Your parents unexpectedly gift you £5000 towards wedding expenses. You:
a. Allocate it proportionally to each spending category (dress, venue, etc.) but keep your total budget the same.
b. Increase your budget by £5000 – instant upgrade!
c. Deposit the cheque and think about it later; it’s all one pot anyway.
d. Insist the gift is too generous.
You fall hard for a cake that is £300 over budget but beyond perfect. You:
a. Recalculate your other expenses to see where you can trim to make the maths work.
b. Increase your budget – what’s a few hundred in the greater scheme?
c Buy it. You hadn’t allocated a particular amount for cake anyway.
d Walk – no run – away!
What one word would you use to describe your budget?
Which factor guides your wedding purchasing decisions the most?
a My budget
b My mood board
c Luck – when I see the right things, I just know
d Er, I haven’t actually purchased anything yet
On a shopping trip, your friends would say you’re:
a Organised and thorough
b Fun and creative
d Disciplined, borderline Puritan
Mostly As: The Spreadsheet Obsessive
Financially savvy and organised, almost to a fault, you know exactly how much you have to play with for each element of your day – and it’s guaranteed that your budget will be balanced down to the last penny. Possible pitfall: You’re so bottom-line obsessed, you keep forgetting to have fun and are failing to fall in love with anything.
Budget reboot: “Nobody wants a wedding by numbers, except for you, Spreadsheet Obsessive,” warns financial guru Sarah Willingham, founder of LetsSaveSomeMoney.com. “Take time out to embrace the creative and the quirky side of things and to give yourself a chance to dream and be inspired.” Check out the mood boards and DIY ideas on youandyourwedding.co.uk to spark your imagination, and remember that there are loads of projects and touches you can include on the cheap or even for free. The good news is, you’re motivated to get a good deal, so channel that energy into smart negotiating. “See if you can score a discount or some upgrades – politely, of course,” Sarah suggests. “Researching competitors’ prices and going in informed can help. And don’t forget to see what your friends can contribute instead of traditional gifts, especially if you know any bakers, hairdressers, or florists.”
Mostly Bs: The Impulse Buyer
You have embraced wedding planning in all its fairy-lit, flower-adorned glory and are 100% immersed in the beautiful bits you can buy. In the process, your budget is getting regular revisions upwards.
Possible pitfall: You can easily get swept up in the moment and end up talking yourself into one extra expense after another, and you’re on track to spend waaaay more than you originally intended (or can comfortably afford).
Budget reboot: “Spend all the time you like finding inspiration and pulling together great ideas, but remember to try to bring it back to your budget whenever possible,” Sarah says. “While you’re busy creating mood boards, for example, incorporate a budget element by making a note of how much the different options cost so you know what the averages are. And always print out a copy of your budget sheet, so you can easily keep track of how much you’re spending in each area – make it big, make it bold and put it where you can always see it.”
Mostly Cs: The Anti-Budgeter Budget?
What budget? You’re taking each financial decision as it comes, vaguely aware of not spending too much on any one thing. You and your partner still haven’t had ‘the money talk’.
Possible pitfall: You’re assuming your splurges and savings will all even out in the end but, with no formalised plan in place, there’s a serious risk of forgetting something crucial and running out of cash and/or time to sort it.
Budget reboot: “Budgeting doesn’t have to be boring,”Sarah stresses. “A couple of hours devoted to creating a list of everything you need, and how much you can afford to spend on each item, might start sparking ideas for a unifying theme. (When your outdoor venue joins your hog roast on paper, for instance, suddenly a festival-themed wedding could emerge.) To make it fun, set yourself a budget challenge and focus on trying to come in under the target number. Promise yourself a treat with whatever money you have left over – like hang-gliding or a special spa treatment on your honeymoon!”
Mostly Ds: The Guilty Spender
You’re paralysed by fear of spending and are finding it very hard to pull the trigger and actually purchase anything. Whether you’re on a shoestring or have plenty in the bank, committing money makes you feel fearful and guilty.
Possible pitfall: Aside from the stress factor, you’re also unable to get any planning momentum going or to spoil yourself in the slightest.
Budget reboot: “There are some big numbers involved here, and it’s completely natural to feel nervous when committing thousands of pounds to your big day,” Sarah says. What’s more, according to research by Standard Life, 41% of grandparents helped their children with wedding costs but only 21% of parents today admit to doing the same, so current couples are really under a lot of strain financially.
“But if you’ve spent time working out exactly how much you can afford to spend, researched to find the average costs for the types of dresses, flowers and venue that you want and assigned your budget – then lady, it’s time to bite the bullet! You can also cut the guilt factor by DIYing details where you can, from creating your own, bespoke iPod party playlist to making your own lavender or rosemary favours from the garden.”