Preparing a Wedding Budget: Easy Tips to Stay On Track
Amidst the excitement of being engaged, you can easily start planning for a wedding without knowing how much it will cost.
Planning for a wedding becomes enjoyable if you create a wedding budget. On average, weddings in the UK cost £17,300. However, you shouldn’t necessarily spend these spectacular amounts on your wedding.
While some costs, such as purchasing wedding rings, booking the venue, and reception, are constant, a wedding budget will help you work with the available resources. Below are a few tips for preparing a wedding budget.
1. Discuss What You Can Afford With Your Partner
There’s nothing worse than being anxious and worrying about where to source money to pay your supplier or the wedding venue. While the idea of a once-in-a-lifetime event can be convincing, the only way to avoid regret is by discussing it with your partner beforehand.
Start by discussing the type of wedding you want. While each of you may have high expectations, the budget can manage them. Below are a few things to highlight:
How much have you saved, and how much are you willing to spend on the wedding? If you’ve been saving for some period, don’t exhaust all your savings to pay for wedding expenses. Keep some emergency funds to cater for unexpected occurrences, such as car breakdown or air conditioner repair.
What are your monthly incomes? You should deduct recurring financial commitments from this amount, such as rent or mortgage, transport costs, gym membership, or food budget. Set aside realistic amounts and decide how much you can contribute monthly. For instance, if you earn a combined total of $4,000 and decide to save $400 monthly, you’ll need 18 months to save for a $10,000 wedding.
Most wedding costs come up front. While this might not be the full amount, you might have to pay 50% of the wedding costs upfront. Have a clear repayment plan if you decide to take a wedding loan.
2. Find Other People Who Are Willing to Contribute
While this is a tricky conversation, you should have a chat with your parents about the wedding budget. Initially, only the bride’s parents could contribute to the wedding. However, both sets of parents can help the couple offset some costs by paying for the wedding gown or flowers. Understand the various rules and etiquette parents should follow when paying various wedding costs to avoid incurring inheritance tax.
3. Draft a Guest List
The size of your wedding guests has a direct influence on your budget. If you are planning for between 20 and 50 guests, you will need a small venue, which costs less. If your guest list goes beyond 150, you’ll need a larger venue, which costs more.
Regardless of the number, you should research extensively to find the cost of different venues and the catering costs per head. Most wedding venues list their prices online. You can also consult your married friends. Fortunately, there are smart ways to save on these costs, such as booking midweek and not hiring the venue exclusively.
4. Prioritize the Highest Costs
A large percentage of your wedding budget goes into paying for the wedding venue. As a rule of thumb, you should divide your wedding budget in half. One-half should cover the cost of hiring the wedding venue and the cost of food and drinks. For instance, if you have a budget of $22,000, $11,000 is for the venue, food, and drink.
With this, you can find quotes from various venues and determine if they fit your budget. However, remember that venues offer different packages. For instance, some venues provide a catering tent, furniture, dance floor, and toilets as one package. Hotel venues primarily charge for the venue and catering only. You should also go through the cost of suppliers to avoid being caught by hidden charges, such as VAT, corkage, delivery, and service fees.
5. Prioritize the Remaining Budget
The remainder of your budget should cover other costs, such as outfits, wedding parties, stationery, décor, and flowers. However, you can easily run out of cash if you don’t prioritize these items. Start by identifying the non-negotiables, such as the wedding photographer, invitation cards, and live music for the reception.
Identify and book priority vendors, such as photographers, videographers, bands or DJs, and catering services. You can then adjust other costs continually depending on the remaining amounts.
Tracking your wedding budget is a fail-safe way of ensuring you don’t exceed it. Don’t forget to budget for wedding insurance, marriage license fees, clean-up costs, wedding party gifts, makeups, styling for your entourage, and other miscellaneous costs.