How to Stay Within Your Wedding Budget
Regular readers will know I’m always wittering on about wedding budgets! It’s really important to set your budget up front and be comfortable with what you’re going to spend. More help here on this topic.
But once you’ve set your budget, how do you go about keeping to it? It can be easy to get carried away with ideas you see on Pinterest or in magazines and before you know it, you’ve totally blown your budget.
Here are my top tips for ensuring you keep within your budget. And you can find more help here on ways to save money on your wedding.
Have A System
I usually recommend that couples use an Excel spreadsheet to track their spend. It doesn’t need to be a complicated document and if you don’t have Excel, there are similar free options on Google docs.
A spreadsheet will allow you to record the cost of each supplier; the amount of deposit you paid and when; the balance due and when; and will easily allow you to total up your spend to date as well as all the remaining costs.
Factor in some contingency budget at the outset too. It’s better to have some additional cash set aside in case of increased or unexpected costs. If you don’t spend it – happy days
Suppliers who will be at your wedding for the majority of the day, such as photographers and planners, will usually quote you a price which provides a certain amount of hours. Make sure you check their contract for the price per hour you will pay if you go over the number of hours quoted.
This will also apply to entertainment, musicians and DJs so check how long you’re paying for. You probably won’t want to stop the party if everyone’s having a blast but it’s important to know what it might cost you!
Take Your Time
Don’t make rushed decisions on anything. It’s easy to get swept up in a rush of excitement about something but you could end up paying more than you needed to or changing your mind completely.
So always take your time to look at different options for your suppliers and be sure about your style/colour/theme before you commit to anything.
Don’t get scammed! Sadly, I see far too many posts from couples who have been scammed by untrustworthy suppliers. So do your research, check their reviews and listen to your gut. If a small business has switched off reviews for example on their Facebook page, this should be a warning sign to you. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
And take out wedding insurance to cover you in the event of a supplier going bust before your big day.
Don’t forget to factor in costs for hair and make up trials. These are not free and the costs can quickly add up, especially if you have more than one to get the perfect look.
Florists and stylists will usually do a quick mock up for you included in their price (although you should always check before asking them to do this.) But if you ask for lots and keep changing things, they may need to charge you for their time.
Allow some contingency in your numbers in case you need to buy or hire additional items for the weather. For example, you might want to hire umbrellas if it’s going to be a wet day, blankets for cooler evenings, parasols & air conditioning units if it’s really hot.
It’s very easy for the smaller costs to quickly add up and take you over budget. So make sure you factor everything in, such as stamps to issue your save the dates and invites.
Also don’t forget to include the cost of favours and gifts for your bridal party. Hen and stag parties need to be factored in too. And what about travel? You might not need formal wedding transport but do you need taxis anywhere?
Chances are your wedding dress will need some alterations so make sure you include this in your budget. You may need a few sessions with your seamstress to get the dress perfect. (I had to have my dress taken in by another 2 inches the week before the wedding!!)
You may also need alterations to the men’s suits or bridesmaids dresses.
Be Money Smart
Now I can’t give you financial advice but here are a couple of ideas for you to consider. Keep your wedding funds in a separate account, preferably one which will earn you some interest. This way it’s easier to keep track of your spending and what you have left.
You could also consider using a dedicated credit card for wedding purchases. If you get one which offers cash back on your purchases you can save even more money.
I hope these tips help you to manage your wedding budget. When couples book me to help them to plan their wedding, one of the key things I do is manage their budget.
So if you need some help with any aspect of your wedding, get in touch. I offer a range of services which are always tailored to your needs so there’s no need to struggle alone.