How to plan your wedding budget.
Working out how much you have to spend on your wedding is often one of the hardest tasks for couples and it come right at the start of your planning! It is important to work out your budget before booking any suppliers or viewing any venues! Below are some of my top tips to help you plan your wedding budget as easily and pain free as possible!
The first step in planning your budget for your wedding is to have an honest conversation with each other. How much can you really afford to put towards the wedding without going into huge amounts of debt? What is a realistic figure that you are happy to spend? Be honest and make sure that you are both on the same page.
The next step is then to work out who is paying for the wedding, is it solely you, are parents contributing or are they offering to pay for a part of the day? This is another conversation you need to have and make sure that everyone agrees and are all happy before progressing with venue viewings and securing a date!
Whats the most important elements of the wedding to you both. Is it the flowers, location, music or food? What do you want your guests to remember from your day, what do you and your guests want to feel when they walk into your reception? What would make your guests say ‘their wedding was a real reflection of them’ Once you work this out, you then know what suppliers you would like to spend more money on. If food is really important to you, you then know you go with higher end caterer and offer more than one option or upgrade your wine choice? If its music that’s important you could go for a larger band or get a band and a DJ! This is an important step that will really help you know where you can allocate your budget the best and get the wedding you dreamed off.
3. Keep on track
It is vital to keep on top of your spending! It is worth setting up a spreadsheet or searching for one online and every time you get a quote from a supplier or book a supplier this needs to be updated. I have one of these for all of my couples and keep them updated through out the whole planning process. I like to included 3 columns ‘Expected, Supplier Quote and Actual’ this allows you to allocate what you would like to spend, then when you get quotes back from suppliers you can compare if that’s in the region you were hoping to pay. Once you have started booking suppliers you should also factor in a few additional columns so you can make notes on when deposits were paid, how much they were and when the final payment is due. I have a PDF budget planner that you can get for free here and use to track your supplier quotes and spending.
Guests can have a big impact on your spending for the wedding. Some couples feel like the best way to make sure no one feels left out is to over invite and hope that a lot of guests say they cant make it leaving a smaller guest list of people who can attend. However this is the wrong way to go! You need to be ruthless with your guest list and keep it short, you need to assume that everyone you send an invite to will attend! Pretty much everything for the guests at the wedding is priced per head. So 5 extra guests isn’t just 5 extra meals, its 5 extra drinks, place cards, canapes, even a possible centrepiece if you need to add an additional table! So be ruthless and make sure everyone you invite are people you want at your wedding.
5. Enquiries and quotes.
Now its finally time to get quotes from suppliers! You should aim to get 2-3 quotes from each kind of supplier and compare them before booking. Do you research and try only to get quotes from suppliers who you think it could be likely you book from. In order to get detailed quote you need to make sure you include as much information as possible in your enquiries. This will allow you to make a better comparison and know if they are likely to be the supplier for you.
You should try and contact the wedding suppliers who can only do one wedding a day first. So wedding planner, photographer, videographer, church/venue etc. After this go for the on the day suppliers caterers, florist, hair and makeup then the suppliers that don’t need to attend on the day stationers, cake makers etc. This will ensure that the limited availability suppliers are confirmed for your date first.
Once you have your quotes back from each supplier go back and do more research, check google reviews, go and visit them at wedding fairs or at their studios and really get a feel for them and find one you click with. If they match your budget, your style of wedding and you click with them then they are your supplier!
If you need help with planning your wedding budget and would like advise on how to utilise your budget to create the wedding of your dreams, contact me!