How to Set Your Wedding Budget

Harriet Wilde Wedding Shoes

First things first, your wedding budget is possibly the least romantic element of planning your wedding but also one of the most important tasks! Wedding budgets are not fun… Unless you love spreadsheets and numbers, you will probably hate everything about your wedding budget.

Today, we are sharing our Top 8 tips of how to set and actually stick to your wedding budget. So, without further ado….

Set Your Wedding Budget!

Try to get as organized as possible from the start to make the wedding planning process less stressful. The first priority is to decide how much you have available for your wedding and what you can and can’t afford. Weddings can be expensive events and it is your responsibility to ensure they do not break the bank. Set realistic expectations of what you can afford and what is achievable within your budget.

Confirm who is paying for what and as soon as you can check whether financial assistance is likely to be forthcoming. Many family members like to contribute towards your wedding day and want to pay for a particular element of your wedding day such as, your wedding dress, food and/or drink, or the wedding flowers instead of giving a set amount. Be flexible and open of any financial suggestions.

By setting your wedding budget from the very start you now know how much you have to spend and can now start your venue search, supplier sourcing and all the other fun elements of wedding planning.

Wedding Day Priorities 

Next, work out your priorities and what is the most important aspect of your wedding day. It is time to prioritize the main areas of spending. Remember that you and your fiancé may have different views and opinions, so a compromise may be required. The most important aspects of your wedding are where the bulk of your wedding budget will go. These are typically: Venue, Food and Drink, Floral Design, Attire and Guest Experience / Entertainment. Discuss what is essential and what is nice to have? There is a big difference between them both and your opinions might be different, so be prepared to meet in the middle.

By carefully considering and allocating your wedding budget, this will help you and save a significant amount of time later throughout the wedding planning process.

Approximate Guest Numbers

Before starting your venue search, write a quick guest list and confirm approximate numbers. The higher your guest numbers, the more expensive your wedding! Allocating guest numbers is a very difficult task but you need to be realistic from the start. Create a must be there list, would like to be there list and evening guest list allocation. Set yourself ground rules and stick to them. It is typically said, if you would not pay to go for dinner with the guest, then do not invite them to your daytime celebration. Cutting your guest list is the most effective way to reduce your overall wedding budget.

Be Open & Honest

Always be open and honest. Be open and honest with each other, family members and set realistic expectations of what you can and can’t afford. Secondly, always be open and honest when sourcing your wedding suppliers. Let them know your budget for that specific supplier and ask for a bespoke quote based on this figure. Professional, trustworthy and friendly suppliers will make suggestions to help get the best value for money! Suppliers are here to help you and to help maximize your budget. So, where possible work within a given budget, seek the expertise of those you hire to help maximize your budget and you will likely achieve a better result.

Wedding Budget Spreadsheet 

Keeping control of your finances and wedding budget is crucial! Create a wedding financial tracker to keep track of finances. This document should include: Budget vs Actuals, Monthly Outgoings and Supplier Payments. Breakdown your wedding budget into the most important factors for you as a couple and carefully allocate funds to each category. You may need to do some research here! By having a wedding budget spreadsheet, everything is black and white, and everything becomes more real! Always remember you are spending real money and every penny counts within your budget.

At The Events Designers, we highly advise, you update, check in and refer to this wedding budget tracker at all times especially if staying in budget is important to you. Update this document as often as required and analyze your budget vs actuals on a monthly basis. Please remember that a couple of extra hundreds here and there will soon add up and before you know it you will have a number of payment deadlines.

The Monthly Outgoings and Supplier Tracker elements are very important to keep track of payment dates. You can review how much is due in what month and allocate funds where required. Worrying about supplier payments and due dates will ruin the enjoyment of wedding planning so get organized as soon as you can!

If possible, allocate the wedding fund to a separate account which you both have access to. This way it is much easier to manage supplier payments, withdrawals, and a great way to have separate of every day money. You can also share this accounts details with any family members who are contributing to make it easier to manage contributions and outgoings.

Check, Check and Check Again!

Always check each individual quote with detail and if required ask for a breakdown. Get every cost in writing via email and keep all quotes on file. Check whether prices are inclusive of VAT, service charges, and if delivery costs are included within the final quote if applicable.

10% Contingency 

You are likely to exceed your wedding budget, so where possible add in a 10% contingency. We recommend allocating a 10% contingency purely because there might be some elements which you haven’t accounted for, such as: Wedding Insurance, Transport Costs, VAT and any extra hidden costs. Yes, wedding insurance really is critical. Don’t even question it, just take it out.

If you haven’t overspent a little, you now have a little extra for a post-wedding treat, honeymoon treat or gifts for loved ones.

Hire A Wedding Planner 

Hiring a Wedding Planner could really help if you are struggling to set or to manage your wedding budget. Whilst there is an additional expense, hiring a Wedding Planner can save you money in the long-run. Wedding Planners are amazing communicators, build and maintain incredible supplier relationships and are key at negotiating a good price. They can also help to ensure your wedding budget goes as far as possible ensuring the best possible value for money!