Congratulations on the upcoming big day! There are of course so many things to plan and organise and it all costs money. What can you afford and how much will you need? This of course is personal and every situation is different. It does not have to be over the top and lavish. You can have a fabulous wedding without breaking the budget. If you plan wisely. It shouldn’t be something you are going to be paying off over the next few years but neither should it be picking your flowers from your run down garden and getting the guy next door to play the music (unless he has some real talent than that’s excellent!)

Things to be aware of and consider.

Who is paying for what? Be clear on this so you know exactly what you will be required to pay for. Talk with both families and check if they are able to contribute, get specific on the dollar amount, then add up all the contributions to create your budget. Or maybe ask them to take care of a particular aspect of the wedding (such as honeymoon, flowers, or restaurant) then decide exactly what the two of you can contribute and save between now and the wedding. Get serious about saving extra money for your wedding. It’s a big deal and worth some sacrifice in the short term. Eliminate excess spending, buying lunches, meals out etc.

Once you have a general figure in mind, you’ve sorted out who is paying for what, then you can look at creating a realistic budget so you don’t end up running out of money. Having a plan is vital.

Here is a guide I discovered while researching this topic and it looked pretty realistic to me. Although there is still the Honeymoon that needs consideration so unless someone has offered to pay for that or you may have a Bank Account available for your guests to contribute into rather than buying you presents then these figures would need re-adjusting.

Reception 48%

Ceremony 2%

Gown & Attire 8%

Flowers 8%

Entertainment/Music 8%

Photography/Video 10%

Stationary 2%

Wedding Rings 2%

Transportation 2%

Gifts 2%

Miscellaneous 8%                                                

  1. Keep diligent track of what you are spending and on what. Put all your wedding money into one account and pay for things from here.
  2. Ensure you shop around and bargain down prices if you can.
  3. Is there an item you can borrow from a past bride or a family member? Not everything needs to be bought. It’s surprising when you look around there is often something you like which you can borrow or have for free.
  4. Call on talented friends. Singer, musician, florist or graphic designer.
  5. Wait for sales. So the earlier you start to plan, the more deals you are likely to come across
  6. Pay attention to the fine print that are in contracts. Take them away and read them carefully. Don’t feel rushed to have it signed there and then.
  7. Do you have any reward points for Hotels of Flight travel you can cash in on to contribute towards your Honeymoon?
  8. Skip a Saturday wedding if it’s going to cost extra.
  9. Hold your ceremony and reception in one spot as it will cut the travel time if you are paying certain people by the hour
  10. Have bigger tables so you need fewer centrepieces and table cloths
  11. Cut the guest list
  12. Look closely at ways to save on printing costs. (make your own menu cards, will two shades of ink cost more on your invitations)
  13. Choose flowers that are in season and locally grown. Stick to just one or two kinds of flowers and have more greenery.
  14. Keep your menu simple but fabulous. Stick with the specialities of the season and the region.
  15. Offer beer, wine and a signature cocktail instead of a full bar. Have the caterers bring out the fancy Dom Perignon for the toast only.

Remember everything is negotiable. Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices and shop around. You don’t want to be stressing about finances after the wedding because you overspent - not a good way to start your new life together as a married couple. Get advice from other couples who have recently married and see what tips you can glean from them as to what worked well.