How to Work Out Your Wedding Budget
Whether you’re spending £30k or £300k for your wedding, you need a wedding budget. Even if you don’t have all the funds readily available, you still need a budget.
You want to have an amazing wedding day without the stress of worrying about funds and having a wedding budget will help you to achieve that. It will keep you in line with what you can and cannot spend and help you to manage your money wisely and properly.
I always advise that you determine your style and the type of wedding you want to have first closely followed by the number of guests you want to invite and then set your budget accordingly.
Once you decide how much you want to spend on your wedding (usually a ballpark based on the type of wedding you want to have. Remember, this is purely down to you and your fiancé with input from your parents if they are contributing or paying for the wedding), you can then start to allocate specific amounts based on what’s important to both of you.
Alternatively, you can set your budget and let that determine your style and type of wedding you want to have (I’m not a fan of this approach but it works for some people so worth giving it a mention).
The rule of thumb for slicing your wedding budget is to allocate:
- 40% of total budget to reception (including venue, food, drinks, and decor);
- 8% for flowers;
- 10% for dresses and suits;
- 8% for entertainment/music;
- 10% for photo/video;
- 3% for invites;
- 3% for gifts; and
- 8% for miscellaneous items i.e. a wedding planner
- 10% for unexpected expenses
It’s essential to allocate an extra 10% of your budget for unexpected wedding expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day etc.
So, for a £40k wedding budget, you’d have something like:
- £16,000 for reception (venue, food, drinks, decor)
- £3,200 for flowers
- £4,000 for dresses and suits
- £3,200 for entertainment/music
- £4,000 for Photo/Video
- £1200 for Invites
- £1,200 for gifts/favours
- £3,200 for miscellaneous expenses i.e. a wedding planner
- £4,000 for contingencies and unexpected expenses
Once you do the bulk allocation of venue, food, drinks etc., allocate the rest of your budget based on aspects of your day that are most important to you. Pick 3 or 4 areas max.
For example, if you want fresh flowers, a killer dress, a horse-drawn carriage and fantastic images for your day then make those a priority and allocate more funds to those over the other items on your budget list.
Other important points to note are:
- Set a realistic budget. Don’t be afraid to get quotes from suppliers to inform your budget setting (let them know upfront what the quote is for and they’ll be more than happy to help you).
- Images from Pinterest and Instagram are great for inspiration but be prepared to spend a tidy sum to recreate those exact looks.
- Don’t assume that a 2 tiered cake with cascading sugar flowers will cost £200 or that 3 urns with cascading florals each, will cost £1000.
Do your homework, attend fairs, get quotes from suppliers to help you set a realistic budget. So that when you start planning in earnest, you have a pretty good idea of what you need to spend, where.