Balancing the Budget – How to stay within your wedding budget.
A stack of coins. Budget advice is included in our wedding planning services.

Date

Let’s face it, there’s a good chance that you will be spending a pretty penny hosting the biggest celebration of your life, and without establishing a wedding budget, you are soon bound to wander into the wedding planning wilderness. But how can you help prevent that from happening?

Speak with your partner – and be REALISTIC! 

First things first, chat with your partner about costs – be open, transparent and realistic. As a guide, the average spend of a wedding in the UK was approx. £32,000 last year (source: The Independent) however you don’t need to spend close to this amount in creating your memorable wedding. Whilst it’s easy to get carried away within the spiral of emotions that comes with planning your special day, no wedding is worth starting your married life in years of debt. 

Some areas you will want to discuss:

  • How much you have in savings.
  • How much you are able to spend on the wedding. 
  • How much (after your monthly outgoings) you are able to save in the run up to the wedding. For instance, let’s say you have £8000 in savings and you are both able to save £800 a month, it would take you 15 months to save up for a £20,000 wedding. Also, don’t forget up front costs such as deposits which will need to be paid in advance. 
  • The size of your guest list – this will determine roughly how much you’ll be looking to save. 
  • Whether your families are contributing to the wedding expenses (and how these can potentially be split.) 

If you absolutely must borrow through a loan, don’t take on more debt than you can pay off in a year. Also, if you are personally paying for your wedding, consider creating a separate bank account. Having a separate account means you can structure your expenses and keep track of your invoices more easily. Remember you will want holidays, a home and potentially children in the future.. this is just the start of your amazing journey together! 

Establish a wedding budget system 

Wedding budget (2)

You will need to implement a system to track your expenditure (remember, in one way or another, your budget will affect every decision of the wedding!) A spreadsheet will more than suffice and breaking down how much you intend on spending on each item/service will help refine costs. Moreover, we would recommend creating your own separate wedding budget planner and expenditure spreadsheet – therefore you can track your initial estimates against your actual expenses. Your spreadsheet can also be used as a handy organisational tool of what’s left to be done too. 

Whilst some couples prefer to handle the budget themselves, we provide budget management and payment scheduling assistance as part of our services. Further to this, we also supply our couples with their own budget planner for keeping an eye on breakdowns and costs. Once you have an idea of how to properly divide funds, you’ll be able to avoid potential budgeting mistakes. It is pivotal to include at least a 10% contingency fund within your budget (you are bound to succumb to some temptations along the way!) This will also allow some breathing space for unexpected bills .. or easily forgotten things.

It’s also a good idea to itemise specific costs provided by your suppliers within your spreadsheets. This may sound terribly tedious, but it will extinguish the chance of any hidden costs being handed to you further down the line. The last thing you want is to be embroiled in an argument following a vague estimate and become beleaguered by a cloud of bitterness in the run up to the most fantastic day of your life. 

What means most? Figure out your priorities.  

It’s vital to decide what is important to you and set priorities before you arbitrarily assign numbers. Compromise and consider what are the two (or three) things that are most important to you.

Wedding planning is an ever-evolving process. If you choose to invest heavily on your stunning wedding venue for example, this in in turn going to have a knock on effect on other areas, like catering, decor, entertainment etc. The trick is to find the happy medium whereby you have prioritised your “non-negotiables” and compromised on areas that you feel aren’t as important (or may not be necessary.)

Of course, whilst, we encourage allocating funds according to your three priorities, this has to be within reason. It would be rather foolhardy to splurge 60% of your budget on the venue of your dreams, 20% on your favourite wedding photographer and 15% on a dress you’ve fallen in love with only to realise you’ve only got a small fraction of your budget left to be allocated to many more essential areas! 

Resisting temptation – Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

Traditionally, approximately 50% of wedding budget will be spent on “big ticket items” such as your venue, catering and alcohol expenses. With that in mind, the remaining half is for everything else – flowers, entertainment, decor, rentals, photographer .. and even areas that resonate to you as a couple – whether it be a special fireworks display or bespoke fancy stationary. Make sure that once you’ve got the big things covered, you’re clear exactly how much you have in your budget for these extras.

Whilst you will deliberate with joy over items you feel are going enhance your celebration, it will also be helpful to keep a list of things that won’t matter in the same way. For example, you might initially swoon over some fantastic diamante encrusted wedding favours you’ve found but is it really worth cutting corners on your evening meal so that you can provide such extravagant gifts? 

The likelihood is by asking yourself, “will anyone notice if we don’t have it?’ that on many occasions you’ll realise the answer is probably no. Whilst keeping in mind the comfort of your guests is paramount, no one is going to cause a fracas because they’ve been served cava instead of champagne, or because you haven’t glittered your guests with these extravagant wedding favours (who’s guilty of leaving them behind after a few too many chardonnays anyway?) 

Ultimately, don’t sweat the small stuff – whilst small details are important, there is no need to become burdened by them as the bigger picture is what you are aiming to achieve.

And so our dissection of the wedding budget concludes – we hope its been useful! Whilst this probably hasn’t been the most romantic (or exhilarating!) of wedding topics, it is of great importance as due to a combination of a factors (whether it be the theatre of emotions, lack of communication/organisation) wedding finances can easily spiral out of control. If properly managed however, you will  conquer those wedding costs and reap the rewards at the end. 

Let’s create something spectacular – Would you like our assistance in planning the Jersey wedding of your dreams? Our islandwide relationships helps us to harness and maximise our clients finances in providing the ultimate WOW factor. We are currently offering a free, no obligation consultation to all couples and offer a range of services tailored to your requirements. 

Email – info@islandfever.je
Phone – 07797826550 

✍️ Gareth

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