Now that you’re engaged, planning your big day with your partner is a magical, exciting time. However, it can be daunting to get finances together to fund the big day. Couples can get caught up in the excitement of the engagement and start planning a wedding without realising the cost – British couples spend a whopping £32,000 on average for their wedding.
However, while making sure you have a day that you’ll remember forever, it’s important to be realistic about how to allocate your money to maximise the effect. We’ll take you through determining your wedding budget so that you know you’ve considered everything you need to have the day of your dreams:
Determining Your Budget
The biggest influence on your budget is the size of your guest list – the bigger the guest list, the pricier the wedding. Write down all the people you wish to invite so you can see the scale of your day and prioritise people who are important to you as a couple.
Next, determine the major wedding costs which are compulsory for you and the wedding you have in mind. A typical wedding breakdown is as follows:
- Venue hire, food and drink, and cake – 45%
- Photographer and videographer – 10-15%
- DJ/Live music – 5%
- Wedding dress and Groomswear – 10%
- Flowers – 5-10%
- Hen/Stag do – 5%
- Rings – 4%
- Makeup and hair – 5%
- Transport – 2 %
- Marriage licence/registrar fees – 2%
- Invitations – 1%
- Insurance – 1%
- Contingency – 5-10%
The guide above will differ slightly between couples as everyone’s priorities for their wedding day will be different. For example, if you decide to get married in Houston, closer to family, it will be easier to hire a wedding photographer in Houston versus trying to get a local photographer from your hometown to fly out to take your photos. However, it is crucial to leave yourself with a respectable contingency budget, as there are always unforeseen costs in weddings.
Keeping a budgeting record in the form of a spreadsheet can help you to keep on track from the start. There are many ways to do this, but make sure you keep it up to date with details such as the cost of a certain category, the initial deposit payment, the date of the next payment due and the supplier’s contact details. This can also help you to identify where you might be overspending, which costs will be due at the same time and where you can save money.
Although it may be overwhelming to realise how expensive weddings are, you can save money in certain areas without compromising on quality. Have a look at vintage or discount jewellery for your wedding rings, hire a food truck instead of having a formal meal for a big hit with guests, or consider setting up a wedding website instead of sending out paper invitations.
There could also be large costs which don’t interest you at all – you may wish to consider an alternative to a traditional wedding dress, get affordable wedding clothes for the groomsmen, or have a smaller reception in your garden to reduce venue costs.
Whatever you choose to do for your big day, make sure it’s right for you and your partner – you’re the most important people there, after all!
*Photos by Elina Sazonova