Bride 101: Five Steps to Planning Your Wedding Budget

As the lucky bride, you will find that your wedding is the biggest and most time consuming event you’ll be planning in your lifetime. It will also be one of the most joyous and memorable occasions. On your wedding day, your focus should be only on looking and feeling like a fabulous bride so it makes sense to want everything to be sorted in order to go perfectly and look just how you’ve always imagined it.

Any logistical task such as meeting the florist, handing out the bouquets, putting out the guest book and overseeing the choreography of the event – should be assigned to someone else in advance. This being said, your dream wedding will require a sizeable budget that needs careful management. It’s important to get this just right so you’re not overspending but also not missing any of the fundamental details that turn a normal service into a true celebration of love.

To help our readers, the following is a brief sketch of what you need to think about when planning a wedding budget.

1.) Sorting Out the Numbers

The first and most important step to planning your wedding budget is figuring out how many people you’re inviting. The more people you have, the more expensive your wedding will be. Makes sense, right? But how much will you feasibly be able to spend per person? It’s worth calculating this amount for your wedding planning.

The main thing you’ll need to spend money on for guests is food and drinks because it’s expected this will be supplied for free at weddings, but we’ll discuss this more later in the article. The number of guests will also affect the size of the wedding venue. Once again, the bigger the venue, the more expensive the wedding.

You should know your number of guests so you can sort out transport and seating arrangements, too. After working out how many people will be coming, the rest of your budget will follow.

2.) Deciding Upon A Location

Your budget will also be affected by what wedding venue you’ve selected. Have you decided to host your holiday abroad, or at the local church where you grew up? How big is the venue and is it in a highly desirable location? All these factors will impact how much money you’ll need to invest.

The time of year will also affect how much it costs to hire out a venue. Most places are more expensive in peak wedding season, which typically spans from May, June, July, August and September. These are also the peak months for tourism. If your wedding venue is remote and requires you to find accommodation, this will need to be accounted for in your budget. For those having their wedding abroad, don’t forget to account for how much flight tickets will cost you and your guests. Lastly, you need to acquire public liability insurance. This is just in case damage is caused to the property whilst you’re partying. 

3.) Choosing Your Suppliers

When budgeting your wedding, you should work out what supplies you need, alongside how much you’re willing to pay for each one. It’s also worth spending the time to find the right wedding suppliers so you can get your money’s worth. To help you decide what exactly you’ll need, we’ve listed a few of the essential wedding supplies below:

  • Flowers

Your wedding won’t be much of a celebration if there aren’t flowers involved. Keep in mind that florists are expensive, though. Choose whatever bunches you feel would most match the theme of your celebrations. Traditional weddings benefit from white roses, whereas a colourful bouquet of summer flowers is better for a tropical theme.

  • Decoration

Decoration adds the finishing touches to a wedding. If you want the venue to look beautiful in photographs, this part is essential. Some people like to spend a lot of money when it comes to decoration, whereas others prefer to be more conservative. Either way, buy decoration which matches your theme.

  • Beauty and Fashion

The pictures you take on your wedding day last forever. It makes sense then that everyone will want to look their best for them. This means you may want to hire hairstylists and makeup artists. And let’s not forget about what people will be wearing. Obviously, the wedding dress will be the main piece of the event, but this doesn’t mean that the groom, bridesmaids and best men can’t look amazing, too. However, this will take up a sizeable amount of your budget.

  • Photographers

This is the most important of them all. A good photographer will capture all the emotion and elation of your wedding day, keeping the memories alive. Plus, you can show these pictures to the future generations of your family.

4.) Considering the Entertainment

Your wedding isn’t just a ceremony, it’s also a celebration. And what does every celebration need? Entertainment. Therefore, this needs to be factored in when planning your wedding budget, especially if you want your guests to be partying long into the night.

Firstly, we recommend hiring DJs or a live band for music. We also think acts like magicians are good for keeping children happy. Wedding entertainment might include firework displays or photo booths, too. Weigh up what exactly you want for your celebration and how much it will cost so you can plan your budget effectively.

5.) Food and Drink

As we mentioned before, catering will take up a significant portion of your budget. Typically, you’ll need to supply your guests with a two or three-course meal. How much the catering costs will largely depend on the quality of the food. And it’s worth spending more for a nicer, more varied menu.

If you have room in your budget, we also recommend investing in an open bar for your wedding reception. These not only attract guests to the wedding but encourage them to stay longer. After all, who doesn’t like getting stuff for free? If you can’t afford this, then place free bottles of champagne or prosecco on the tables instead.

When it comes to catering, we can’t forget about the wedding cake. This is the crowning jewel of the event. Everyone has a slice, so it needs to look and taste decadent. Therefore, you need to set aside a sizeable amount of your budget for one.

By considering these five things when planning your budget, you’re bound to create everlasting memories on your wedding day.

Amy Packham

Amy is an NCTJ-qualified journalist. She works full-time as an editorial assistant on PTA+ Magazine writing about fundraising and education. She also freelances for her local magazine in Sussex as the community journalist. Amy enjoys freelancing about lifestyle topics such as careers, health, travel and relationships.

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