So there are 13 months to go until I get married, and I have to say, up to now I’ve been incredibly chilled out. Of course, While every wedding is different and every bride is different, as a couple, there is one thing that is always the same: you’ll find you have priorities together, which includes agreeing to a set budget.
Budgeting for a wedding covers everything from food and drink, decor and flowers, cake and themes, outfits and venues. I’ll be honest, I’m still dreading us arguing about numbers of the guest list and the design of the Save the Dates, which has led me to put this little article together.
As we’re trying to keep ours to a budget (my other half isn’t keen on big weddings and much prefers the smaller, less fussy things in life), I’ve been drawing up lists and researching on budgets to help me out a little.
So for all you other brides-to-be out there, I’m chatting all things wedding budget related on the blog today.
The idea is that overall, as a couple, you should decide on your overall wedding budget first, before you even start to break it down. We set outs at £15k, but our venue is a pricey one which has massively meant we really need to cut down on every other area.
That being said, it’s key to make sure you add a little extra in for emergencies, too. And not forgetting about any unexpected costs…
It’s one thing setting yourself a budget of £1,000 for your wedding dress, but remember you have to factor in alteration costs – for your dress, for the Groom’s suit and potentially for the Bridesmaids dresses too. And then comes accessories, again not just for you, but for Bridesmaids too. Shoes, veils, jewellery… something old, new, borrowed and blue!
I’ve decided to set myself a budget of £2,000 on my wedding dress BUT I’m desperate to get it way way waaaaay under this. However, if I do go up to £2k, it’s because I know how important it is I know I choose the right one. This means I’m scrimp back on bridesmaid dresses and also ask my maids to provide their own shoes and bags.
You can be as lavish or as low key as you like when it comes to flowers. For me, I’m going to use a flower service for my own bouquet and the bridesmaids, along with the grooms party and top table. I’ll also be featuring a small bunch on each table at the wedding breakfast, but I won’t really be investing in large floral displays.
I’m going to be trying out ordering a few floral arrangements to my home, to see what colours and flower types make me feel that ’emotion’. It’s important that the flowers for your wedding work with your theme, along with your own personality too (and that of the venue!).
You can keep costs down by ordering a few statement bunches or arrangements, and avoid going overboard. I’m ordering a number of flowers by post to my home this year as a trial so I can start to visualise what will work, etc.
Believe it or not, as much as I was super keen on having a beautiful sparkly engagement ring, which we didn’t scrimp on, I’m quite happy to go a little more laid back with our wedding rings. My engagement ring is the most bling ‘thing’ I own and quite frankly, I’m quite happy for my wedding band to be hugely understated.
However, understated in design, but quality in creation, is my mantra here. I want my wedding ring to last to test of time, to never date, and look sophisticated throughout the years.
We’ve started our search by looking at online retailers first to save money on the premium stores in the cities, plus, you can browse without having to speak to anyone when we’re still in research mode! We started with Chapelle wedding rings, which gave us a really good insight what to expect.
Something to focus on when thinking about wedding budgets is travel, from driving around and visiting venues, to going to wedding fairs, going to menu and cake tastings, then of course, your dress fittings etc.
Fuel costs add up, so even before you have booked a date and venue, you can be racking up travel bills. When the venue does get set, remember to weigh up the cost of places within that area, like hotels and B&B’s. If it’s a premium area, you could be setting yourself up for huge accommodation costs later down the line when it comes to staying over.
Just make sure it is something you factor in and can perhaps budget to keep as low as possible.
Gifts and favours
This one often gets missed off brides spreadsheets because it’s super easy to get carried away with everything else, and then all of a sudden you’re like ‘oh no, I’ve got gifts to buy now too!’. Remember that brides rarely have extravagant and beautiful favours, because EACH GUEST will need one and that can get waaaaaay pricey.
Set yourself a budget here and be keen to stick to it. If you can make something, or buy an item in bulk, it could work out more cost effective.
This is what has caused a slight problem for us, but it truly was my favourite of all of them. The venue is probably the most likely place for unexpected costs to occur for all couples, so if you are on a tight budget, it might be best to not even view places that are outside of your set budget.
However, if like us, the one you loved has cost a little over, look at things they could offer which may bring it down. Ours lets us provide our own drink, with no corkage. Do always check for corkage and cake cutting fees. Also find out whether you’ll be charged for the cleanup and breakdown of the venue, or if this is covered by your venue charge.
You’ll want someone on hand from the venue to be decorating and setting up for the wedding too, so make sure everything can be included at the very best price.
This is where lighting comes in, too. If you’re having a marquee or tent wedding, this is something you’ll need to think about as when night falls it will be really, really dark. Plus, setting up in the early hours of the morning even in Summer means lighting is an issue. You’ll also need to ensure that the venue is ideal for all types of sound systems, and ideally, there won’t be too many additional costs.
A lot of my friends thought that a marquee and tent wedding would be cheaper, but they ended up spending around £28,000, which proves different!
Another one that people forget about is postage for invites! If you research the price of a first-class stamp then you’ll know that posting out save the dates, invitations and thank you cards to hundreds of guests is going to be expensive. Is it really that important you do it by snail mail? Could that money be spent elsewhere?
Look at online e-cards, or even creating a Facebook group. Lots of couples have wedding websites now with menu ordering and directions and all sorts on them. The RSVP’s are super easy when online too, so if you want to cut back on something, this could be a quick win.
Hair & Makeup
Now I’m a bridal MUA in my spare time (I only do around 15 weddings a year), so I feel a little wrong saying this, but, bridal hair and makeup is expensive. There, I said it. It;s a luxury to add this onto your big day. It could be best to invest in premium makeup yourself and practice applying it by watching tutorials online, than paying for a trial, and then makeup on the big day.
It’s not just wedding day hair and makeup that adds up, too. It’s that spray tan you had for your hen do. The spray tan and wax the night before your wedding. The highlights, the hair cut, the teeth whitening.
Think about how you can cut back here, as before you know it, the spending could spiral!
So there’s a few thoughts from my end, which I’ll be taking into consideration now I have just over a year to go. Any budgeting or spending tips you guys might have, feel free to share with me – always keen to explore more ideas.