How To Budget For A Wedding

By Lighthouse | June 19, 2023 | 10 Min read

This week we’re joined by Amanda Quill, Manager here at Lighthouse (and soon to be married) for her top tips on how to budget for your wedding. Often considered one of the most monumental days in one’s life, but they do not have to equate to monumental expenses. Here are our top tips on how to budget for your wedding.

Begin with Enquiries and Research

As you venture into wedding planning, don’t hesitate to send inquiries to various service providers, even if they seem out of your price range. Understanding the market can offer you a sense of what you can expect to pay for different services. Although it may seem tedious, creating a comparison spreadsheet can be invaluable for making informed decisions and spotting hidden costs that often lurk in the fine print.

Evaluate What You Want

Before jumping headfirst into planning, take a step back and ask yourself: “Do I even want a traditional wedding?” A wedding isn’t for everyone. If eloping or having a smaller celebration brings you the same joy without the stress and expense, why not consider it? Remember, the wedding should be about you and your partner, not external expectations.

Identify the Sources of Stress

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. When stress begins to mount, identify its source. Often, it stems from internalized expectations of what others might want. Transform the planning into a fun activity for you and your partner, rather than a chore laden with pressure.

Prioritise Your Non-Negotiables

Identify the elements that are non-negotiable for your dream day – they get priority in the budget. These might include a particular venue, an extravagant gown, professional photography, or anything else that holds special importance for you and your partner.

Establish a Guest List and Break Down Your Budget

Initiate the planning by determining your guest list – create categories based on priority, from immediate family to extended friends. Next, figure out your fixed costs, such as attire, photography, entertainment, and celebrant fees. Also, consider the variable costs related to the venue options, like decorations, hire costs, and per-head food and drink charges.

Explore Ways to Save

Consider the timing of your wedding. Opting for an off-peak season can help you save significantly. A reduced guest list can also cut costs dramatically. Look for opportunities to borrow items, take advantage of sales, or buy second-hand. Every little bit adds up.

Determine Your Financial Comfort Zone

Finally, calculate what you can realistically save towards your wedding date. Consider whether you’re comfortable with the idea of going into debt for your wedding, or if you might receive contributions from family. Ultimately, the wedding’s cost should align with your financial reality and long-term goals.

Remember, the heart of a wedding is the union of two people in love, not the price tag. With careful planning, a firm budget, and a focus on what truly matters to you, you can create a day that’s as financially savvy as it is unforgettable.

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