15 Budgeting Tips to Keep Wedding Costs Under Control

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Keeping costs under control when planning your wedding can become a nightmare. Here are a few simple tips to help make your wedding affordable.

1. Work out your wedding budget together early in the planning process – how much you expect to spend and who will be paying for the different elements of the day. Allow an extra 10-15% for unexpected costs.

2. Consider small changes you could make to help you save for the big day, such as taking lunch to work instead of buying it.

3. Try to avoid borrowing money to pay for your wedding – you don’t want to start married life burdened with debt. But if you have to, keep the amount to a minimum and pay it back as quickly as possible, unless you can go for low-interest options such as a mortgage top-up or a loan from your parents.

4. Prioritize your funds by deciding what’s important to you and be willing to compromise on other areas.

5. Start planning early and shop around. There are very few businesses that have no competition, so compare prices. For major services, such as the reception venue and photography, check out at least three different options before making a decision because quality and prices can vary widely.

6. Keep our budget in mind when selecting your wedding date. Summer weekends are still the most popular and therefore most expensive time to get married, while many suppliers offer off-peak rates during the cooler months.

7. Carefully consider how many guests to invite. The size of your guest list will have a major impact on your finances. Most caterers charge per person, plus you’ll need more stationery, favors, cake etc, for extra guests.

8. Keep track of your spending. Start a spreadsheet to record what you’ve spent. Also consider setting up a separate bank account dedicated to wedding costs.

9. Make the most of your family and friends’ talents. Is your cousin an amazing singer or your mum a whiz on the sewing machine? They may be willing to offer their skills as a wedding gift.

10. Don’t underestimate how talented you are, either. Invitations and favours are very time-consuming to make, but if that’s not a problem, creating your won will let you express your personalities and wedding theme while saving on costs.

11. Think about hiring a wedding planner, even for an initial consultation, to get you on track. This may seem like an extra expense, but can often save you money. Wedding planners have a host of contacts in the industry, so they know which suppliers offer the best quality and value for money, and may be able to source great deals on your behalf.

12. Be supplier savvy. Get all quotes and agreements in writing and read them carefully. Remember to check the fine print for ‘hidden’ costs such as overtime charges. If a supplier springs additional costs on you at any stage, you’ll have the appropriate paperwork to refer back to.

13. Consider taking out wedding insurance. If you’re dipping deep into your pockets to pay for the occasion, insurance is a good way to protect yourselves from unavoidable circumstances.

14. Try not to skimp on the things that last beyond the big day – your photos will provide treasured memories for years to come and your wedding rings are a life-long reminder of the promises you’ve made to each other.

15. Take advantage of honeymoon perks. When making bookings for your honeymoon, be sure to tell people the reason for your trip. Many places offer special packages, complimentary goodies or free upgrades for honeymooners.