At around £16’000, the average wedding is a fairly expensive knees up, and working out exactly how the budget is as important as working out exactly what the budget itself is.
Once you’ve spoken to your parents, your partner, and any other interested parties, and set the budget, it’s time to discuss exactly where the money is going to go. You can get Budget calculators online, which will tell you that x% should be spent on flowers, y% goes towards the catering and z% goes on the dress. But what if good food is more important to you than looking good for the photographer? Or if you’d rather have a great dress than silly amounts of flowers? And what if you’d rather arrive in a black cab than a 4 horse carriage – Much to the dissapointment of cabbies everywhere, there’s no sense in tipping a grand percentage of your wedding budget, is there?
If all weddings were budgeted in the same way, then they’d all be pretty similar. And that might get pretty boring, pretty quickly. So sit down and work out what’s important about your dream wedding. Will it be an exclusive and swanky affair, or a huge party for all your family? Work out where you’re willing to cut corners. Maybe you even want to cut out all your wedding celebrations and have a honeymood to die for? That’s fine too.
Don’t get caught up in keeping up with the Jones’, when it comes to favours, either. It’s unlikely that guests will remember you by a Hershey’s bar with a personalized wrapper. If they’ve got Kids, it’s likely to have been forgotten all about by the time they get home. The thing about keepsakes is that people simply won’t take them out and reminisce about your wedding or anyone else’s. They’ll be used up, or thrown into a cupboard and forgotten about. What guests will remember is the personalities – the great speeches, the brilliant master of ceremony, and, unfortunately, the weather.
Invitations are a great keepsake of your wedding day, but they can also be expensive. Very often, a decent home printer, some nice, heavy paper, and a bit of patience is far cheaper than professionally designed stationery. An arty friend or relative might be happy to design your stationary for you, especially if it means they can have the credit for it. Even if you don’t know anyone like that, a quick look around some card shops, and stationers will give you some simple ideas for your invitations, that can be adapted especially for you. If you don’t know your monitor from your printer, however, have you considered Rubber stamps? They’re available from craft shops, along with the ready folded card, envelopes, and all the colours of ink you’ll need.
If when your wedding will be held came out as one of the less important things, make sure you look up ‘off peak’ times for your vendors. Weekdays are cheaper, as there is less demand, and winter weekdays are cheaper still (Except Valentines day, Christmas day and New years)
The Venue makes a big difference, too. Unless you’re marrying in a place of worship, you’ll need a registrar. These people are much, much cheaper, if you don’t try to remove them from their offices, so if it’s not important that you’re married in a certain place, consider getting hitched at the register office, and holding the reception at the special place.
Whlist we’re on the subject of venue, make sure you know exactly what they’re charging you for. That great price for venue hire doesn’t look so great when you get there, and there are no tables, no chairs, no staff and the bar is closed!
Cutting out the wedding party might not only save you money, but hair, too. As you won’t spend time tearing it out when cousin Bertha has decided that she won’t stand next to your Sister, or Aunt Annie demands that ALL of her Kids are included, even though one of them hasn’t spoke to you for years, because you stole her orange pencil when you were nine. You also won’t have to spend money on them at the rehersal, buy shoes, or accessories, or even dresses.