So you’ve just become engaged, you’ve got the ring and told your family and friends. Time to plan the wedding! Weddings can be fun but expensive. And unless the parents are willing to splash out big or you’re a Kardashian, chances are you’ll need to stick to a budget.
Here’s a budget checklist and wedding planning tips to help you. Firstly though, crank up a spreadsheet, or use Notes (easy access on your phone) or another data software program. If you’re old school, keep a paper list of everything. You’ll thank yourself.
1. First up. How much do you have to spend?
It’s a good idea to start with a ballpark spend. $500? $5,000? $50,000? No need to pin down an exact amount at this stage, but it helps to have an idea of what you can afford because weddings are the worst for budget creep. There are always bigger, better and shinier options that appeal to us – a bit of “I deserve it”! Which you probably do. You just need to be able to afford it without selling your left kidney or firstborn. Importantly, agree on this amount as a couple before embarking on any spending.
2. Who’s in, who’s out?
Pull together a guest list. Sort them into groups of ‘Must Have’, ‘Maybe’, ‘Parents Insist Even Though You’ve Never Met Them’, and ‘Only If No One Else Is Coming’. Knowing how many people fit into each group will guide your planning and costing. Over time as your wedding plans come to life, you can shift people between groups to create the perfect guest list.
3. How fancy will your wedding be?
Some people know exactly the type of wedding they want, down to the last ivory balloon. Others have very little idea.
So it’s important to know the scale of your wedding. An intimate low key event, say in the backyard or a garden, can be cost-effective but high impact. Think about food (catered? DIY?), wedding cake (see Food), marquee, alcohol, soft drinks, tableware, linen, decorations, furniture (tables and chairs, lounges), entertainment (band? DJ? Spotify?). Depending on numbers and location, consider loo hire and wait staff. Pillingers Hiring Service is a one-stop-shop for functions, able to deliver all this with ease, to make your wedding an event you’ll remember for the rest of your life. (They even have funky glow bars!)
A more formal and upmarket party, say at a stylish hotel, will inevitably cost more due to overheads and costs that you absorb but don’t necessarily see. Venue hire, food, wait staff, decorations, alcohol (with mark-up), drinks, entertainment, wedding cake, floral arrangements – all need to be factored in.
Once you’ve worked out what sort of wedding you want, make a detailed list of every single element and then – most importantly – cost them. Get quotes. And look for good quality, reliable providers like Pillingers Hiring Service, especially since they can help from start to finish to support you without taking over.
4. When’s the big day?
Consider the time of year for your wedding and even the day. Some are more expensive than others, and popular demand always drives up prices. Seasons also dictate comfort – cold months require heaters if you’re outside. This is where Pillingers Hiring Service can step in and give you quality advice based on years of experience.
5. Bring together the costs
Once you’ve set everything out in the list (told you it would come in handy!) and costed it, add everything up. If it’s in your budget, and you’re comfortable, then success! Just keep those lists updated though – you don’t want any unexpected expenses.
However, if you’ve already blown through your budget, there are a couple of options.
-Save hard (see point 6).
-Cut back. Work out what you really need (food, drinks) versus what you want (an extravagant 10-tier wedding cake, Bollywood dance troupe, and a tiger on a leash).
6. Save Hard
Create a savings system for yourselves. Arrange for part of your wages to be squirreled away in a special savings account. Every time you forego a treat – maybe a weekend break or even a takeaway – put the money you’ve saved into that account.
The longer you can stretch out your engagement, the longer you have to save.
Finally – don’t save to your budget, save more for unexpected expenses you may have overlooked. At the very least, if you don’t end up spending it on your wedding, you can treat yourselves during your honeymoon. Or put it towards the mortgage.
Whatever you decide, your wedding will be one of the pivotal days of your life so enjoy every minute of it.
Final tip: Be sure to read the best man’s speech before the big day
Whatever your wedding budget
Pillingers Hire has everything you need to make sure that your big day has the look and feel you want. We focus on providing the very best in quality Australian manufactured products and customer service so that you can focus on what matters most to you that is our gift from our Family to yours. Please see here for more information on our approach to a successful wedding.