Start your wedding budget
Hi beautiful, welcome back to paper + lace and a series of planning help with Megan from She Said Yes.
Before you get into all the beautiful inspo that is wedding planning, unfortunately you have to tackle a couple of not so beautiful aspects of your big day. While it can be tempting to think that you can plan and organise your wedding, and spend as you go without considering what it is all going to cost in the end, by doing so you risk being unable to afford some of the elements which may be really important to you, later down the line.
One of paper + lace’s recent brides said “We set out with the ambition of spending not a cent over 20K. I would say we’d have to add at least 10K to that.”
This is far too common, but some people don’t have the luxury of adding just another $10,000 to the budget, and if you are those people, you need to plan ahead. Considering the beautiful Cam & Eilis spent only $13k on their beautiful wedding, going 10k over is a lot – but it’s very easily done if you don’t set and stick to your wedding budget.
Before you begin, please keep in mind that your wedding day does not have to be expensive to be perfect, and it does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
Don’t worry about what is an ‘average wedding budget’, but rather work out what you personally can afford to spend, rather than getting caught up in what other people are spending.
Begin your wedding budget
One of the first few things to tick off the first steps checklist, your budget is not static, and not something you look at just once while you’re wedding planning, but the first, and most important step is to get it started.
Talk to your fiancé about the savings you can access or set aside during the time you’re planning, and then about whether you are both able, and happy to, accept contributions from your families. Do consider that while any offer to financially contribute is generous, it sometimes comes with expectations too. As you’ll know if you’ve read my blog, or been to any of my events, I am into any pressure or expectations.
To get an idea of what you might like to, or be able to spend, it can be useful to have a look at others, so I have shared my own wedding budget, and a few other sample budgets as part of my comprehensive wedding budget guide.
Once you’ve worked out exactly how much you have to spend, it’s time to work out what’s important.
What’s important to you?
While there are useful budget templates to purchase online, and suggestions for how to apportion your wedding budget, my suggestion to brides is always to begin with working out what your priorities are. Unless you’re on an unlimited budget, you will probably need to choose a few key elements which are the most important to you, and perhaps enjoy a little splurge on those few things to have exactly what you want, but make savings in other areas.
Once you’ve set those priorities, I actually suggest getting out and spending on those elements right away. If you don’t, you risk going over-budget on other elements before allocating the money towards your priorities, and you may come up short when it comes to spending on those items which are really important – and then you go over budget. I’ve written a longer article on prioritising your wedding budget – and what went wrong when I didn’t prioritise.
How to allocate your budget?
Once you’ve worked out your budget and prioritized which elements of your wedding are going to make up the majority of it, you may already have a pretty good idea of what style of wedding you’re going to have, and a vision of what your wedding might look and feel like. For example, if you have a $10,000 budget, but you want to feed 100 people a 5 course meal, you will have worked out that other areas of your wedding may be a more modest than magnificent.
Don’t be afraid to completely omit those elements which aren’t important to you, no matter what they are, or how ‘necessary’ other people might tell you they are to have.
Your Wedding Budget is not Static
Don’t just set your wedding budget and walk away, ensure that you’re staying on track with deposits and due dates – they all begin to add up very quickly, especially in the last few months. I designed the little white book to incorporate all of these, so you are prompted to keep on top of your wedding budget throughout the countdown to your wedding. This will save you from any chance of being completely overwhelmed by it at any stage.
Ready for STEP TWO?