A wedding is a joyous occasion and one many of you will have been dreaming of from your early years. For women many of you will have conjured up the vision of your entire day from your dress to your venue, your bridesmaids and flowers so from the moment you reply yes to a proposal your brain is ticking, elated that you can now make your dream day a reality. For men, at the time you propose you see in the woman you love your wife to be, your companion to grow old with and your children. But – Once you actually start planning your wedding the realisation is upon you that weddings can be very expensive. To avoid financial nightmares, you need to plan your wedding budget.
‘Til death do us part…we shall be paying for our wedding? I do hope not. Starting a marriage with a huge cloud of debt over your heads isn’t ideal as it can definitely put a strain on you both. When you dream of married life you do not envision you both working constant over time and staying in sacrificing a life for your wedding day, so don’t let yourself get to the state where your wedding expenses accumulate to an unreachable figure for you to pay back.
To avoid this it is a good idea for you both to agree on a budget before you start your wedding planning. Don’t worry, you can still make the wedding of your dreams but you are just setting yourself a boundary first. Your wedding should be a great motivation for saving money but if you don’t set yourself a goal to achieve you can find that you haven’t saved as much as you need because you didn’t budget.
Tips For Wedding Budgeting
How Much? Plan Your Money
- Set yourself a realistic budget. How much money are you prepared to spend? Keep this figure in your head throughout the entire process of your wedding planning and stick to it.
- Discuss with your partner what you want to have on your day, what you need and the extras you would like so if a new idea crops up for your big day you can look back at your list and decide if it’s essential to your day, or if you can re-work your budget to afford it.
Separate It & Save It!
- Look at how long you have until the date of your wedding and calculate how much money you and your partner need to save on a monthly basis to reach your wedding budget target. Separate this money from your everyday bank accounts so that it is not easily spent. If you don’t want the aggravation of having to book an appointment at a bank to discuss savings accounts and joint accounts then there is an online alternative. You can sign up for what is called an eWallet which is like an online account that you can deposit money to. It works the same way as a bank account as you can transfer money in and out of it but very quickly, most of them have a same day payment option and can supply you with a physical credit card as well. Although they do not supply you with any credit, you can only spend the credit you have supplied yourself from the balance deposited into your eWallet (so no nasty bank charges or interest). This way you can see exactly how your wedding budget is being spent.
- A wedding calculator tool can be very useful to you whether you have a separate wedding savings account or not, as it can help you identify where your budget has been spent thus far and how much for the big day is yet to pay for eg: Hiring services such as Photographer, Videographer, Car Hire, Dresses, Suits etc… If you can’t find one online that provides a suitable list of expenses then you can just create your own in a simple excel spreadsheet to keep track how your budget is spent. This is especially useful to brides and grooms who find a savings account isn’t appropriate as parents may also be contributing. In an excel sheet you can split your overall budget into individual budgets so you can decide whose money to allocate where and confirm what in the wedding this has been contributed to.
- It is a good idea to include your honeymoon in your budget. However, if you already live together then it is unlikely that you will need the traditional form of wedding gifts for your home so…you could save money on your honeymoon by having a ‘honeymoon donation bank’ at your wedding reception. You can politely specify on your invites that you would prefer not to receive gifts but, if guests do wish to gift then donations to your honeymoon fund would be greatly appreciated. You can then use these donations as your spending money.
Don’t let having a budget put a downer on your planning process, you’ll be surprised actually how great it feels when you can see your checklist (and remaining invoices) getting smaller.
Enjoy your big day without worrying about a big debt!