When you start your wedding planning journey, straight after your engagement it’s all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind, dreaming of creating the most stylish wedding – we’ve been there ourselves. But one of the first steps you need to take before anything else, is setting a budget for your wedding. It may not be the most exciting, but budget setting is one of the most important parts of wedding planning. Here’s why you need a wedding budget, and how to effectively set one.
Why Do I Need a Wedding Budget?
Whether you are having help from family or going it alone, setting a budget is so important and is one of the first things your need to establish when starting your wedding planning journey – whether you’re using a wedding planner or not. Before you get carried away with designing your dream day, it’s important you have an honest conversation about numbers – it may not be the most glamorous or exciting part of wedding planning, but it is so important to start things off on the right foot.
Why is it so important? Well, firstly, whether you’re planning a UK or destination wedding, if you’re using a modern wedding planner they will need a steer on budget to be able to price their services accordingly. Even if you have an unlimited budget and are planning the most luxury wedding, a solid estimate of likely spend is required to price things up. With full planning fees based on a percentage of your overall wedding spend, it’s important that you have a number in mind for your wedding planner to work to, in order to be able to give you an accurate quote for their fees.
Secondly, once you’ve secured your luxury wedding planner, they need to have a number to work to. With a budget set they can start finding the right suppliers that meet your budget criteria – one of the most important roles of a wedding planner is to help deliver you maximum value, finding the best suppliers that align with your budget and ensure your budget is spent effectively. It’s all too easy to get carried away spending and with weddings, the potential spends are endless. By using a luxury wedding planner, they can be an impartial ‘voice of reason’ and help provide a point of view on the most effective use of your budget.
Once you’ve established your budget, your wedding planner will do the work from there – creating a tracker and making sure you are sticking to it, highlighting any potential deviations so that you can manage your cash flow effectively.
How to Set an Effective Wedding Budget
Here are our top five tips on how to go about setting your wedding budget:
1) Sit down and have an honest discussion. If you’re funding it all yourself, sit down as a couple over a glass of wine (any excuse to make it a bit more fun!) and go through not just how much you canspend, but how much you wantto spend on your big day. If your family want to help, then sit down and run through what they are happy to contribute – money discussions are never easy but it’s best to be clear from the beginning about what people are happy to pay towards.
2) Do your research. If you’re after a luxury wedding, with Pinterest-worth detailing and styling, do your research as to how much that will likely cost. Utilise your wedding planner to get a gauge on costings and see whether it’s affordable within your price range.
3) Prioritise. Be clear with your wedding planner about what your priorities are. For some, it’s all about the flowers and styling. Others want to focus on investing a large proportion on the entertainment, or on food and drink. By being clear on your main priorities, your modern wedding planner can help you focus your budget on the things most important to you, whilst also suggesting things that could perhaps be better invested elsewhere.
4) Be realistic. Your wedding budget is your wedding budget – and you have to work within your means. It’s all too easy to get caught up in Pinterest and Instagram. Whilst they can be very helpful tools for getting inspiration, it’s also very easy to lose all sense of reality and perspective, so take a break and go back to basics. Remember why you are getting married, and what’s most important to you!
5) A recent Bridebook survey found that 65% of couples go over budget. Whatever your wedding budget, build in some contingency (say 10-15%). There is every chance that as you progress on your planning journey, you will see other things you like and want to add on. By having a contingency pot, this allows for any unforeseen additions or upgrades, and avoids any last minute financial stress. As a luxury wedding planner, we work hard to keep our clients’ budgets on track – but we are yet to see a couple who haven’t decided to go over at some point throughout the process! Bridebook’s survey found that managing a budget was the second most difficult thing that couples found when planning their wedding (closely behind managing the guest list) – so let your wedding planner assist with this and do some of the heavy lifting in terms of keeping your budget tracker up to date.
Budget all sorted? Now you’re ready to let the wedding planning commence! Click here to read our guide for the other first steps of planning a wedding, or get in touch for a no-obligation consultation to discuss how we could help you create your ultimate luxury wedding.