Your wedding is probably going to be the biggest party you and your other half have ever thrown.
But that doesn’t mean that the budget has to be blown.
In fact, unless you’ve recently won the lottery, you would do well to plan now…so you don’t need to worry later.
And that planning doesn’t mean cutting all the fun and personality out of your day, in fact with a bit of savvy and thought you can actually create a day that is as extravagant or elegant as you are as a couple.
Here are a few tips we’ve learned along the way that will help you plan the wedding of your, and your bank manager’s, dreams.
- Don’t just talk about it – set a budget
First things first figure out how much you have to spend. Rather than going straight to planning the table centres, figure out how much you actually have to spend.
You might be lucky enough to have parents who can contribute, which is great, but don’t assume they will. And if they or other loved ones are going to contribute, you need to know how much so that you can create an overall budget.
Your budget won’t just include the big things, but also those less obvious items like presents for the bridal party, stamps for invites and ceremony fees, because before you know it they will have eaten into your overall budget.
And once you’ve set a budget make sure to allow for the unexpected. By building in at least a 10% contingency, whatever comes your way you can cover the cost.
And once you know how much you’ve got then its time to research and refine your wish list. Prioritize the things that mean most to you as a couple. That could be the music, flowers, the food or even having a photo booth…knowing what matters and where you want to spend more, or less, on will help you customize your budget to fit your needs.
- The Guestlist
Choosing who to invite can be one of the most stressful parts of your wedding planning. But by not being careful your numbers can shoot up and either make or break your budget.
As a couple think about the people that you couldn’t imagine not having at your wedding. Jot these down, say 15 family members each from the bride and groom’s family, and 10 friends each with their plus ones and you will probably be surprised to see that you’ve already got 70 guests. And that’s before you invite family friends, neighbours, work colleagues!
- The Venue
June to September is prime wedding season when the cost of venues go up. If you don’t mind opting for months outside this window you could save up to 50% on the cost of your venue as demand reduces.
Breaking with tradition again and opting for a mid-week wedding could also save you big on venue costs. Saturday is the most popular and most expensive day to get married – so think about going for another day and letting your guests know well in advance so they can plan time off and make arrangements.
- Don’t say the word wedding
The moment a vendor hears the word wedding the price tends to shoot up. So when sourcing flowers or even just your cake, don’t say the word wedding, rather refer to it as a party or celebration.
Obviously once you are married make sure to tell the hotel, airline and any other venues you visit on your honeymoon that you just got wed…you will be surprised how many upgrades and free gifts will be offered to you.
- The Dress
Your wedding dress might well be the most expensive item of clothing you ever buy. But it doesn’t have to be. Think about it you probably wont ever wear it again and if you are at all sentimental you probably won’t sell it. So rather than spend thousands look out for designer sample sales where you can pick up a dress for a fraction of the price. Or go vintage and pick up a second hand dresses that will only need a dry clean after being worn once!
- Get creative
Even if you aren’t creative, you are sure to have friends who are. You can make massive savings on the cost of décor and favours by making them yourself. Get savvy and get online to find cheap crafting items and scour the net and markets to find second hand items that can be used to add a creative flair to your venue.
- The gift of cash
If you live together the traditional gifts to set up home don’t really apply to you and your other half. And it is becoming more common for couples to ask for the gift of money as an alternative to the traditional wedding list of pots and pans, linen or a food mixer. If you aren’t comfortable asking for cash outright, perhaps as guests to contribute to your honeymoon with guests contributing to specific experiences.
Now you’ve got the budget sorted, we’ve got a perfect wedding entertainment package with $300 OFF – FIND OUT MORE