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Budget Planning – is it important?

Unless you have money coming out of your ears, you really need to set a budget for your wedding plans.  A good budget will not only cover the wedding day itself but will include events leading up to and after your wedding day – beauty preparations, rehearsal dinners, honeymoon etc.  These are often forgotten about.

As a couple, you need to decide what aspects of your Big Day are the most important to you and which are the least.  It is likely that you’ll both be contributing towards your wedding fund, so this way you’ll both have agreed on how to spend your budget.  If parents or relatives are contributing towards your fund, you need to be upfront and ask how much they’re willing to contribute; only then can you start planning your day!  Do not start spending until you have agreed your budget!

The best way to save money with your wedding plans is to budget properly and realistically – wedding planners can help you to plan a realistic budget as they know exactly what aspects to watch out out for and where you can make the most savings.  Wedding planners use supplier regularly, therefore have the ability to get quality services at highly discounted prices and they pass those savings directly onto you!

Making your own decorations and stationery are not only very personal to you but they can involve lots of your friends and help keep the costs down.  I love all aspects of DIY weddings because you can see how much fun the couple have had designing and making the decorations.  Where possible hire items rather than buying them, there are some great pre-loved items out there at the minute. Always remember to ask if VAT is included on any service you purchase – an extra 20% on top will soon mount up.

Ten things you should never compromise when it comes to your big day – this doesn’t mean you have to spend the earth; it means you’re spending your money wisely.  This is my opinion and I think it worked well for my day.

1.       Food

For me this is the most important aspect of your budget!  Ensure your guests are well fed and watered and the day will flow perfectly.  Leave your guests to go hungry and they could be grumpy.  Your guests are a big part of your day and you want them to enjoy themselves.  Your guests will always remember if you fed them well. 

You need canapés after the ceremony, a good hearty meal and a decent evening offering for your evening guests.  So often evening guests feel like an add-on and an afterthought.  At my wedding I made sure all evening guests were greeted by me and my husband and we laid on some awesome, hearty food – they were very happy.

2.       Guests

Your guests can make or break your day.  This will be one of the first times in your life where you will know all of the people at the party.  You’ll be in high demand so only invite those people that you want to share your day with you.  Don’t feel pressured into inviting lost long cousins and aunties unless you really want too!

3.       Ring(s)

You and your hubby will wear your rings for life.  We’re talking roughly 60 years (current age dependent!) so you need to invest in a good quality wedding band that will stand the test of time.  My husband didn’t have a wedding ring so I took his share of the wedding ring budget – thank you!

4.       Venue

You need to pick a place that you love because it will always be in your thoughts.  When viewing your venue you should imagine your day there and it’s important to overlook immediate décor and styling concerns because you will put your stamp on things.  You need to check with your venue if you can change room layouts, if furniture is included, if you can hire in additional furniture etc.  No question is ever too small to ask your venue and remember that marrying out of peak season or midweek can save you thousands of pounds in hire charges.

5.       Entertainment

Your wedding day is very exciting for you as you’re in the spotlight, so naturally you might not put much importance on your entertainment.  Spare a thought for your guests.  After the wedding ceremony, there can be a bit of waiting around for all the pictures so you ought to entertain your guests.  Live music is the perfect way to bring a relaxed and fun atmosphere to your celebrations.  You need an act that can adapt accordingly to the style of the day and have the ability to read people and when to bring the tempo up or down.

6.       Photography

Always, always, always hire a professional photographer.  I’ve been involved in weddings where friends have played photographer and it never ends well.  Never.  What you need to understand is the cost of photography isn’t just for the coverage of your wedding day; it includes pre-shoots and the endless hours of editing afterwards.  Always meet your photographer first to ensure you have similar visions.

7.       Venue Styling

Venue styling is all about putting your stamp on your big day.  A great way of doing this is utilising the services of professional stylists to guide and support your vision as often you can end up purchasing too many supplies if you’re a novice.  Candles are a cheap but very effective way of creating a romantic atmosphere.  I Adore Weddings offer superb consultancy opportunities.

8.       The Dress

Many people focus their wedding around the dress, I’m not saying this is wrong but it wasn’t my priority.  I had a beautiful dress which I loved and looked fabulous, and I made sure I shopped around to ensure I had the best dress to suit my budget.  Always bear in mind that it is a big purchase for just one day so if you can make savings, do it!

9.       Bridesmaids

You need a loving and supportive team of bridesmaids around because you will experience an emotional rollercoaster.  Look after your bridesmaids because they will look after you.  I was considered very kind to my bridesmaids because I allowed them to purchase a dress of their choosing as long as it was a particular colour to suit my theme.  This was particularly useful as I had bridesmaids ranging from 13-30 and all different shapes, sizes, and heights.

10.   Shoes

You wear your shoes for roughly 12 hours.  They must be practical, comfortable and pretty.  Always wear your shoes in for a few weeks before your day, if you don’t you will regret it! 

Hopefully this information helps – Happy planning! 

Penelope x x