Before you can go out and start booking venues and buying dresses, you need to organise your budget. This is very important to do because you don’t want to overspend – this can put a dark cloud over the day if it means going without something really important to you.
You need to establish who is paying for the wedding. Traditionally the bride’s parents take care of the bill with the groom chipping in for the ceremony and the men’s suits and, of course, the honeymoon. However, times are changing and a lot of couples are paying for their weddings themselves.
It may be that one, or both, sets of parents are willing to offer a sum to contribute towards the cost of the wedding. These things should be established before any final budgets are made so you know exactly what you have to work with.
A good place to start is considering what weddings cost. The average wedding costs £15-20,000. This includes approx. 50% of the budget on venue hire, food and drinks. Bear in mind the spending varies from couple to couple and it is important to remember that this is just an average. Lots of couples get married on much less and much more. I recently worked on a fabulous, romantic wedding that had a very small budget.
The best thing to think about is how you’re going to spend your money. What is it that you really want? It is important that you budget for exactly what you want. Do you have a dream venue that you really want to get married in? Is there a perfect dress that you’ve seen? Do you really want a swing band? Make sure you’ve got enough budget if you have something really special in mind.
A great way to approach setting your budget is to firstly consider how much you can afford. If you are paying for the wedding for yourself you must only budget what you can afford to. You don’t want to start married life in debt.
Next consider how many guests you want – don’t do this by guessing, write out a rough guest list as you’d be surprised how many more it will be than you initially thought. This is a great way to set your budget. If you know you have 100 guests and the venue you have your eye on is £50 per head, then consider that 50% of your budget.
Use budget planners online as these are very helpful for keeping a track of everything and figuring out how much to spend. A wedding planner will take care of this for you but you may want to keep an eye on it yourself so these are always handy tools to use.
I also recommend including a 10% contingency budget for that one thing that was forgotten or for something extra that crops up.
For further advice on planning your wedding, contact Weddings by Rachel.