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How to create the perfect wedding budget

Get your wedding budget sorted with our handy guide 

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How to create the perfect wedding budget
Your dream wedding guide. Image: Getty Images

Grab a calculator (and a large glass of Pinot),  it’s time to get that wedding budget sorted…

1. Do the maths first
“Establishing your wedding budget is your starting point,” advises Sally Francis, Senior Writer at moneysavingexpert.com. “Look at what you’ve got, what you can afford and what you’re happy to spend. Deciding what you want first and then budgeting is often asking for trouble. That’s not to say you can’t have what you want, it just means you’ll think about it differently and be more realistic because you know what you’ve got to spend.”

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2. Get wise
“Whether you’ve already got the cash, you’re saving as you go, or a combination of the two, make sure your money is earning the highest rates of interest possible,” says Sally. “Spreadsheets can help you log how much you’ve got all in one place, but for added ease, apps like OnTrees can show you all your accounts in one place, and give you a running total.”

3. Time it right
Venue hire is the single biggest cost for most couples, so if you want to make savings here, you’ll need to be flexible on dates. If you’re planning a short engagement, you can often bag some last-minute bargains at venues with cancellations. Alternatively, spread the cost and book way in advance. Your biggest savings will come from choosing dates that will be less ‘in demand’. A Friday in October, for example, will be cheaper than a Saturday in July.

4. Be forward-thinkers
Catering is another big spend, so if you’re on a tight budget you may need to break with tradition. Heather Angell at Your Planning Angel suggests getting married later in the day and skipping the formal, sit-down wedding breakfast. “Serving substantial canapés with drinks, then a hot buffet in the evening can save you £1,000s!” 

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5. Solo versus joint
Wondering whether to get a joint account now you’re engaged? “Joint accounts can make it easier as more of your money will be in the same place, but you don’t have to have one,” suggests Sally. “Sometimes it’s best to have a mixture of the two to boost interest rates – top rates at the moment are in current accounts and you can often only have a limited number from the same provider.”

6. Don’t ignore the deals!
While we are huge advocates for a unique and personalised wedding, a package deal can save you a lot of money and stress. “Although hiring a marquee or a modern barn conversion gives you a blank canvas to design as you wish, the costs of dressing such a space can soon escalate,” says Heather.

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7. Stay in the black
“As unromantic as it sounds, most weddings are just one day!” admits Sally. “It’s not worth years of debt, so seriously think carefully about borrowing to pay for it, especially if it means sacrificing other things in the long-term, such as a house deposit. You can still have a great time without breaking the bank.”

8 ...but that’s impossible..!
Really don’t think you’ll get the wedding of your dreams without a little bit of borrowing? “Then do it as cheaply as possible and ensure you have a realistic budget plan in place beforehand to repay it all,” Sally advises. “However you decide to pay, just make sure to get everything for your wedding day at the best possible price.” Sorted!

Words by Holly Johnson

Want more budget advice? Here's how to halve your wedding budget without anyone noticing and nine simple wedding budget hacks

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