How do I keep my wedding costs from spiralling?
Most couples preparing to tie the knot don’t have access to an unlimited pot of cash. Even if you’ve saved for five years or your parents are contributing, you will probably still need to budget carefully.
The cost of a wedding has risen rapidly over the past decade, with venues and entertainment becoming more and more lavish. Expectations are now much higher and many couples feel pressured into organising a day they can’t really afford.
Every wedding is unique and should reflect the personalities of the couple getting married, not what their guests expect. Nobody wants to begin married life in debt so it’s important to set – and stick to – your limits.
One of the risks of paying for wedding expenses on a day-by-day basis is that these costs can add up significantly. Setting a wedding budget will help you keep an eye on the overall picture and ensure you don’t overstretch yourselves.
The average wedding and honeymoon now costs around £18,000. But this doesn’t mean you can’t stage your dream wedding for less.
Most couples will have an idea of what they want when they become engaged. Further down the line, a juggling act is required and some of your details will need to be binned at the expense of others.
Couples need to decide what is most important to them on the day. If a church full of flowers is something they just can’t let go of, then the string quartet might need to be replaced by the church choir. Similarly, you might decide to hire your dream wedding dress rather than buy it to save money.
Couples change their mind frequently over what they want and how much they want to pay for it. A wedding budget allows you to record the changes and understand the overall impact on your finances.
One of the best moments of organising a wedding budget is when a supplier’s price is less than expected. This gives you the option of investing a few more pennies into something you originally cut down on.
Be flexible. There are lots of ways of getting what you want cheaper. If you’ve set your heart on a country mansion for a venue but can’t afford a three course sit-down meal, why not consider afternoon tea instead? Similarly, if your venue offers a discount for off-peak weddings, get married on a Sunday.
Most wedding venues understand couples have different budgets for their big day and offer a range of packages to suit. This allows you to host your ceremony at your dream venue by manipulating the costs of the extras such as food and wine.
You can also increase affordability by reducing the number of day guests you invite and extending your evening guest party.
There are a number of free online tools designed to help you budget for your big day. Drawing up a budget is one duty that shouldn’t be delayed. It’s easy for costs to get forgotten in the excitement of a wedding so planning early is the best way of reducing stress, arguments and debt.