Planning a wedding on a budget
There's nothing that will pop your engagement buzz faster than the realisation that your dream wedding and your wedding budget are not in fact aligned. Or even really remotely in the same universe.
So before you give up your dreams altogether (or threaten elopement), let's look at some ways you can save when planning your big day.
What is your dream wedding?
First of all, you need to decide as a couple the kind of wedding you want. This includes the major elements such as size, style, theme and timing. Then consider how this relates to the amount of funds you have available. Whether it be barefoot on the beach or a seven-tiered cake at a five star hotel, defining your dream day wedding vision is necessary to know what you will be budgeting for.
Total wedding spend
Some couples save for years for their 'perfect wedding.' Others decide they can't wait that long and forego some of the fanfare so they can tie the knot faster without breaking the bank. Once you have identified the type of wedding you want, it is important to assess whether the figures match up.
Things to consider include:
- How long before your big day;
- How much are you (realistically) able to save between now and then; and
- Who else will be contributing to the wedding and how much?
Once you have calculated your total wedding bank balance, it's time to start deciding how that total sum will be best spent.
Easy as 1,2,3
When budgeting for the 'happiest day of their lives,' some couples use the Top Three method to assess what is most important to them about this once-in-a-lifetime event. This method involves the bride and groom separately choosing the three most important elements of their ideal wedding (besides each other).
This could be anything from the dress to the dancing, the bouquets to the bonbonnieres. Combining these results provides a short but essential list to focus your wedding funds on.
Cutting your guest list will cut your costs
The number of people you invite to your wedding possibly has the biggest impact on your big day budget. More guests means more money so make sure you think long and hard about inviting Great Aunt Edna or those friends you haven't actually spent time with in the past decade - especially if it means sacrificing important elements of your nuptials.
Back to the drawing board
So you've calculated your total spend, prioritised your top three elements, and been ruthless with your guest list - and still your wedding day budget doesn't exactly match your dream day vision. This means its time to re-evaluate, compromise and re-prioritise (again). Look at any components of your wedding that can be changed to be more cost-effective, without losing the key elements that are most important to you. Investigate opportunities for DIY, or options to use the skills and talents of friends and guests, as saving money in some areas may even allow for a (little) splurge in others.
Beat the wedding budget blues
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