Wedding Budgeting Tips from Someone Who’s Been There
(with a free wedding budget spreadsheet to download and use!)
At the start of this year Chris and I tied the knot in a beautiful barn wedding up in Scotland surrounded by our closest friends and family. It was the most magical day and we’re still in our little newly wed bubble! We planned our big day in just 6 months with a totally DIY venue, so I thought I’d share some of out top tips for helping to budget your wedding…and share our wedding budget spreadsheet too!
My first tip is to write down everything you want at your wedding and organise them into 3 categories: Must Have, Would Love and Not Fussed. For example at our wedding a photographer and a band were ‘must haves’, a videographer was a ‘would love’ and fancy table decorations were a ‘not bothered’. This meant that we prioritised budget for our photographer and band, decided against fancy centrepieces in favour of a more budget friendly natural look and waited until we’d sorted the majority of the other things before seeing if we had enough left in the budget for our videographer*.
Really have a think about what means the most for you on your wedding day and be strict with yourself when categorizing things…they can’t all sit in the must have section!
* Luckily we did and I would urge anyone planning a wedding to put a videographer in their must have category because it’s so beautiful and such a great memory of your big day.
My next tip is to mentally walk yourself through your big day. Sit down, close your eyes and imagine your day from the moment you wake up through to the moment you get back into your honeymoon suit. How does it look? What does the getting ready process look like – do you have someone doing your hair & makeup, a glass of fizz, kids running round? How are you getting to your venue? Is the car important? How about your ceremony, the meal, your speeches, the first dance? Walk yourself through the whole day and see what actually stands out to you as a couple and your guests.
This is a great way to understand what is important to you (or not) on your wedding day so you’re able to prioritise those items and vendors. Is a big cake important for people to see, watch you cut and then tuck into? Or would you rather put the money from that into upgrading your bouquet and have a doughnut wall instead! Try not to get swept up into ‘traditions’ you don’t really care about – it’s your day, plan it how YOU want.
Our ceremony and venue was all in one place but if we had to travel I would rather go in a taxi and use the fancy wedding car money to upgrade the food or something else instead! That’s the beauty of planning a wedding – find your personal priorities and roll with them.
Which brings us onto my next tip – think about equivalents. When you get a price for something in your wedding – whether that’s £1,000 for a fresh floral arch or £200 extra to upgrade your glassware – think about your priorities list and the equivalent item or service it could buy. For example, if you had a videographer on your ‘would love’ list but they’re £1,400, could you make your own flower arch and stick with the more basic glasses in order to afford your dream video instead?
Or, if you’re just trying to cut down wedding costs in general, think about the new kitchen cupboards that £1,000 floral arch could buy that will last longer and be of more use! Remember your visual walk-around? How long were you actually stood under that arch and how many photos is it in? Is it truly worth it for you, or is it a cost that can be trimmed or money that can be spent better elsewhere?
Little and Often
When it comes to actually saving for your wedding, think little and often. Putting small amounts of money into a wedding fund regularly is a great way to help your budget grow without making yourself miserable in the process (or bankrupting yourself either!).
You could try out one of those money apps like Plum who round up your purchases and place the excess into a little saving pot, or set up a direct debit for £20 a week to automatically go out so you don’t really miss it. You could also set yourselves little goals by breaking down the wedding spends into individual targets eg. this month we’re trying to save £200 for my wedding shoes or £150 for chair covers, instead of looking at it as one big goal to hit.
But the best way to start your wedding fund is…
Personal Finance Audit
…to do a personal finance audit. Sit down with your bank app and your bills and take a look at where exactly you’re spending your money. Split it into basic bills – such as mortgage, water, electric, phone bill – and luxuries – such as clothes, eating out, alcohol etc. Take an objective look and see where you might be able to cut down a little on the luxury side.
Put that weekly £25 you’d spend on a takeaway into the wedding fund and eat from the fridge instead. Try cutting down the amount you spend on clothes for a few months or cancel that streaming service you don’t really use. It all makes a difference when you’re trying to save a little extra for something you really want. You can also have a ring round and see if you can get your utilities a little cheaper – ya know, the basic saving money stuff.
It’s about balancing how much you want your wedding to look a certain way, vs what you’re willing to sacrifice in the run up to that.
READ NEXT: 10 Easy Savings Hacks You Can Use RIGHT NOW!
Another little tip I found useful (but that might not work for everyone) is to round things up. So when I was filling things in on my spreadsheet if something was £53, I would write it down as £55, if it was £99 would be £100 and so on. Then around a week before our wedding when we’d paid all our invoices, we realised we had a couple of hundred pounds spare in our budget, so I was able to get a little pre-wedding massage and a nice bottle of fizz for the morning! It was a lovely little surprise.
This one might not work for everyone if you’re budgeting to the penny, but it’s always good to have a bit of a buffer in case of emergencies…or pre-wedding pampers!
Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
And last but not least – use a wedding budget spreadsheet to keep track of your costs and see the bigger picture! Now these are tricky to dish out because every wedding is different with different must haves and venue needs. But this is our sheet and it has some great prompts on there that should help you figure out where to start with your budgeting and wedding planning.
You could also buy a wedding planner like this one (affiliate link -ad-). My friend got me one of those as an engagement present which was such a lovely gesture but it also turned out to be SUPER useful!
You can download our wedding budget spreadsheet for free with the button below – I hope it helps!
DOWNLOAD OUR WEDDING BUDGET SPREADSHEET:
So there you have it, my top wedding budget tips to help you create your dream wedding! I really hope they’ve been helpful or have given you some ideas for your planning.
Why not pin this post to your wedding board on Pinterest to refer back to later! And if you’d like to see some photos from our wedding and read my tips on planning a DIY Barn wedding, take a look at this post here!
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