Time to Set a Budget....
The first thing you need to know about Weddings is they can get REALLY expensive really easily. There are so many exciting and beautiful things about weddings – the dress, the diamonds, twinkly fairy lights, exotic flowers imported from some far flung desert island…..When it comes to weddings the sky can be the limit, and it is really easy to get carried away and lose control all together. So - first things first – Budget.
So – what is a “Wedding Budget”? It’s basically how much you can afford to, or want to, spend on your special day. Traditionally the Bride’s father would pay for the wedding, but this is the 21st Century and nowadays many couples chose to or are forced to pay for their own wedding. So it’s time to sit down with your new fiancé and consider, seriously, how much you can afford to save and spend on your wedding. Sit down with your parents – both sets – and discuss your wedding plans. Many families still like to contribute to their daughters/sons weddings – and this gracious gift can make a huge difference to your wedding plans. Consider though, that if your family are contributing to your wedding – you may want to acknowledge this by including them in your plans.
***Remember – if you and your fiancé are going it alone and covering the entire cost of your wedding yourself – don’t go overboard if you can’t afford it. Your wedding is the beginning of the rest of your life together – up to your eyeballs in debt is really NOT a great way to start!
Next up – think about the size of your wedding - do you have big families or lots of friends? How many people would you like to share your day with? The people factor is key to setting a budget – the more people you have – the more money you’ll spend. Take this into consideration when deciding if you want your bosses’ daughter or your cat sitter to join you on the most important day of your life.
DO YOUR RESEARCH – I cannot stress this point enough. Costs for things like venues, cakes, celebrants and photographers and so on DRAMATICALLY change dependent on where you are getting married and what you expect from your vendors. Don’t look at the prices or budgets in Bridal Magazines and assume that is what you are going to be spending – pick up the phone, get on the email and ask as many vendors as you can for quotes. At Manawatu Weddings – we make this part A LOT easier for you with the “Shortlist” function on our website. Register (for free) – shortlist the vendors that you like and then follow the instructions to send one message that will reach them all!
Next – make up a basic budget spreadsheet and allocate the funds from your budget how you want to spend them. This is the part where you find out if you need to make some changes or if you need to give yourself some more time to save. There are no set rules to what percentage of your budget should be spent on what items – it’s purely down to personal preference and what is most important to you on your day.
To help save some money – attend public events like Expos and Shos - there are lots of giveaway and discount vouchers given out on the day that can help to put a little extra money into the honeymoon fund.
Last but certainly not least – have a contingency budget. There are almost ALWAYS unforeseen expenses – additional alterations to the dress, additional guests etc. and sometime things just end up costing more money than planned. Take this into consideration and allow yourself a little breathing room JUST IN CASE – if you don’t need it – you’ll have a little extra spending money for your honey moon.