Thinking about your wedding budget might be the last thing that you want to do after all the excitement of getting engaged (huge congrats by the way!). But getting a realistic figure in mind early on will make it easier to save further down the line. You don't want to spend all your money on a beautiful venue, only to realise that there’s not quite enough left to go round for the food, band, photographer, and all those other trimmings that make up the big day.
Ideally, you’ll avoid starting your married life together worrying about how to pay off masses of wedding debt, and instead will just be able to bask in the memory of how great it was! So let’s delve into how to budget for your big day and make sure you have the most special wedding ever - no matter how much you have to spend!
1. Work out how much you can spend on your wedding
First of all, it might be a sensible approach to work out how much you have to spend overall - as well as how much you’d be willing to spend on each item. See if you have any savings that you can put towards the day and take a look at your monthly budget and decide how much you can realistically free up each month to go into your savings pot. If your parents are interested in helping, have that money conversation early so that you know what you have to play with.
Lots of couples don’t actually realise the cost of a wedding before they start planning one, so do your research. The average cost of a wedding in the UK is £31,974, but obviously the decisions you make (location, guest numbers, time of year) can dramatically affect the cost. Speak to friends that have gotten married, read the blogs, do the research and shop around online to get an idea of price ranges, then set your budgets according to your priorities. There is no set blue-print for a wedding, so just make sure you don’t spend money on something just because you think you should. As this post shows, every wedding - and budget - is different!
Remember that making bookings will require paying some deposits, so be sure to have some free capital up front before you start securing your suppliers.
Have a budget in mind but think you might not be able to save in time? A 0% credit card might be the way to go - provided that you can pay it off in the introduction period. Find out more about how these credit cards could work for you here.
2. Know what your budget should cover
We all know the big ticket items like venue, caterers, band and clothing, but you’ll need to account for some of the smaller costs that can quickly mount up. If you’re planning on having a civil ceremony at the venue, there will be charges for the registrar, as well as any rehearsals and meetings you have to have beforehand. If you’re getting married in a marquee, there may be extra needs like flooring or power supply for the caterers. If you’re posting save the dates and invitations, the cost of stamps can really creep up. Venue charges such as corkage, and even cake cutting, can seep into you budget too, so make sure you have these discussions with suppliers early on so that you know what to expect.
3. Give yourself a buffer
With these hidden costs in mind, it might be a good idea to knock off 12-15% of your budget and pretend you’re only going to the lower number. For example, if your budget is £20,000, why not pretend it’s only £18,000, as that way you’ll have a budget overflow available in case you overspend. And if you stay on track, the extra money can go towards an amazing honeymoon!
Quick tip: Paying for a wedding often involves money streams from different accounts. Use Yolt to track your spending across your current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards.
4. Set a savings goal or pot
A high-interest, easy-access savings account can be super handy for storing all of your dedicated wedding savings. Not only does a dedicated account make it harder for you to spend that money, but it also means you’re making a bit of extra cash towards the big day - without doing anything! You can even connect it to your Yolt app so that you can always see how much you have available, and watch your money grow!
Why not take a look at our in-app partner Raisin to see if you can find the right account to store your wedding savings?
5. Track your wedding spending
As we said in point one, all of those different wedding costs can quickly creep up and put you over budget. You can easily track your wedding spending in the Yolt app by simply tagging your purchases with a ‘Wedding’ tag! That way you’ll be able to see at a glance how much of your budget you’ve spent, and exactly where it’s gone.
Got any tips on budgeting for the big day? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @getyolt.