You’ve just got engaged; everyone is so happy for you both but now comes the scary bit – The wedding budget!!!
Most people find this subject hard to talk about but it is definitely an important discussion you should be having very early in your engagement & before your family & friends run away with their own ideas of grandeur & ceremony. Money is up there as one of the main causes of stress during a wedding but it doesn’t have to be that way if you just make sure you plan ahead & use a little common sense.
I would highly recommend putting your wedding budget in print. Seeing it in black & white helps you to keep track of what you’re spending & will help you to prioritise the different elements of your wedding. Google to the rescue! There are plenty of Wedding Budget calculators available online that are free to use like this one from the National Consumer Agency or a worksheet from Pink Wedding Days.
The first step is to figure out who is contributing to your wedding. A lot of couples are either footing the entire bill themselves or paying towards part of their wedding budget. Talk to your parents to see if they wish to help with your budget or pay for a specific element like the photographer or the honeymoon. Everyone’s situation is different so do what works for you & your family.
Start a savings plan. Divide your budget by the total number of months until your wedding plus 3 to 6 months after your wedding date. This is how much you will need to save a month to pay for your wedding without spending a large portion of your married life in debt. Open a dedicated wedding account, this will help you keep track of how much you are saving & spending. Remember when saving, small changes can make a big difference. Spending €25 a week on eating out for lunch works out at €1,300 in a year so now might be the time to buy yourself a lunchbox & flask, cartoon characters on the front are optional!
The next things you need to do is research. Get estimated costs for your dress, suit, invitations etc. If your estimated costs are greater than your budget then you will need to start playing around with figures. See what aspects are more important than others. Compromise is essential during this step.
Last but not least get a big money jar & start putting your coins into it. You will be surprised at how much you will be able to save this way. Make this the fund for your honeymoon spending money (a thing a lot of people forget to factor in!).
And don’t forget your wedding day is not about how much you spend but spending what you have wisely!
Sharon Mc Meel is a wedding planner and our newest guest blogger here at WeddingDates. As a professional wedding planner it is Sharon’s job to help you tell your story across all aspects of your wedding or civil partnership. She makes sure that your day reflects your individual personality, taste and style. She provides advice and assistance to you with your planning needs and ensure a stress-free wedding experience that you will remember for the rest of your lives.