Weddings are expensive, the average one costs just over £30,000, and you want to spend that wisely as it can be spent much quicker than you realise. So the first thing that you’ve got to work out, before you go and book your dream vendors left, right and centre, is how much your wedding budget is.
How much money do you have in your bank? How much can you save before your wedding day? Is anyone going to be gifting you some money? These are questions that you’ve got to ask yourself to even start coming up with a realistic wedding budget. The next thing to work out is whether or not your parents are going to be contributing to your budget. And if they are how much? Are they going to be giving you a lump sum or are they going to pay for one aspect of your wedding? Like your wedding photographer. Hopefully this should give you some idea about what you budget is for your wedding.
Once you’ve got that budget shave 10% off it. So if you’re initial budget was £30,000* take £3000 off to leave you with £27,000. This is your new budget. The reason for doing this is so that you’ve got a contingency if you over spend but you are at least aiming to come in under budget.
Then split this £27,000 straight down the middle. 50/50. You now have two £13,500 segments. One of these segments is to be your budget for your venue (and everything that goes with it, such as food and drink, marquee hire etc). The remaining £13,500 should be split into further segments. 20% (£2,700) should be for your photographer (after all your wedding photographs are going to be one of the remaining tangible things left after the big day). This leaves you with £10,800 for other expenses that you have to prioritise, this could be the dress, the flowers, the ceremony, the car etc and of course if you have any money left over from your venue budget you can add this to these expenses.
One of the best ways that I stay on budget is by keeping a spreadsheet. If different people are paying for different aspects of your wedding then it might be a good idea to use a system like Google Sheets. This way the spreadsheet can be shared between people and updated when it needs to be.
My final piece of advice is to book your priority vendors first. For me these would be the venue, the photographer and the band, as all of these can be booked up early. These 3 vendors can also be the most expensive so if you book them first then you’ll have a much better idea about your remaining budget.
*£30,000 is just an example budget taken from the average wedding cost in the UK as of July 2018. However, you must work out your budget and then plan accordingly.