Wedding bells are on the horizon – it’s time to start planning. Get the ball rolling with these six simple steps to starting your wedding budget…
Step 1: Figure out what you’re working with
First things first, you need to work out your starting point. Take stock of your individual savings and decide how much you’re willing to put towards the wedding. Remember to hold a little back for your ‘in-case-of-emergency’ fund for day-to-day life.
You can also include any contributions from parents or loved ones.
Step 2: Calculate how much you can put aside each month
Now that you’ve got a starting point, it’s time to work out how much you can set aside each month. Whether you have a date already, or you’re working with a more general time frame, this should help give you a good idea of your total budget.
That said, it’s important not to leave yourselves short. Of course, you’ll want to save as much as you can, but saving for your wedding should never be so stressful that you have to compromise on your daily lifestyle.
Step 3: Set your priorities
You’ll probably find that you and your partner have some different opinions when it comes to where to spend that little bit extra and where to stick to more budget options. Getting this clear early will save you getting in sticky situations later.
It’s also worth blocking out your big costs early on, so you know they’re covered. This might include things like:
• Bar service
• Live music hire
• Wedding insurance
Step 4: Estimate your guest count
The number of guests you invite will have a huge impact on almost every aspect of your wedding, from the size of the venue, to the number of invitations, to how much food and drink you need to provide.
Think carefully about how many people you’re inviting – remember the cost of each guest comes in a lot higher than just the price of their meal.
Step 5: Beware of hidden wedding expenses
Even small expenses add up further down the line, so it’s important to be aware of any hidden costs that might crop up. For example:
• The cost of an organist if you’re getting married in a church
• Wedding dress alterations
• Delivery costs
• Stamps and envelopes
Always read the fine print on any agreement you sign to make sure everything you need is included in the upfront price. No one wants an unexpected bill at the end of their big day.
Step 6: Track your spending
There’s a lot to keep on top off when it comes to planning a wedding. Tracking your budget is the only fail-safe way of making sure you don’t go over it.
Setting up a shared spreadsheet is a great way to keep an overview of your wedding purchases and help divvy up tasks. It’ll also help you see what you’ve tied down and what you’ve got left to source. After all, half the fun is in the teamwork!