Six: Prioritise The Rest Of Your Budget
The remaining half of your budget is for everything else, including outfits for you and your wedding party, the wedding rings, stationery, flowers and décor. Heres how to do it:
- Draw up a list of non-negotiables with your partner. Wed highly recommend a good photographer be top of this list. What about an open bar? Fancy invitations? A firework display? Photo booth? Live music for the evening reception? It can be anything from a Rolls Royce to drive you to the ceremony to only having a summer Saturday wedding. If you cant imagine marrying without this thing, you need to be prioritising the budget for it and looking elsewhere to save.
- However, be sensible about non-negotiables: pick two or three otherwise you really will have no budget left. This means you cant keep going over £500 here and there. An extra £500 for the dress of your dreams needs to be cut somewhere else.
- Its helpful to make another list of things you really arent that fussed about e.g. centrepieces, a massive cake, expensive wedding rings. Itll help you see when you start tracking your budget if youre spending more than you need in this area.
- Book your priority vendors first so you can continually adjust how much you have to spend in other areas as you proceed.
Step Six: Get Or Create A Spreadsheet
With so many moving parts and things to consider for your wedding day, utilising a spreadsheet will help you to keep track of where money is being spent.
Try to be as thorough as possible when populating your spreadsheet. There are a number of things that couples forget to factor in such as wedding insurance, on the day stationery, corkage, marriage licence / legal fees, lighting, outfit changes, hotel costsI could go on but you get the gist.
Visualise the day you would love to have and make a note of everything needed to bring that image to life.
Circling back to wedding insurance, no matter how small or big your wedding budget is, do not short-change yourself and forget to purchase wedding insurance. It is something you hope you will never need to enforce, but if you do, you will be happy that you have it.
If you made it this far, well done. I know this is a long post but wanted to be as thorough as possible. I hope these steps help you to create a wedding budget to suit your needs. Remember not to part with any money unless you are satisfied with the terms of agreement and the suppliers who will be delivering the service.
How To Create A Realistic Wedding Budget
ByGrady Savage on Jan 21, 2019
One of the most stressful parts of wedding planning is figuring out how to createand stick toa wedding budget that actually fits what you and your partner can realistically afford for your big day. Here are some things to consider as you make a budget that actually fits your lifestyle and priorities, and that youll be able to stick to as you continue along the wild, amazing, complicated process of planning your wedding!
Recommended Reading: A Practical Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget
A wedding is a life event that many look forward to, but when you start adding up the cost of the venue, catering and more, you could be shocked at how expensive it can be. The average wedding cost $28,000 in 2019, according to The Knot. And while the pandemic may have forced couples to scale back on festivities in 2020, the average wedding still cost $19,000 last year. If you’re hoping to spend less, planning a wedding on a budget could help you save money.
Step Three: Write The Vision Make It Plain
Once you know how much you have to spend, outline your vision so you know if your budget can make such a wedding happen. Couples are forever asking planners if they can have a Pinterest worthy wedding celebration with < insert amount here> .
The truth is, every budget is realistic, dependent on what you want to do with it. If you want to spend £/$/30,000, that is enough to plan a wedding, but it may not be enough for the wedding you both want.
Do you both dream of being surrounded by fresh flowers, serving premium liquor and having a never-ending supply of food? If so, that is beyond the average wedding and needs to be accommodated for in your budget.
Pro tip: Experience is everything! Whether you are spending a little or a lot, bear the experience in mind when planning. Not just for yourself, but for your guests.
What is the lasting impression you want to have of your day? Think about it and allocate your budget accordingly. Prioritising choices that make your guests feel truly considered will make them feel loved and in turn, make you happy.
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Have The Budget Talk With Family
In the past, etiquette told us exactly what roles the parents of the bride and groom playedincluding who paid for what. But this is 2021.
Maybe its because couples wait later to marry and theyre expected to have their personal finances in a decent place. Whatever the reason, the average couple pays for about half of the wedding cost these days. How are they paying? Well, couples use savings , cash , checking account , and credit cards , or some combination of those.1
Youll need to have a conversation with your parents about their role in your wedding. And remember, they dont owe you anything here. But if theyre willing to help out, its good to know how much they want to contribute.
It may help to know what couples spend on average as you shape your budget. Well start with the total: The average wedding costs $38,900.2 Thats a whole lot of money.
If $38,900 sounds like a solid investment to you, then keep reading. Youll see how to put all that to the best use. If $38,900 sounds impossible, keep reading. Well share plenty of tips to show you how to have a sensational celebration for less.
Thats right! This is wedding budget central. Were going to break down each common category in the wedding budget, talk about averages, and give tips on how to save. Are you ready? Cue that Canon in D. Here we go.
Consider Your Guest List
One of the best places to start when it comes to your wedding budget is to consider your guest list. If you simply cant cut your guest list down below a few hundred people, you can plan on having a larger wedding, which will impact your minimum expenses. If you are happy with limiting your event to close friends and family, you may be able to get away with a more modest budget. The guest list will help give you a good idea of your necessary budget.
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Five: Block Out Your Biggest Costs
Your venue hire fee will inevitably be your biggest cost. Traditional wedding budget wisdom says take your budget and cut it in half this amount should cover your wedding venue hire, plus your food and drink charges. If your overall budget is £25,500, youll have £12,750 for your venue, food and drink.
- Knowing this, you can find out quotes for hire and cost per head from venues youre interested in and see whether they fit in your budget.
- Be aware that not every venue will offer the same kind of package. For a tipi wedding, you may find the cost of toilets, a dance floor, a catering tent with an extra power supply and your furniture will all need to be taken into account separately. A hotel wedding is more likely to cover most of your venue and catering costs, but you may find its extra for cake cutting and a cheese tower, for example. Find out all the associated costs upfront and adjust your budget accordingly.
- Enquire about every cost with your suppliers so youre not caught out by any hidden charges. This includes VAT, delivery, service and corkage.
15 Things You Might Forget to Budget For
READ MORE:How to Plan a Wedding for £32,000
Discuss The Vision For Your Day With Your Partner
What do you and your partner hope for on your wedding day? Do you envision being surrounded by a large group of family and friends or something more intimate with only your closest loved ones? Do you picture a big, fancy party or something more chilled and low-key? Take the time to chat with your partner about your shared vision for your wedding day. The budget youll need to accomplish your vision can vary greatly based on these preferences!
Be sure to also cover how soon you want this shindig to happen, as a shorter engagement means less time to save money for the big day. Its best to have a rough idea of when youd like to tie the knot in order to help inform your budget.
Also Check: Wedding Planning Spreadsheet Template
Make The Tough Decisions
If your wedding budget is really spiralling out of control, its time to start making some tough decisions.
It might sound harsh but the easiest way to cut costs with your wedding is by reducing the guest list. Go through your guest list with a fine toothed comb if you are still struggling with your budget. See if there is any room for movement. You might decide to make the call to have no plus ones, or no kids, in order to save some extra dollars.
You also may need to consider that your wedding vision is simply unachievable with the budget you have available. Have you heard the phrase champagne taste on a beer budget? If your dream wedding is an all-out extravaganza with 200 guests, a beachfront mansion and a string quartet but your budget is 5k. Somethings gotta give!
If your budget just isnt aligning with your vision but youre not willing to negotiate, then consider pushing back your wedding date. This will give you more time to save in order to increase your wedding budget.
How Much Control Over The Planning Process Will Your Contributors Have
According to the study, while most couples are thankful for any parental financial support , one in three feel an obligation to listen to their parents input, and one in five have conflicts with their parents during the planning process. If parents or other loved ones are contributing to your wedding budget, there may be some strings attachedand its essential to find out what those are. Talk to your parents and/or other contributors about how involved they want to be during the planning process. By setting and managing expectations early on, youll avoid conflicts down the road.
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Decide How Much Youll Need To Save Over Time
After youve figured out what sort of wedding youre looking to plan, discuss your personal finances with your partner. Together, decide how much you are each willing and able to contribute to the day. Do you want to allocate some of your savings to the wedding fund? Can you save money during the course of your engagement to go towards paying for the wedding? If so, how much? Hash out these details as a team. This may be the first of many money talks youll have as a couple. For a healthy marriage, it is so important to be on the same page about money.
In some cases, this bucket of funds might be all you have to work with. If your families arent pitching in financially, you may have to extend the length of your engagement in order to afford the wedding you want.
Final Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding
Weve mentioned some of these throughout, but lets do a quick roundup of the main ways to save on the weddingand as a couple in general throughout your marriage to come!
- Ask friends or family to help in place of giving you presents.
- DIY when you canbut make sure you arent stressing yourself to the point of not enjoying your big day. And dont DIY when it would be cheaper in the long run to hire someone else.
- Dont book the first vendor you findfor anything! Compare prices and dont be afraid to negotiate better rates.
- Keep the conversation about money open and be honest throughout planning. Start talking about not only this wedding budget, but how youll budget together when two incomes become one as well!
- Take Financial Peace University together. This nine-lesson course will teach you both the basics of personal finance so you can start off on the same page. And you can take it from the comfort of your couch. Lay out the charcuterie. Light a candle. And have nine date nights that will make all the difference in your life together. Check it out exclusively in a Ramsey+ membershipwhich you can try out in a free trial!
In the end, the best advice we can give, beyond making and keeping your wedding budget, is to remember the wedding is about youand not about impressing or entertaining others.
Communicate clearly and constantly together about whats important and whats not, and youre on your way to the wedding of your dreams.
About the author
Recommended Reading: Addressing Families On Wedding Invitations
Wedding Budget Breakdown And Spreadsheet
In addition to having a good wedding checklist, a wedding budget breakdown and/or spreadsheet should be considered a mandatory tool for getting started with wedding planning. Before putting any deposits down or buying any wedding supplies, its very important to determine your overall wedding budget, starting with the maximum amount of money you and your fiancé intend to spend on your wedding.
And if you dont already have one, a good wedding binder is an invaluable way to organize your budget, checklists and everything else youll compile as you plan your wedding. We love this one available on Amazon:
Track Your Wedding Plans
From the moment you start thinking about spending your budget, you should create a spreadsheet so that you can track your spending. It is a good idea to start with a column that gives you the option to write in the estimated amount, as well as the actual. This is because wedding planning takes time, and you might not be able to book and pay for everything straight away. This will also allow you to go away and do some research into the elements of your wedding and obtain proposals from different vendors. This will give you a good idea of how much money you will need, and time to readjust your budget and timeline if necessary.
When you begin to spend your budget, you should always fill out the actual column, and have a running total that is kept up-to-date at the bottom of your spreadsheet. This will enable you to compare it against the funds you have available, to ensure you stick within your budget. You should always start your wedding planning with the venue. For example, if you are going to get married in a Las Vegas Theme Wedding chapel, then you are going to have to consider the travel, as well as the number of guests that you can invite. This will take up a huge portion of your budget, but it will enable you to see what you have left.
Your budget is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. Make sure you create it properly and track your spending.
Also Check: How To Address Wedding Invitations For A Family