10 ways to set a wedding budget


Read our essential guide on how to set a wedding budget, and stick to it without breaking the bank! Reports place the average cost of a 2015 wedding at £18,000 to £21,000. But with the average household income averaging just under £30,000 – it’s easy to see why wedding debt is a hot topic at the moment. The problem is that brides tend to run out and buy a pile of wedding magazines as soon as they get engaged – and promptly fall in love with the pictures without any real understanding of what it costs to achieve the look. Whilst it’s understandable that every bride wants the perfect day, after the food is eaten and the band has finished playing, there are just two people left, who have chosen to make a commitment to each other – and that’s what the day is really about.

So here we offer our top tips on how to set a wedding budget that is realistic and won’t result in a big bill.


1. “Begin by looking to your own finances. How much of your savings are you willing to put towards the wedding? And how much can you realistically save each month without struggling to pay the bills. Set a rough date or time of year for the wedding so that you can calculate how much you will have saved when the time comes.
2. Have a frank conversation with any family members who offer to help to pay for the wedding. You need to know exactly how much they are offering since it will of course affect your budget. But you also need to re-assure them as to where their money will be spent. This will make them feel more comfortable. Furthermore it can also prevent them from trying to exert too much influence over your wedding plans.


3. Take a realistic approach to debt – some borrowing for your wedding is ok. A couple of hundred pounds on your credit card when you know you have a bonus coming next month offers no threat to your long-term financial security. we would NEVER advocate taking out any loan or putting your property at risk for the sake of your wedding.


4. Make a list of all the things that you will need to pay for. Use our handy wedding budget tracker where you can enter each item individually and track your spend against the budget.


5. Build in a contingency. No matter how comprehensive your spending list, there will always be little extra costs that crop up, or delivery charges that you hadn’t thought of. Around 10-15% of your total budget should be adequate.


6. Make preliminary calls about costs to suppliers. Even if they are not the suppliers you intend to meet with, getting an idea of the different packages available and industry averages will help you decide how much you should be allocating to the various elements of the wedding AND give you realistic expectations of what you can expect for your cash.


7. Decide upon your priorities. Having now gained a good idea of how the average budget is divided up, think about what your main priorities are for the day, as you may wish to allocate a little more to these areas. These should also be the things you source first after the venue because if you go slightly over, you can take the shortfall from things lower down the list.


8. Be strict with yourself. Saving money is a lot like dieting – whenever you want the doughnut, ask yourself whether you want it more than fitting into your jeans. Do you want the new shoes or do you want the wedding cake your saw at that wedding fair? Discipline is the one area that brides often fall down in.


9. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your suppliers. It may sound obvious, but post credit crunch, wedding vendors are often feeling the pinch as much as you are, so a frank conversation about your budget and expectations can produce excellent results. It doesn’t work every time – not every supplier is willing to offer a discount – but is certainly worth a try


10. What you lack in funds, make up for in effort and creativity. Whether this means making your own invitations, trawling sites like eBay for bargains or negotiating harder with your suppliers, if your budget is getting squeezed, you’ll need to compromise on something – and free time at your weekends might be it.”