It’s often said that weddings are expensive, but the truth is that a wedding can cost however much you want it to. You’re in charge of how much you spend, and what you want your wedding to look like. Of course, there are certain amounts you can expect to pay for particular wedding elements, but there are always options to cut costs, from deciding to DIY something to choosing not to have it in your wedding at all or making your guest list smaller. If you’re about to start planning a wedding, your budget is one of the first things that you need to consider. You can take a few different steps to work it out and decide how you’re going to pay for everything.
Settle on a Budget
Having a ballpark figure for how much you want to spend on your wedding is a good way to start. It can be difficult to settle on an exact number for your budget, but you can still consider roughly how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re not sure where to start, getting some quotes for different services and looking at the typical costs for some things will help you to start forming a picture of how much you want to spend and what you want your wedding to look like. You should also consider whether you want to pay for everything from your savings or if you’re going to find other ways to pay for parts of your wedding.
Prioritise Your Spending
Once you’ve thought about how much you’re going to spend, you should think about how you’re going to spend it. Knowing how to allocate your budget will help you to get the most out of every penny. To prioritise your spending, you need to think about what matters most to you. Is it more important that your wedding has incredible food or that you hire an excellent photographer? Do you want to pay a professional florist to create flower arrangements for you, or would you rather spend that money on party favours for your guests?
Create a Savings Plan
Many couples get engaged with the idea of waiting a while before actually getting married. Some wait two years or more before the big day, giving them plenty of time to prepare. If you want to save some money for your wedding, a long engagement can give you time to get ready. A savings plan can help you to start saving now and try to meet some targets before your wedding day arrives. Think about whether you want to prioritise saving for the wedding over saving for other things, such as your first home together.
Consider a Loan
If you want to stretch your budget further, you might consider borrowing money and paying it off later. A loan could give you extra to spend, with many personal loans allowing you to borrow £10,000 or sometimes more. If you compare guarantor loans, you can find a loan that you can back with a responsible guarantor, instead of having to secure it against your home or other assets. If you’re considering a loan, you need to make sure you’ll be able to pay it back. Factor the repayments into your monthly budget to check that you can afford it.
Use Credit Cards
Another way to fund your wedding and pay for it later is to use credit cards. It can help to spread out the costs and it could even be good for your credit score if you’re responsible. However, maxing out several credit cards is unlikely to be a good approach, so think carefully about when and how you’re going to use a credit card. You might simply use a card to delay a payment until the end of the month and then pay it off in full. If you’re thinking of using credit cards for larger amounts of money, a loan can sometimes be a better option.
Ask People to Contribute
Gone are the days when the bride’s family always pays for the wedding. While some couples do things traditionally, many pay for their own wedding, with perhaps some contribution from parents or other family. It can be tricky to ask people for help and you might not want to ask anyone to make any big contributions to your wedding. However, you could consider asking for contributions to your wedding instead of gifts. Some people might want to buy you specific things. Others could contribute any amount that they can afford in place of a gift to help you pay for everything.
Keep Track of Spending
If you have set a budget, it won’t mean much if you don’t actually know what you’re spending. Keeping track of how much you spend or even keeping a record of quotes and estimated prices for different parts of your wedding will help you to stick to your budget. Try creating a spreadsheet that you can use to make a note of what you spend or what you’re planning to spend. You can make a note of whether you have paid for something in full or if you still need to pay it off, and if so when you need to pay for it.
Consider Unexpected Costs
It’s always a good idea to take any unplanned costs into account when you consider the budget for your wedding. You never know if something might go wrong or if something might cost more than you expected it to. Think about earmarking at least part of your budget for any unexpected expenses that could arise so that you will be able to cover them without having to make cuts to other wedding essentials. If you want to try and protect your finances, you might also consider taking out some insurance. If anything goes wrong and one of your wedding vendors lets you down, you will have protection to help you out.
When you need to budget for your wedding, don’t assume you have to follow a specific path. It’s your wedding and you get to decide what it looks like.