Wedding day budget planning: 5 steps to help you plan your day

Wedding photography - Engagement

Wedding Day Budgeting

Congratulations, you’re engaged and raring to go planning your perfect wedding day.  But before you start, there’s one thing that must be done.  There’s no putting it off!  In fact, if you want to enjoy planning your wedding you must sort out the wedding day budget first.

I have also included my Wedding Budget Planning Guide which you can download below to help you plan your day. 

Here are my top 5 tips for Wedding Day Budget Planning.

1.Wedding Budget – The chat

Allocate time to sit down and talk face to face about your wedding budget with your partner.  Be realistic about what money you have.  Is anybody else happy to contribute to your wedding i.e. parents.  

Once you have nailed down the total money you have to spend on your wedding, talk through your expectations.  If one of you wants an intimate twilight ceremony with 15 guests followed by a buffet for 30 guests and the other wants the best of everything with bells and whistles for 180 guests, then obviously your expectations of what your wedding will cost will vary greatly.

How will you pay?  Having all of your wedding expenses coming out of one specific account is essential for managing your budget.  Or getting an interest free credit card and using it exclusively for your wedding.

Still life photography - Still life

2.The Guest List

Put simply, the number of guests you have at your wedding controls how much your wedding will cost.  So, getting the guest list finalised from the start is essential.   Start by writing a list of who you two want at your wedding.  If the list is long, break them into two tiers.  Must have’s and would like’s. 

When it comes to family, guest lists can quickly become political and if you’re not careful can lead to arguments.  Be consistent with family invites i.e. all grandparents or none.  Take into account your parents views but make sure that if they’re contributing financially, they don’t think they’ve automatically granted themselves a full say on the guest list.

Then there’s the matter of other people’s children, tit for tat invites (you went to their wedding so you should invite them to yours), work colleagues, and more distant relatives. 

Wedding photography - Wedding

3.Ring fence your essential costs

When you have settled on your final budget.  Block out your biggest cost which is that of your venue, your food and your drink.  This should account for around 50% of your total budget.  Then write down what everything else costs.  This process will show you want things are important to you and what areas you are prepared to make savings in or even do without altogether.   As an experienced South East wedding photographer, I’ve been to weddings with no canapes or wedding favours.  I’ve heard of flower girls wearing supermarket-bought dresses (let’s face it they’ll look adorable in any dress) and wedding cakes bought from M&S. (take a look online) In the grand scheme of the day, I don’t think anybody cared about or even noticed those little things.

Also, beware of costs that often get overlooked when budgeting a wedding.  Like dress alterations, corkage, your marriage license, your honeymoon wardrobe and gifts for the wedding party.  Remember to factor those in too.

Light - Still life photography

4.Be Tech Savvy

Planning a sustainable wedding can also save you money.  Creating a wedding website, using wedding planning apps, getting advice in online forums.  Getting inspiration and feeling creative on Pinterest, creating a buzz about your wedding on Twitter.  E-vites, having your smartphone store your RSVP’s. 

You don’t need to buy wedding or bridal magazines – it’s all online.   You don’t need to buy stationery you can do it all online and manage your RSVP’s through wedding apps.

In fact, your entire wedding can be organized on your phone and you can still create a buzz and excitement about it through social media.  Without having to look up anybody’s postcode or lick a single envelope. (which was always the most boring part of wedding admin!)

Check out this blog on the best 5 apps to help you plan your day!

Stock photography - Macro photography

5.The free help and advice

Thankfully, there’s tons of free information and advice out there.  Everything from wedding planning apps like:

To fantastic online wedding planning websites like:

Wedding forums are great for advice.  Pinterest is the best place for inspiration.  All of your wedding suppliers will be able to recommend others in the wedding industry and will give you a host of hints, tips and ideas.   Recently married friends will also tell you the things they were thrilled they spent money on, and the things regretted spending money on.

I hope you have found these points helpful in your planning. If you haven’t already, download my super handy budget planning guide below to make putting your budget together an absolute breeze!

You can also check out more wedding planning advice and some featured weddings in my blog further below!

Still looking for a photographer for your big day?

I would love to have a chat with you about your wedding plans. Check my availability below to get in touch!