Planning for your big day is fun and exciting and it’s so easy to get carried away with wanting the very best for your wedding guests. But if you overspend, and are still paying off debts years after the celebrations have stopped, the day you want to be memorable can quickly become unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.
So to keep stress levels (and spend) to a minimum, before you commit to spending money, try to think of ways to keep the costs down and still make sure your big day is the very best it can be.
Be clear about what kind of wedding you want and, more importantly, can afford. You may plan for only a handful of guests with a no-frills ceremony and small reception but even a small event can run into the thousands if you aren’t careful. A good tip is to do plenty of research, both on the internet or among your friends. Find out how much they spent on their weddings, what their priorities were.
Consider the following:
- Number of guests
- Venue for ceremony and reception
- Bridal party gown, hair and make up/wedding party wear
- Wedding rings
- Catering and wedding cake
- Flowers and decoration
- Music & Entertainment
Prioritise what is important to you; you might want to spend more money on a fantastic photographer, or the dream venue, but you are not so worried about a traditional three-course wedding breakfast with a free bar. You might have dreams of six bridesmaids but can walk from the church to the reception without the need for wedding cars.
Try and work out how much you want to spend on each item to come up with a total cost. Use the savings plan to write down each cost and how you plan to save for it and start saving as soon as possible. Open a savings account and don’t be tempted to use the money for anything else. If your parents or friends offer to contribute, take this into account. Some suppliers will allow payment of the bigger items by installments – don’t be afraid to ask they can only say no!
Those who follow Fanfare and our blogs will know that we are DIY wedding enthusiasts and always trying to find ways to keep the costs down. There are many ways you can reduce the cost of your wedding. For instance, you can be creative and hire affordable essentials, then use your creative flair to make them into something unique. Cheap doesn’t have to mean tacky, you just have to be innovative. Collect furniture and equipment, if you can, and save on delivery costs.
If you’re not creative take advantage of a creative friend, enlist their help to make the cake, design the invitations and adorn the venue with handmade decorations. And, as most couples already live with their partners before they tie the knot, instead of having a wedding gift list, why not set up a honeymoon fund instead?
Unless you are very strict, it’s highly likely that your wedding will go over budget. If you can, set aside a small amount of money as a contingency, to avoid nasty surprises. After all, it’s your big day, your way. And even after all that planning and saving, if you decide at the last minute that your wedding would be nothing without the Airstream caravan photo booth and ice-cream van, then make sure you get it, without regret.