my fiancé too, of course).
First things first, sit down with your partner and decide what is most important. We love a good party, so we wanted a venue that catered for our numbers, had a sterling reputation and had a stunning setting. We also wanted to make sure that we had a great band who will keep our guests dancing throughout the night. Most importantly, I made sure I secured my favourite makeup artist and photographer.
We also spoke to friends who had recently got married and asked them for their opinion on what was important. Things like favours and decor were often mentioned as something you could ‘DIY’ to cut costs.
Next up, setting up that all important wedding budget spreadsheet. Listing every necessary expense (alpacas are necessary – yes?) helps me divide the various expenses into categories like Pre-Wedding, Ceremony and Venue. It gives me a clear understanding of where the money is going.
After our (my) list was completed, we added in what we were willing to spend, or the average price we would be expected to pay on each category. A few expenses did have to be revisited, or completely cut (goodbye hot air balloon!) until the total cost was a bit more desirable and to our budget.
You can see from the screenshot below how I laid out the budget. As I start to finalise prices, I update the budget to see our over/under spend, as well as keeping track of deposits paid.
4. Savings Plan
When we got a good indication of how much we would be spending for the whole wedding, I put a savings plan in place. Having recently bought a house, my fiancé and I know how important regular saving is. We looked at how much we could afford to save each month and then set up a Direct Debit for this amount to be transferred into our savings account. To ensure we stayed on track, we also set up a simple ‘Savings Plan’ which listed our expected savings per month which showed us how much we should have by our wedding day. I check on this account every now and again just to make sure my other half hasn’t been dipping into our savings on the sly!
We decided to take out a small loan for our wedding too as not all of our savings would cover costs. We know we can easily pay this back and we don’t want to cripple ourselves with saving every last penny in the months coming up to our wedding. There’s too much celebrating to be done!
Budgeting for a wedding can be a bit of a balancing act but with a solid budget in place, along with a savings account you can view online, you can easily see where you are heading with the overall cost, and reign things in where needed.