Top tips on how to stick to your wedding budget; from the guest list to choosing a wedding venue and beyond…
Budgeting for a wedding can be stressful, but the amount of times that we’ve heard couples say ‘we’ve gone way over budget’ – is too many times for our liking. For some couples, going over their wedding budget isn’t a big deal, if you’ve got the funds to back it up. But for couples who have saved every penny for years in order to be able to pay for the dream day, sticking to a wedding budget is essential.
This article has been designed to offer Bijou’s top tips when it comes to sticking to your wedding budget.
Be Realistic When it Comes to Money
The first hurdle in the process of planning your wedding budget is to calculate what you can realistically afford to spend (or what you want to spend, if it is less than you can afford!). It’s easy to be scandalised by prices within the wedding industry; the ‘W’ word can sometimes mean multiplying the price by 3 when it comes to certain wedding suppliers (not with our partners of course). We believe that doing your research, comparing prices and deciding what portion of your wedding budget you want to spend on what, is a great starting point.
If you think about it, at your wedding you’ll be buying two meals and a whole load of rounds of drinks for (on average) about 120 people. When was the last time you did that? Do you really have experience to compare it to? Imagine walking into your favourite restaurant and asking to pay for a three-course sit-down meal, plus an evening buffet, plus at least 5 rounds of drinks for 120 people, and imagine the number they’d come up with. Then add on (if you’re choosing an exclusive country house wedding venue for instance) some sort of hire charge for the house, service, VAT and so on, and it soon starts to add up. Sit down together early on in your wedding planning to plan your wedding budget.
Get it in Writing
You may find that most of the wedding venues and wedding suppliers who operate in the UK are small and independent and have their own way of doing things - which is great when it comes to finding that totally unique wedding venue or the boutique wedding florist with just the style you’re looking for. This can however present a major problem when comparing costs across different suppliers. When it comes to the amount of money that you will end up owing your suppliers, be sure to get this in writing, so that you don’t get presented with an unexpected shock or hidden wedding costs that you weren’t expecting.
Prioritise Your Wedding Wishes
If you absolutely must wear a designer wedding dress from a certain label or you’ve got your heart set on a specific wedding venue, then make sure that you allocate a portion of your wedding budget to this early on in the wedding planning process. That way, you’ll know how much budget you’ve got remaining to play with when it comes to planning the rest of your day.
You may find that compromising on certain things at your wedding could reduce your wedding budget by quite a bit in order to help you stick to your original plan.
Below is a list of five things that we think you could compromise on when it comes to planning your wedding:
The Guest List
As we mentioned earlier, the amount of guests you invite to your wedding will inevitably cost you more money. If your chosen wedding venue has minimum numbers associated with the package, think about sticking to that number for the day, and then perhaps invite extra guests to celebrate with you during the evening. An evening guest will cost less than a full day guest and you’ll still get to celebrate with everyone on your original list at some point throughout the day.
At Bijou we believe that a glass of fizz is absolutely essential when it comes to toasting the happy couple (over and over again), but if the cost of Champagne has a great impact on your wedding budget, why not compromise by choosing to serve Prosecco instead.
If you spent more on your wedding dress than you expected to, compromise when it comes to your wedding accessories by asking your grandmother, mother, sister or friends if you could ‘borrow’ a string of pearls or a glitzy hair piece to wear on the big day. Not only will they love to share their accessories with you, but you’ll also then have your ‘something borrowed’ sorted too!
As long as you can offer everyone a slice of cake at your wedding, there’s no reason to order a wedding cake that is larger than you need. Reduce a larger cake by a tier or order a smaller wedding cake for show and buy additional cutting bars that can be distributed to guests later in the evening.
If you’ve got your heart set on a certain destination when it comes to your honeymoon but the cost is pushing your budget over the edge, ask your travel agent whether or not the price would be reduced if you travel on alternative dates or in a different season. That way, you’ll still get to have your dream honeymoon and you won’t exceed your wedding budget.