The word 'expensive' might spring to mind when you think about your wedding plans, but it doesn’t have to be.
Welcome to one of the most exciting times of your life - planning a wedding. Take a look at these steps you can take to stop your budget running away from you and make wedding planning a fun and cost-efficient experience.
Have ‘the talk’
This is a conversation no one has ever wanted to have in the history of planning a wedding. Ultimately though, “the talk” does have to happen at some point and the sooner you get it out of the way, the better.
Sit down over a glass of fizz, or a cup of tea, with those involved and discuss who’ll pay for what. Back in the day, the brides’ family would pick up the entire wedding bill, but nowadays a lot of couples steer away from this. It’s much more common for both families and the couple themselves to pay for part of the big day too.
The easiest way to have these conversations is to sit down with each set of parents separately and have an open discussion. If your parents are planning on contributing, try to agree on a specific amount. Add this all up, including what you are both planning on putting in, and voila, you have your budget.
Do you need to invite your second cousin?
Remember, each person attending your wedding adds to the total bill in some way or another. There’s the cost per head for food, alcohol and soft drinks, as well as stationary and favours. When planning your big day, think about the people that you really want to share the day with.
If you wouldn’t get them a Christmas card and equally would never receive one back, should you still invite them? When was the last time you spoke to them? If there are people that your partner/parents really do want there, then don’t discard them completely without a conversation. But, equally think about the wedding costs slowly creeping up as you add more and more people to the guest list.
The smaller the guest list, the less you’ll need to pay for things like cutlery, alcohol, food and favours.
Location, location, location
Some cities and towns are so much more expensive than others. With the rise in the average cost of a wedding reaching a whopping £32,273 in 2018, why not take the opportunity to look at a location a bit further afield and see what difference it makes to the cost.
Venues such as trendy barns, grand ornate ballrooms or lavish hotels will most likely set you back a large sum. Why not take the opportunity to look for something a bit different and unique - for example some old industrial buildings, which occasionally host weddings, can be dressed up to the nines and come at a fraction of the price!
Think about the date and time
Thinking about a summer bank holiday wedding? Reckon it’d be cheaper to get married on that Sunday? Think again. Highly sought-after seasons and weekends are much pricier for obvious reasons.
Days in the week aren’t usually considered by many couples, as there’s a fear that you’ll be asking your guests to take time off work to come to your big day. If your budget is tight, giving people enough notice of your Thursday nuptials shouldn’t be a problem as it gives your guests time to book holiday days and travel arrangements.
Because of their lack of popularity for that reason, it means that ceremony and reception venues, as well as most of the other vendors such as florists and caterers might charge you less rates on weekdays.
And finally, not forgetting the little things
These sneaky little costs must be added into your budget planning as they can rack up some serious costs if not kept on top of.
Those cute little favours you’ve seen on Pinterest, with a small bottle of gin and accompanying tonic, could end up costing more than you thought. For boozy favours, you could be charged a ‘corkage’ fee per bottle to bring alcohol into the premises – even for tiny bottles! If you’re planning on doing this, it’s well worth checking with the venue in advance to see how much you could expect to pay.
Treating your bridal party to a little gift each? A necklace for your bridesmaids and a hipflask for the ushers? But then what about the parents? Maybe some flowers for the mothers and cufflinks for the fathers? It’s a lovely gesture of thanks to everyone that has been involved in the planning and prep for your big day, but with these presents totalling between £100 and £800, it’s best to factor them into the budget from the off.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.