Money Money Money!
Blogging Bride Kadi shares her experience of trying to budget for her wedding day
I’ve just come back from a wonderful holiday where we visited parts of where Mamma Mia was filmed, so the title for my first blog seems fitting!
After having 12 days of bliss enjoying the sun, sand and sea, it gave me time to reflect on the finances and where I am with my wedding planning so far. I think when I first got engaged, I was on a bit of a bride-to-be holiday to be honest. My partner and I had bought a house not too long before we were engaged so had very little money. We knew our budget would be limited. This didn’t phase me as in my mind I wanted a small and personal family wedding. How much could that really cost? I got myself a few notepads and started thinking about how I could save pennies by doing bits myself. Here’s a sneak peak at part of my original budget (in my naïve bride-to-be state):
Dress £200 – yes, this doesn’t seem like much but I knew of budget shops where they were selling incredible dresses.
Bride accessories £100 – for all of the nicer touches like the veil and jewellery.
Bridesmaids and ushers £200 – surely I can find some bits in the sale?
Button holes £150 – a must have at a wedding right?
Venue - £500 – a nice country pub with an open garden to use.
Food £200 – A tasteful buffet, how much could that really cost??
Flowers £100 – Just a few tasteful touches for the day.
If you haven’t started planning your wedding, you might not have much of a reaction to my budgeting. If you have started planning, you are either laughing or thinking ‘oh dear’. The problem is, even though I don’t want to spend unnecessarily, or want a massive wedding with 500 guests, the money spent is already starting to stack up. A lot of our friends who are already married said “Whatever your budget is, add another £5000 on top”. I’m starting to see what they mean. However, I refuse to allow my wedding to become something that puts us into debt. I don’t want to spend money we haven’t got.
For both me and my fiancé, being in debt would just cause us to stress, and this is something we both want to avoid before and after the wedding.
I don’t mean to scare you. Weddings can be any price tag, from a few hundred to thousands. However, I do think you need to realistic with your budgeting. Sit down together and have a good think about what means most to you on the day and where you can make some savings. I have read so many articles of brides who wish they had done it differently, and the biggest theme that seems to come up is wishing they hadn’t spent so much money.
When you start planning your wedding, just think about the following questions:
Have I checked that I have the best price?
Do I definitely need this?
Do I know anyone who could do it for free?
Could I make it myself?
When I look back on my wedding, will I remember it?
Who am I doing this for?
Will I regret it?
I think there are areas of your wedding where you can make savings, but there are also other areas that you might find you spend more. Here are some examples of how my budget has changed:
I desperately tried to find a dress within budget and tried on quite a few. I looked online and in shops. The problem is, you can’t really help what dress you fall in love with and mine just happens to be an unfortunate price tag of £1000. I didn’t buy it straight away and went back 3 times to try it on but every time I tried it on I loved it a little bit more. I found a veil for £90 and I know by shopping around I’ll need to allow another £100 for additional accessories for the day. This was way over budget, even with my mum contributing some money, but I realised how much the right dress meant to me.
Original budget: £200 + £100
Actual price: £1000 + £200
However, with my bridesmaid dresses I have made some savings. My best friends live all over the UK and the thought of trying to get them all into one dress seemed crazy. To save money, time and stress I asked them whether they would mind buying their own. They all loved the idea! The great thing is, they will all feel comfortable in what they have chosen, it reduces the amount of jobs I have to do and it has saved me spending money on dresses they might hate. We have adopted the same strategy with the ushers. We are going to ask them all to buy grey suits and a white shirt. We will then provide them all with the same tie just to create a bit of a uniformed look.
Original budget: £200
Actual price: £40
Another saving has been with my button holes. I’ve read a lot of reviews about how real flowers can actually fall apart on the day and how much easier fake flowers can be. Honestly, have a look online, you’ll be surprised at how fab they can look. My favourite so far are the button holes sold by John Lewis for the men that are priced at £3.50 each. It also allows you to add a personalised touch, for example, a coloured ribbon to match the wedding colours.
I think if you spend money on your wedding to please others you’ll regret it. Where you do spend money, make sure it’s something that will make you and your partner happy and give you years of wonderful memories. Don’t get pulled into this wedding meat market of people charging ridiculous prices. Look on Ebay and ask around until you find not only your perfect item but at the perfect price. I’ll keep you updated on all the bargains hunts I’ve been on in my next blog.
Picture credit Amazon