How to Plan Your Wedding Budget

Tips from the expert on how to cut corners on your big day
Thursday , 21 July 2011
How to Plan Your Wedding Budget
Don't splash the cash

Sorting out your budget can feel like a daunting (and dull!) prospect, but not with these tips from wedding planner, Josie Hendrick

Don't be vague
The first step is to set a budget. It sounds obvious but many couples have a vague idea of how much they want to spend and just start from there. You need to be much more ruthless if you want to keep an eye on your finances when wedding planning! Work out what you can realistically afford and stick to it.

 Start a sheet
Release your inner geek and design a budget sheet. This should include all relevant sections from bridal wear to catering. You’ll need two columns for estimated and actual costs so you can keep track. Start an excel sheet on your computer, and you can get it to add things up for you so you don’t have to work out the maths. Once you’ve got this up and running, consider which areas of the day are most important to you – most people tend to prioritise the venue and food. These are the areas you want to spend the most on.

 Stop the splurge!
Now you need to balance out the splurge. Which areas are less important to you? Many couples get a friend or taxi to drive them to the ceremony and reception and so save on the cost of transport. Doing this means you balance out your budget and the money goes into the areas most important to you, which is exactly how it should be.

Ways to save
Once you know where you want to spend your money it’s time to check out the talents of your friends and family. A brilliant way to save is to enlist the help of skilled people. This is doubly good because it saves you money and makes those important to you feel involved in the wedding. So now’s the time to ask your gran to bake a cake and your friend to design your invitations. Also, consider these:

●Have your wedding midweek. Some venues are half the cost on a Wednesday instead of Saturday. So the dream venue that’s out of budget at the weekend could be totally possible on another day.

● DIY flowers. Florists charge for their time as well as the flowers so head to a flower market and buy your blooms before the big day. On the morning your friends and/or wedding planner can help arrange them into vases.

● Let your bridesmaids pick their own dresses. Instead of choosing for them, have a loose theme like vintage pastels and let them buy a dress they’ll wear again, therefore saving you the necessity of paying for them.

● DIY your decorations. From bunting to centrepieces, there’s nothing you can’t make yourself these days. And the wealth of wedding blogs out there have lots of projects to help you find the perfect affordable options for styling your venue.

● Try not to mention the word ‘wedding’ when calling venues and suppliers! A lot of companies inflate their prices when they know it’s a wedding because they know a lot of money is involved... but don’t tell them I told you!

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