What’s the first thing that shoots through your mind when you get engaged? Is it years of blissful happiness with your future husband? Is it the thought of changing your name and becoming a respectable “Mrs”?
Of course not!… You picture yourself in the dress of your dreams, in the venue of your dreams (with, of course, the man of your dreams!), and you’re away in your own little daydream.
Unfortunately, even the cheapest, most basic wedding requires money. To achieve the day of our dreams, Paul and I will have to budget very carefully. The first thing we did was to merge our bank accounts ‐ big, scary step! This isn’t ideal for every couple, but if you do have different accounts, I’d definitely recommend setting up another separate one for the wedding.
By putting all our wedding funds in one account, we can take stock of what we have. Every month, we’re putting a little more money into our savings account, so that it’s slowly building up. We’re trying to see it as a totally separate thing from our usual account, and once the money goes in, it’s off limits (or else!).
The budget planner
There’s an excellent budget planner here on Confetti, and if you want my advice ‐ USE IT! It helps you to set out everything you need, and how much you expect to pay for it all. You might think you don’t need a planner, but when all the little things like the rings, and the bridesmaids’ tiaras, and even your make‐up, start to add up, you soon realise you have an extra few hundred pounds on your bill.
For us, the budget was the starting point for all the serious planning. We began to work out what we could buy, and what we would have to do ourselves. We also learned that it’s very important to talk everything through with each other. If there’s something expensive that we really want for the wedding, we can try to cut costs elsewhere so we’ll be able to afford it.
We started with the basics ‐ where were we going to get married and have the reception, and how were we going to get there? How many guests did we want to invite? Were we having a big party and a buffet for lots of people, or a sit down meal for our close friends and family? By making sure all the main things were in place, and we decided we could play around with the little things to fit our budget.
Once you’ve set up your budget planner, make sure you keep it up to date. This will help you keep track of what you’ve paid for and what you have yet to afford.
Oh, and one word of warning ‐ weddings are always more expensive than you think, so always try to work “under budget” for as long as you possibly can. You’re bound to splash out more on certain things than you think you will.
The most important thing to remember is that this is your day. Several of our relatives said ‘But people will expect a three course meal,’ and ‘But you’ve GOT to have real champagne for your toast!’ but we have stuck to our guns. We know this has to be a budget wedding, or it won’t be a wedding at all! It doesn’t matter what your guests expect, it’s all about what you want to do, and how much you can afford. You really don’t want to start married life with a huge bank loan if you can possibly help it.