How to Work Out Your Wedding Budget?

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You and your soulmate are becoming man and wife, and a festive wedding party is a wonderful way to celebrate it. The start of a new chapter in your life deserves an awesome wedding party with plenty of food, music, dance and laughter. But, the truth is: wedding parties cost a fortune. This means it’s impossible to plan a wedding party without meticulous wedding budgeting.

Keep your chin up, though! You can still hold an elegant wedding without going bankrupt and starting your married life in debt. In this post, we will help you get to grips with financing your wedding by establishing a wedding budget and learning how to spend it in an organised way.

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How to Budget for a Wedding

A wedding is a significant financial project. So, you need to create an accurate budget for it.

Your wedding budget will determine the type of wedding you can have, the number of guests, your wedding date and almost every decision and purchase you make.  

To start drafting your wedding budget, have a serious discussion with your partner to figure out how you’ll pay for your wedding. Afterwards, you can talk to your families to enquire whether or not you’ll receive financial support from your loved ones. Keep a record of everything in writing so that you know where you stand financially and have a realistic picture of what you can spend.

Money conversations and talking about real numbers is not the most fun discussion. However, you must see this wedding budgeting process as an excellent opportunity to improve your abilities in dealing with money issues and making financial decisions that will undoubtedly come up in your married life.

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How Much Can You Afford to Spend?

The first step in planning a wedding budget is to figure out what you can realistically afford (or are willing) to spend. Your wedding budget mainly comes from three sources:

  • your and your spouse’s current savings,
  • your family’s contributions
  • and what you can set aside from your income until the wedding day.

Your Savings

Look at your savings in the bank and investments. Don’t be intimidated by its small number. You can hold a classy wedding on a tight budget with a bit of sacrifice and prioritising.

Savings from Your Income

Whether you are going to use savings or get a loan, be realistic about how much you can save in the time you have. Ensure you consider all your current monthly expenses, such as rent, bills, loans and debt payments. As you start your married life, there might also be some future expenses. You should account for costs like your honeymoon, home maintenance, down payment for a new apartment, and car payments.

Contributions from Loved Ones

Have a financial discussion with your parents or other beloved ones as soon as possible if you know they want to contribute to your wedding. Before asking for financial aid for your wedding, find out how much a wedding like what you have in mind costs. Explain your estimated expenditures and the number you and your partner can afford to pay when talking to your families. 

If your parents offer to contribute to your wedding, appreciate their generosity. But beware that they’ll expect a say in the decision-making of the planning process. If you’re not comfortable with that, you might want to consider paying for it yourself or, at the very least, minimise your parents’ financial support.

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How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

Many newly-engaged couples have no clue how much weddings cost. The cost of a wedding is affected by factors such as where you live, whether you want a local or a destination wedding, the number of guests and your priorities. However, according to Hitched‘s National Wedding Survey (of more than 2,000 couples), the average cost of a wedding in the UK in 2021 was £17,300.

But the average price of a wedding shouldn’t disappoint or mislead you. Wedding costs vary depending on what a couple wants and how much they want to spend.

Break Down Your Wedding Budget

Once you have worked out your overall budget, you must know what to spend it on. Use a thorough wedding planning checklist that includes everything that could cost money to ensure you pay attention to all the items your wedding budget has to cover. Remember to personalise the list and narrow it down based on the wedding expenses you plan to include.

Now, you need to divide your wedding budget into smaller divisions and assign specific percentages to each component of your big day. This method can help you ensure you don’t overspend on one key element and have no money left to cover your other expenses.

Put Aside Your Venue Hire Fee

Divide your budget and dedicate about 50% of it to your venue and catering. You need a general idea of who to invite to your wedding and a realistic figure of how many guests you expect. Divide half of your total budget by the number of guests you’re going to invite. This way, you can figure out your per-head price. Many venues will offer a per-person fee. So this number will help you while checking out different locations to pick the wedding venue of your dreams.

Decide on Your Wedding Priorities

Your priorities may be different from other couples. They might even be different between you and your significant other. As a result, you should take some time to identify and agree on your wedding’s top priorities. You must be on the same page about essential items and the ones you can go without.

After figuring out where you can and can’t cut costs, it’s time to divide your budget into percentages to dedicate to each expense category. Here’s a rough wedding budget breakdown example for you to get inspired. You can adjust these percentages according to your priorities.

45% venue, catering, drink

10% honeymoon

7% photography and videography 

8% bride and groom attire 

5% flowers and decor 

5% music and entertainment 

5% furniture rental 

3% wedding rings 

3% hairstyling and makeup

2% the wedding cake and desserts 

2% stationary/invitations

2% wedding planner/coordinator

2% transportation

1% favours and gifts 

This example shows what a typical wedding cost breakdown looks like. However, your budget percentages may look different based on which expenses you choose to include. For instance, you and your spouse-to-be can decide whether to hire a wedding planner. Or, you may choose a wedding venue that offers an all-inclusive package, and you won’t need to pay any extra rental charges.

Prepare for Surprises and Hidden Costs

Even if you plan for every single cost on your wedding budget checklist, there would still be some unforeseen hidden wedding costs you didn’t factor in. It is impossible to budget for these extra charges. However, having some space in your budget will help you maintain your bottom line.

So, remember to dedicate a small portion of your budget to prevent surprises from the beginning. Some examples of typical additional wedding costs you need to pay are 

Decor rentals, wedding accessories, outfit alterations, tips, officiant fees, hair and makeup trials, cake tasting, wedding insurance and other expenses not included in the initial budget for your wedding.

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Stick to Your Budget

More important than creating a wedding budget is making sure you don’t go over it. Ensuring you stay within your wedding budget is even more crucial than budget allocation.

To stick to your wedding budget, you must adjust your plans and the budget for your wedding. You can shop for the most affordable solutions and hunt for budget wedding ideas to save smartly.

To track your spending, create an Excel sheet and keep a record of everything you spend along the way. Make a note of who pays for what. Try to pay all your expenses from a particular card or bank account to track them more easily. You can also use a wedding budget planner tool to manage your wedding budget more efficiently. 

Staying within your budget will prevent overspending.Besides it helps you have ease of mind when making your wedding expenses and planning a wedding on a budget.

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Wedding planning may be a stressful experience as you’ve never planned such a big party before. Generally, money is one of the main subjects couples argue about. So, financial concerns can overwhelm your wedding planning journey and drive you mad. Working out a realistic wedding budget and sticking to it through all your planning stages is the only way to save you. 

You don’t have to spend top dollar on everything to have the perfect wedding. having a glamorous wedding party is possible on almost every budget. You just need to plan ahead, have a realistic understanding of your financial situation, and define priorities from the start. Keep your eyes open to do your wedding the way you like, not to fit into others’ expectations. Make smart choices based on what you and your significant other want. Enjoy every moment of your journey to getting married.

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