It may be the biggest day of your life, and the lead up to it can often be the most stressful time of your life too.
But, planning a wedding isn’t an impossible task, and with enough planning and thought put into it, you can have your dream day – without breaking the bank.
To make sure everything runs smoothly, you should try to:
Setting yourself a budget for the entire wedding will help you to keep an eye on how much you’re spending in each area and stop you from getting too carried away. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of how much you want to spend along with how much you have spent so far - this should help you stay in control. If you can, have a contingency fund of 10% for extra costs that crop up as you go along.
Look into taking out wedding insurance
This can be a life-saver if you have any problems when it comes to your big day. Should the day itself get cancelled due to illness or adverse weather conditions, some policies could cover the cost, while others might protect you should the venue go bust. You should look into this, especially if you are spending thousands on your wedding day.
Make lists and consider times
Lists are a simple but effective way to stay in the know. Make separate lists for the guests you want to invite, the services you have to pay for and the things you have to do – and tick things off once you’ve done them. This will help you to keep track of everything you’ve done so far, and it can be pretty satisfying.
You should also try to consider the time of your ceremony when booking. If you want to do it in the morning, remember that you’ll have to get ready before you go, so if you want to really enjoy your day without rushing, consider booking it a bit later on in the day. Similarly, if your guests will have a long drive ahead of them, they’ll probably prefer a 1pm start time as it means that they won’t necessary have to leave at the crack of dawn or pay for a hotel the night before.
Most importantly, you should remember that you’re set to spend the rest of your life with your partner, so bear that in mind when planning your wedding. Do you really want to be paying for your wedding 10 years down the line? Your future together is arguably more important, and splashing out a huge amount on one day might not seem like such a good idea a few years later.
Other things you could consider include:
You could pay hundreds of pounds on having personalised invitations and order of services made for you, but why not be creative yourself? Making your own invitations will allow you much more freedom to express yourself and you could hand deliver them rather than paying for postage. There are lots of invitation tutorials online and you could choose a simple design if you’ve not got much time.
Using your connections
If you know someone who bakes, who you trust, why not ask them if they would mind making your wedding cake? They may even be willing to give you your wedding cake in place of a wedding gift.
Does anyone you know have a car that makes you a little bit envious? How about asking them if you can use it as transportation to and from the venue? This could save you a considerable amount.
Hosting your wedding ceremony on a weekend is often much more expensive, so you may find booking it on a weekday a good way to save. Make sure you give your guests plenty of notice so they can arrange time off work if you decide to do this.
You may also consider cutting back on the number of guests you choose to invite. Close family and friends are fine, but do you really want to fork out cash for guests you barely know? You’ll be able to cut down on your costs massively if you don’t have to feed a large number of people.
Using your credit card
Consider using a credit card to pay for some of the larger wedding costs providing, of course, that you know you’ll be able to repay what you borrow. This is because of the protection offered by the Consumer Credit Act which means your credit card provider will refund you for any services that aren’t carried out or are faulty. This applies to purchases made between £100 and £33,000.
Credit cards with interest-free periods on purchases add an extra cushion to your borrowing, as you won’t have to pay any interest until the promotional period ends – providing you make at least the minimum repayment each month and don’t go over your credit limit.
Don’t spend beyond your means
Regardless of how opulent you want your day to be, you should only really spend what you can comfortably afford. If you’re considering taking on credit to fund your wedding, you should always make sure you’ll be able to make the repayments. There’s no sense in spending thousands of pounds over budget if you don’t think you’ll be able to repay it easily.
Don’t forget it’s your day
Your wedding day is meant to be a celebration of you and your partner’s love for one another, so the most important thing is that you’re both happy. Try not to let the stresses of planning the wedding get to you. To try and minimise worry, plan far in advance and try to use savings where you can.
Don't be afraid to delegate where you can
It’s normal to delegate tasks and roles to your friends and family when planning a wedding. It’s likely they’ll want to help you in any way they can, and they’ll probably be overjoyed to hear they’ve been chosen to be your maid of honour or best man. If someone volunteers to bake the cake or organise the DJ, don’t be afraid to check up on them to see how they’re getting on. They’ll know you’re just anxious that everything goes to plan.
Don’t take all the control away from your partner
Your big day is a celebration of your future life together, so don’t set things off to a bad start by controlling your partner or pushing them out of the whole planning process. You may think they wouldn’t know where to start when planning, but they might surprise you!
Try and aim to plan things together so it’s not just one of you burdened with the whole organisation of the wedding. You’ll both be better at different things, so why not play on each other’s strengths and truly work together to make the day perfect for both of you?
Don’t be afraid to be original
The traditional ceremony might be right up your street, but if it’s not, don’t feel obliged to conform. It’s you and your partner’s special day, so you should do things how you want them to be done. So what if you both have a shared love of 1970s disco and want a night-fever-style ceremony? If it’s more meaningful to you, you should go for it. There’s nothing wrong with being unconventional.
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By Dan Griffiths