If you’re looking for wedding budget tips, then our monthly columnists Revelry Events have got you with their latest expert advice on how to make the most of your money during wedding planning.
“We’ll level with you. Wedding budgets are hard. You feel like you need an economics degree to work out how to set and stick to a budget. In truth, there is no typical amount you’re meant to spend on anything; all venue and supplier costs vary depending on location, style and quality. And contrary to popular belief, suppliers don’t stick another zero on the end when you say the word wedding. Maybe they did once upon a time but it’s a competitive market now and most suppliers are small businesses or one-man-bands who are just trying to do a good job, especially after an enormously shit year for the wedding industry.
There are so many variables with a budget we can’t wave a magic wand and tell you exactly how much everything will cost (sorry) but we can offer some advice to make it a bit easier for you.
1 A starting point for budgeting
Your venue, food and drink is going to use up about half of your budget. It’s not an exact science because every wedding is different, but it’s a good starting point. If your venue, food and drink look like it’s going to be wildly over that halfway line, then it’s worth asking why: is it the main focus of your day, with everything else a plus but not a necessity? Or have you maybe picked a venue that’s slightly too expensive for your budget? If it’s the latter, now’s the time to think about increasing the wedding pot or backing away before you sign on the dotted line.
The next thing you should know is how to approach your budget, and with this we have just one word – PRIORITIES. If we could only give couples one piece of advice, it would be to know your priorities and put them at the very top of your budget list. If something is important to you, that’s where you want to spend your cash. There are lots of ways to cut costs, but only do it in the places that don’t matter as much to you. We know, it might be hard to tier your wedding day by cost but remember this – people are still going to dance to a playlist, a napkin is just for cleaning food off your face and your guests will still find their seat even if you’ve handwritten it on a post it note. Not everything has to be Instagram perfect if you can’t afford it.
3 “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”
Our general motto is ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ (well that’s not true actually – our general motto is ‘coffee, spreadsheet, wine, repeat’ which will also help you with your wedding planning, but we digress). Most venues are extremely helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask them what you can use on your wedding day. Sure, the furniture may be a given, but have they got some extra lighting? An easel for your table plan? These things may not be mentioned in the booking form but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Do a bit of hustling to see what you can get your mitts on before you spend your hard earned money on it elsewhere.
4 Look for value for money, rather than saving money
…and there is a difference. For example, you can pick up a pair of high street shoes that work perfectly with your dress for £25. You’re only going to wear them once – what’s the point in paying more, right? But what if that one time wear is for 10 hours? How comfortable are those shoes going to be when you want to hit the dance floor at 11pm? Buy a better made pair at a higher cost and your feet will thank you. It also works the other way too; you can serve Champagne during a drinks reception but most people can’t tell the difference between that and Prosecco and some even prefer the latter. Choose the cheaper option and most guests will be none the wiser, even less of them will care.
5 DIY your low priority elements
We are big supporters of wedding suppliers: let’s face it, we can’t do our job without them! But if your budget is tight, then prioritise where you’ll benefit from professional help and DIY other areas. Places like TK Maxx, Wilko, Matalan and Dunelm have really upped their game with their homeware and garden ranges, and you may be amazed at what you can find – artificial plants, vases and candles in particular are great decorative items. Use them to style your wedding and then reuse in your home.
6 Be realistic
What you see on Instagram and Pinterest is quite often the luxe end of the market, or created for styled shoots, and may not be achievable or realistic for a real wedding day. To go back to point 3 (if you don’t ask you don’t get) – share your inspiration with your suppliers and ask them what they can do for your budget. A good supplier will be able to advise what’s possible and come up with alternative ideas that work for your budget.”