You are engaged! Congratulations, what great news! Now all the planning can begin...
Think of all the fun you will have finding that dream wedding venue, booking the Church or the Civil Ceremony, buying all the wedding magazines you can lay your hands on that will help inspire your big day. Imagine all those wonderful looking wedding invitations, the beautiful flowers, the fabulous dress and the perfect shoes to match.
However, have you thought of the cost for all this...Do you have the budget for your dream wedding?
Planning the dream wedding can spiral out of control and before you know it you have a wedding that could set you back over £25,000. Therefore it is so important that you sit down and work out what you can afford. If you are lucky enough to have family offering to help with the cost of the day, it is important that you know how much they are looking at giving you.
If you are not so lucky and haven't saved or don't have family that are in a position to help you pay for the wedding, have you considered getting a loan? I think everyone would agree that if you can avoid borrowing you should. A huge amount of marital problems and break ups are over financial hardship. Do you really want to start married life owing thousands to the bank that could take you up to 10 years to pay back, all for one day? Unlike property or a financial investment, your special day will only give you a return of memories (all be it fabulous ones!). Weddings are expensive so if you do need to take out a loan to cover your costs, you might want to make sure that you won’t still be paying it off in 5 years’ time. Ultimately, wherever your cash is coming from to pay for the day, work out your budget before you do anything else and whatever you do, stick to it!
Write a “must have” list. A list of all the things that you definitely need to spend money on, for instance the church, the venue, the rings, insurance, the registry fees, (remember the venue can take around a third or even up to half of your budget). Write another list, alongside the “must haves” of additional things you want that are important to you both. You may both have your hearts set on a string quartet or feel you must have an oversized chocolate fountain and a professional wedding photographer followed by a two week African Safari Honeymoon.
Just because it’s the “in” thing, doesn’t mean there aren’t better options out there for you. Some years ago, it was fashionable to get married in a marquee on a field, nowadays converted barns are all the rage. These options often come with venue hire fees followed by higher costs from a separate outside caterer and other hidden extras that you and your guests might not be expecting. A barn which may be miles away from a town with hotels could mean that all of your guests have to pay for an expensive taxi journey to and from the venue on top of the cost of their hotel which can put some people off given the current economic climate. Why not consider holding your wedding in a fully serviced hotel instead? Many hotels will waver the venue hire fee if you’re spending with them for food and drink already and add value by offering your guests a discounted rate to stay which also means that they could stay up celebrating with you until the early hours (if you haven’t collapsed exhausted in your honeymoon room already by then)! Hotels are a great way to still have that luxury experience for your wedding day, dealing with one person to organise your venue, food, drink, service, accommodation and all without breaking the bank. You can even cut out the cost of the church and get married in the hotel holding your entire day under the same roof!
Following some of these tips will help you see how far your budget will stretch, it also shows you where you may need to make compromises. Perhaps that live band could be a disco instead? Alter your wedding to match your budget, don't increase your spending amount.
We’ve also seen a great suggestion to help you increase your wedding budget by cutting out something you buy every day that you could do without. An example if you cut out spending £2 each day at the work vending machine on a soft drink and snack you could potentially save £520 over the year.
Now you know what you want and what you can afford, the fun can begin! Time to get to some venues and some wedding fayres!
With thanks to Doug Harman, Sally 4 Cakes and Lipstick, Powder & Lace for their images.