Your wedding is probably the biggest event you will ever organise, and of course you want to get it just right. Getting carried away can happen to the best of us though, so setting a budget is vital to ensure that you not only have a wonderful day, but that you don’t pay dearly for it afterwards! Before you dive into the preparations, here are a few tips for setting your budget, and sticking to it in the face of temptation!
Decide what’s most important
The size of your budget is a very personal decision, so there’s no right or wrong figure. You need to take into account how much you can realistically afford to spend, and how much you want to. Do remember that your wedding day is just the start. You are likely to want a honeymoon, and to have something in the bank when you start your life together as a married couple. You need to decide what’s most important to you.
Some people might choose to have a small wedding so that they have more to spend on a long honeymoon or a home deposit. For others, having a big wedding with extended family and friends is absolutely essential, and they are happy to work towards a home later on. Consider your wages, and what you have in the bank now to work out a realistic sum. It’s important not to be tempted to put everything on credit card if you aren’t likely to be able to pay it off in the near future. A large debt is not the way to start your married life together.
Be realistic with what you can spend
The best first step in sticking to a budget is to be realistic from day one. Create a spreadsheet that lists everything – and we mean everything – that you are going to need on your wedding day. This should include (as a guideline) the wedding rings, fee for the celebrant, wedding venue hire (ceremony and reception), catering, the wedding dress and groom’s outfit including shoes and accessories, bridal party outfits if you are paying, hair and makeup, car hire, marquee, chair and table hire if applicable, invitations and thank you cards and/or gifts, flowers for the bridal party and flowers/decorations for the venue, and a photographer. Phew. Obviously not every wedding is going to need every element, so it comes down to deciding what you want on your day.
Quote, quote, quote
To determine the cost for each element of your wedding, you’ll need to get some quotes. A wedding is of course highly personal, and you may already have a very set idea of what you want. Once you put everything into a spreadsheet with figures, you’ll have a clearer picture of costs. At this point, if the total figure is higher than you are hoping to spend, then you might start shopping around for a better price on some elements or looking at ways you can cut the spending.
Consider wedding packages
Some wedding venues offer packages and these can be very cost effective. If you have found a venue that you love, ask about packages and compare figures. Bear in mind that some venues may also provide a wedding coordinator with the package, which can be a very valuable bonus.
There has been a growing trend in everything handmade in recent years. Handmade or handcrafted isn’t just about spending less, however. It’s a fabulous way to bring something truly unique and personal to your special day. Why not call on creative friends to make the invitations, do the flower arrangements, photograph the day or make gift items for the bridal party, for just a few suggestions? Websites such as Etsy that are essentially a homemade marketplace can also be a great source of gorgeous wedding items – and creative inspiration.
Look to practical alternatives
When setting your budget, look at what’s flexible and what’s not. If you’ve found the perfect wedding venue, you may decide that figure is absolute. So consider ways that you might reduce the cost of the more flexible elements of your event. A vintage wedding dress might save you a fortune for instance and be stunning, special and unique. And rather than spending hundreds on car hire, you might use your own cars or even do without, especially if the ceremony and reception are in walking distance. Look to practical alternatives to free up money.
Stay strong in the face of temptation
Wedding organisation can be very stressful, and worrying about money doubly so. If you feel tempted to break the budget, always try and remember the big picture and what is going to be most important when you look back on the day afterwards. It’s natural to want to have a beautiful dress, wedding venue and flowers, but beautiful doesn’t have to be the most expensive option. The ultimate and most important thing to remember is that this is the day you are going to celebrate your marriage with family and friends, and it’s possible to do that – and do it in a romantic and beautiful way – without spending a fortune.
We’d love to help
Here at Glen Erin, we love helping couples create wonderful wedding memories. Our wedding venue is in a very picturesque corner of Victoria, and we have facilities for a gorgeous ceremony and wonderful reception. We offer wedding packages, and because we have years of experience, we can offer practical tips to help make your day perfect – no matter your budget!