From choosing a colour scheme to creating the table plan, organising your big day is exciting but it is also a challenging and stressful time.
Get your financial plans right and you’ll keep your stress levels to a minimum. Get them wrong and your dream wedding could turn into a nightmare – with the fall-out lasting for many years to come.
Here are our 10 top tips for keeping your wedding budget on track:
Decide on your budget and stick to it
Read our article on how to decide on your wedding budget, and agree upfront the absolute maximum you are prepared to spend on your big day, and also where that money is going to come from.
Is it your savings, contributions from parents or what you can afford to spend from your income from now until the wedding? Remember to include the cost of your honeymoon.
Stick to your figures and don’t waiver – even if you fall in love with a wedding dress way above your budget…
Plan with your partner
Make sure you are both involved in the planning process right from the start and if you do make decisions separately, be sure to keep track of them on a spreadsheet. If you’re both spending considerable amounts of money independently it’s a sure fire way to lose track of how much of your budget you’ve allocated.
Work out what you want and what it costs in detail, and make sure that’s well within your budget. Be realistic and don’t be tempted to overspend just because ‘you only do it once’ or through pressure from parents or friends. Build in a 10% contingency so you are certain to come in under budget.
Do your homework
Considering a fixed-price wedding package? Check the details: be sure that it includes exactly what you do want, and avoid paying for stuff you don’t. Are there other options? For example, would it be better cost-wise to choose a Friday rather than a Saturday wedding?
Read our article for incredibly clever ways to save money on your wedding that you won’t have thought of.
Read the small print
We know it’s boring, but when you’re booking suppliers always read the small print to prevent nasty surprises later on. Does that price include or exclude VAT? Is there a service charge on food and drink? A slip-up here could blow a big hole in your budget, so look carefully at all quotes and contracts.
Control your guest list
Expect the reception venue, food and drink to account for 50% of your total spend, so look carefully at that guest list. If you’re paying £75 a head, then an extra four people means an extra £300 out of your pocket. Avoid the temptation to say yes to requests for extra guests from friends and relatives. It’s your day, after all.
Stick to the essentials
Balance what is essential and what is ‘nice to have’. Are table favours crucial to your wedding day style? Do you really need to travel to church by pony and trap? Are daffodils in August such a great idea? Must you have four bridesmaids? Cut back on the ‘nice to have’s wherever possible.
Make, hire or borrow
Enlist the help of creative friends to design your own wedding stationery, cake, or even bridesmaids’ dresses if they’re seriously talented. Yes, it’s extra work, but plan ahead, leave enough time and you’ll save £££s. You might even find you enjoy it!
Friends who are keen photographers might relish the chance to photograph your big day. Also remember you don’t have to buy everything: investigate rental options, maybe even for the bridal gown itself.
READ MORE: 21 wedding ideas you can ask guests to help with