How much does a wedding cost? It’s a question we hear – often. Our answer, how long is a piece of string? While that might seem a little unhelpful, the answer really is, how much can you afford to spend on your wedding. Usually, that question is followed by ‘how can we save money on our wedding day?’. That’s something we can be a little more helpful about! Here are six tips on how to plan a wedding and no break the budget.
Prioritise the most important things for you.
It’s all about compromise. Together pick 3-5 non-negotiables. Things you aren’t willing to compromise on so that you have room to compromise on everything else. If you want to spend half your budget on a photographer because you want every emotion, every guest captured, but plan to spend $200 on an off-the-rack outfit because that’s not important to you – that’s okay.
Think about the debt that you already have.
Maybe it’s $25K on a credit card from a trip to Europe a few years ago, or as a couple, you might have just bought a home together, and have a cool $500K mortgage to pay off over the next 25, or so years. Maybe you don’t have any debt.
Work out if you want to go into debt for your wedding day (it’s okay if you do want to, and okay if you don’t) and then work out if you can afford to go into your debt to have the wedding day you want. You don’t need to start life as a married couple in debt you can’t afford.
Set a goal amount, and open a separate bank account.
Two reasons; it’ll help you save, and it’ll stop you spending other money on your wedding and having the budget blow out. If the money is in one bank account, you’ll be able to keep track of it all.
If you have NO IDEA where to start with how much things cost, we wrote a blog on that – How Much Does A Wedding Cost?
Remember that wedding money is emotional.
You’ve just fallen IN LOVE with a venue, but it’s $8K out of your price range, how can you make it work? When you’re emotionally attached, you tend to spend more money on things. Step away, sleep on it, discuss it and if it can’t work, it’s okay, something else will come up.
The old ‘wedding day’ price tag – it’s a budget breaker, right?
There is a good reason that wedding vendors can charge whatever they like – they’re providing a service (that is sometimes specific to the wedding industry) that they’ve valued as such. Every vendor has the right to refuse to negotiate on their prices, and that’s perfectly acceptable. They know their worth, and that’s not up to you to decide.
If you get a quote in, that comes in a little over budget; it’s okay to say “We want to work with you, but… is more in our price range. Is there a way we can make it work?”. If it’s a caterer, it might mean a change in the menu, if it’s a cake extraordinaire maybe it means a single tier instead of three. If it’s a venue, it might mean a Thursday wedding, not Saturday. Be reasonable in your expectations – you’re not going to get a $12K catering quote down to $2K.
There are choices out there, and if one vendor doesn’t work into your budget, it’s okay to shop around.
Remember, it’s a big day, but it’s only one day.
Rumour has it, most newlyweds will tell you their wedding day was ‘a really good day’, ‘perfect’, and maybe even ‘the best day of their life’. They’ll usually tell you that ‘they wouldn’t change a thing’. Do you know what that tells us? Your wedding day is a celebration of your love and those $20 a piece napkins you thought you’d NEED – nobody missed them.
We think waking up the day after your wedding day is the beginning of a new chapter. You don’t need to let it be a chapter filled with debt and stress paying off your wedding day for the next five years.