How to Budget for Your Wedding Day
The moment your partner pops the ultimate question, there’s a buzz of activity as you’re swept into a flurry of organising family, venues, suppliers, caterers and decorators.
One of the greatest hurdles brides face is setting, managing and controlling their budget; and with the cost of weddings averaging at $36,200* there are very good reasons why controlling spend is so important.
Budgets can be seen as an insurmountable challenge, or as a chance to explore opportunities – it really depends on your priorities for the big celebration.
Here are some top tips to help you manage your wedding day.
Understand Your Wedding Budget Limitations
Put on a pot of coffee, grab your banking statements and sit down with your fiancé.
Your first act as soon-to-be man and wife is to determine from your existing income and expenses what you can reasonably spend on your wedding.
Our tip is to start with non-negotiable expenses (i.e. utility bills, insurance, mortgage/rent and car repayments) before collating elective expenses (e.g. fitness memberships, clothing expenditure, entertainment). Compare the two for a good indication of what you can save if you scale-back or eliminate the elective expenses.
Prioritise Your wedding Must-Haves
While every bride wants a stunning day to remember, not all brides share the same focus for what is most important for their celebration.
For some brides, the dress has already been picked and mentally checked-off as a purchase, for others, securing the prized venue is more important.
Focusing your budget on what you must include, and economising on what you could go without, will help you to create the kind of celebration you always wanted.
To DIY or Not to DIY
Turning to DIY is a very thrifty way to save cash and explore your creative juices. However, not everyone has the time, resources, organisation or – sadly – skills to craft, create and bake their dream items.
DIY can be incredibly rewarding and fun, but it can also be extremely frustrating and stressful – especially when you’re working against the clock and you don’t have time to redo your items.
Be Open with Suppliers and Wedding Venues with Your Wedding Budgets
It might seem counter-intuitive to be transparent with your budget, but most suppliers and venues are happy and able to make flexible changes to snap up your very important custom: venues might be able to offer different food and beverage packages, photographers might compress their shooting time, your hair salon might offer the services of a final-year apprentice to complete your look. Don’t be afraid to ask – these businesses thrive on your bookings!
Ask for help – practical help
You might be surprised at the veritable skills that hide among your circle of friends: you never know who might be a hobby baker, designer, event planner, makeup aficionado or musician.
Always offer to pay what is fair; don’t expect these skills to come for free. While some friends might be happy to provide their abilities in lieu of a wedding gift, always offer to cover the costs – most of these skills can be time-consuming and require the mastering of complex techniques.