I'm Wedding Blogging!

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Ahhh! Budget planning! This is the bit that every newly engaged couple loves to plan out.... ammiright?


Well, maybe not. But it's definitely going to be the most important part of your wedding planning journey, and the most difficult bit to keep in check!!!


So here are my tips and info on setting your budget. And sticking to it!

1. So how much does a wedding actually cost???

There's no easy or set answer to this. According to Hitched, your average wedding in the UK in 2019, was ***are you sitting down?*** £31,974. Which was actually down £300 from 2018!!!


But don't panic! There are plenty of ways to make sure that you have the day you've been dreaming of - whatever your budget.

Read on for more ideas...


2. How much do people spend on each element of their wedding?

According to Wedding Wire, in 2019 we spent our wedding budget as follows...

48% on the wedding reception,

16% on the honeymoon,

10% on photography and videography,

7% on the bridal attire,

3% each on the music, and flowers & decor,

2% each on the ceremony, transportation, jewellery, and groom's attire,

1% each on the invitations, favours, and beauty...


BUT! I'd say not to use this as a cut-and-paste template for your own wedding, as everyone is different and will have very different priorities for their big day. For example, my husband and I spent less on the flowers and more on the band - less on the transport and more on the honeymoon... So have a good think about how you'd like to split your budget first and do a bit of research into how much stuff costs (or get a planner on board, who will do all the leg work for you!)


3. Work out the 3 most important elements of your wedding...

I will ALWAYS recommend sitting down with your fiancé(e) and figuring out what your biggest priorities are for your wedding day.


Do you want a stunning, stylish affair with tonnes of flowers and table decorations? Are you after a top notch caterer, or planning on blowing the budget on the best dress? Always work this bit out super early in the planning process; and then if there are any compromises to be made over budget limits, you know where you can cut costs first.


4. Keep a spreadsheet of your spends!

As I mentioned above - it is SO easy to get carried away when it comes to your wedding. You'll find yourself setting a budget of a grand for your dress, and then spot that designer gown for twice as much! Or your nan will want to invite along her friend Dotty from down the road. Or you'll forget that you need to bus 65 people from the church to the reception.


Always keep tabs on your spends. It's really boring, but even if you're buying a few votive candle holders it's worth keeping track, as a few extra quid here and there can turn into £100s and soon your budget has spiralled. Again, if you really want to stick to budget, you can hire a planner who can do all of this for you.


5. When do my suppliers need paying?

Keep this in mind when planning your wedding. Most suppliers will require a non-refundable deposit upfront in order to secure your wedding date. The rest of the payment will need to be made in the weeks running up to your wedding date, with each supplier having a different requirement. When you sign your contract with them, be sure to check this over so that you know when to pay them. (Just a note: I offer payment reminders as part of my planning packages if you need them)


6. Keep an eye on your guest numbers...

The biggest driver of your wedding budget is often how many people you invite! Don't forget that you will need to feed and water all of your wedding guests, and maybe provide transportation, cake, favours... even chair hire and chair covers can drive your costs up. A lot of venues will include a certain amount of daytime and nighttime guests in their wedding packages, and you'll be charged per head for everybody over that amount.


This bit is easy to go spiralling out of control. You'll never know how many people you're related to until you sit down and hash it out with your folks. But more on guests lists at a later date...


7. Delegate, delegate, delegate!

This tip comes with caution. If you're asking friends and family to help out (if your aunty makes cakes, your dad is a florist, your bridesmaid is a hairdresser); make sure you're absolutely sure that they are reliable and you adore their style and how they work.


I know first hand that having your friends and family kindly lend their talents to your wedding day celebrations can not only greatly help you along with costs - it will make your big day that much more special and personal to you. I highly recommend it!


8. What are you including in your budget?

Are you buying your bridesmaids' dresses, or are they going to be providing their own? If your bridesmaids are wearing their own dresses, you will need to be more relaxed about the style of them as they will naturally want more of a say over what they are buying. Will your wedding rings be included in the budget? What about sending wedding gifts to your bridal party? All of these things add up and need to be taken care of!


9. Is your honeymoon part of your budget, or coming from a separate pot?

You don't have to go on your honeymoon immediately after your big day if it will help you to save up some more money. Another option that has become popular is to request donations towards your honeymoon as wedding gifts, particularly as many engaged couples have been living together for a while and have all of the homeware that they need already.


It may depend on the formality of your celebrations as to whether you can request monetary gifts, but if you feel that you can, you could include a nice card in with your invites, set up a JustGiving page for a really modern wedding, or join a website that offers guests the opportunity to donate towards particular activities for you to enjoy if they want to.


10. Oh wait... Did I mention hire a wedding planner?!?

I might have touched on this once or twice, >_< but it's going to be the easiest and most cost effective way of sticking to your budget. Your planner will have links to the wedding supplier world and will know where you can get the best quality products and services for the most competitive price.


They usually charge a percentage of your budget, but could save you a lot more; and they'll be able to advise you on how you can work together to achieve your dream day without blowing the bank.

Let's go!!!

It's time! Grab your partner, a calculator, and a brew. Get your spreadsheet fired up and hash it out. What do you have to spend, who can you rope in to help out, and what do you want from your wedding day?


Remember you can always give me a shout if you get stuck. Good luck!!!

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Congratulations on your engagement! As you enjoy your celebrations you'll be answering lots of questions from your family and friends, and one of the questions they'll ask is "have you set a date yet?!?"


So.... Have you?!?!


This will be the first thing to think about when planning your wedding, and this first step is one of the most important decisions you'll make together!


Luckily, I have a few tips to get you started...

1. How long do you need to plan your wedding?

It's worth thinking about how long you think you'll need to plan your wedding. If you set your date for a short time away, you might struggle to get everything done. Usually, wedding dates are set for between 12 to 24 months away from your engagement date. This will give you plenty of time to prepare and plan, and my 'Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist' uses an 18 to 24 month timeline to help you keep track of your tasks. However, if you're doing away with tradition and eloping somewhere special, you might only need a few months to prepare.


2. What will fit around your work schedule?

Okay - so this one sounds so boring, but think about it! If you work in retail, you'll be run off your feet in November and December and so will have little time (or energy) to do those last minute wedding jobs. If you're working in a school, maybe a school holiday would allow you to get that last dress fitting in? Or if you're in the car industry - March and September will probably already be tiring enough, without adding last minute plans on top! Sometimes thinking about your workload rather than a specific season makes the whole experience of your wedding much less stressful.


And speaking of seasons...

3. How much does the weather matter to you?

There are pros to booking both summer and winter weddings. Here are a few...


SPRING/SUMMER

--> Good weather... This can't be guaranteed of course, we live in the UK! But if you're lucky enough to have an amazing warm British summer day, it's impossible for you & your guests to not be filled with joy and happiness.

--> Outdoors venues... You can make the most of the stunning grounds of the hotel you've booked. Or you can book a marquee or a barn wedding safe in the knowledge that it will at least be warm if not dry.

--> Summer styles... Festival and boho styles work best in the spring and summer, with all of the pretty wild florals and rustic decor. They might not have the same effect in the winter!

--> Amazing photographs... Talented photographers can capture every memory perfectly, no matter the weather - but there is a lot more opportunity for those bright and beautiful shots when the sun is shining.


AUTUMN/WINTER

--> It's cheaper... Book your Big Day between October and March and you're pretty much guaranteed to save money. There is much more demand for venues, photographers, florists etc in the summer months and so prices can be higher. During the winter, suppliers often offer discounts and special offers.

--> All-shoes-on-the-dancefloor... Let's face it - if it's chucking it down outside, your guests aren't going to be milling about outside in the sunshine like they would if it was summer.

Winter weddings make for dark & cosy, fun nighttime parties with everybody indoors together celebrating. This is the reason autumn and winter weddings are my favourite!

--> Nice weather bonus... Chances are that if you've set your date for a summer wedding, you've planned everything in the hopes that the weather will be good and might be gutted if it's not. In the autumn or winter, a crisp sunshine is an absolute bonus, and you won't be too disappointed if it doesn't happen.

--> Availability... Not only will your suppliers be more available during the October to March months, but your guests are less likely to be away on holiday too!


4. What day of the week is best?

Saturdays are by far the most popular day for a wedding, as most people are already off work or school and so they are easier to arrange; but there are benefits to setting your wedding date on a weekday or Sunday instead...


Because Saturdays are in such high demand, suppliers and venues often charge more to secure your date. Fridays are usually the next choice after a Saturday, as they give your guests an excuse to book a long weekend and are great for a full three days of celebrations. Other days are usually cheaper by far, and could be an opportunity for you to save on your budget.


5. Are there big events on already?

We've all heard the stories of someone at a wedding who puts the football on during the wedding breakfast - but what if it's a BIG sporting event? What if everyone wants to watch it?!?! I've stumbled across newly married couples who have aired a special screening of the World Cup for their guests during their reception, to make sure they would actually turn up! But if you don't want to be outshined on your big day, it's best to double check nothing else is sharing the spotlight with you on the special date you've chosen.

It's over to you!

Time to brainstorm some dates together and work out what fits best for you. Have fun with it and don't stress too much - you will probably already have an idea of how much time you'll need and which season you like best.


Good luck, and get in touch if you need help!


Congratulations on your engagement! There's nothing quite like the buzz you feel when one person has chosen you to be their favourite person in the world!

You'll get all the questions from your friends - How did they propose? Have you set a date? When's the engagement do?... It's time to start thinking about celebrating!


Your Engagement Party

Whether you have a dinner party with your close family, or a big party with all of your friends - this is your chance to really find out what you value as a couple. Do you love amazing food? A good band & DJ? Are you after fine dining, a busy BBQ, or maybe even a relaxing spa day for just the two of you? However you decide to celebrate your engagement, you'll probably find that you'll be looking at similar vibes for your wedding day too!


Your engagement celebrations will reflect your personality as a couple.

Your engagement celebrations are a good way of getting a bit of planning practice in before you start on your wedding day. You'll learn a few things along the way - such as having more guests versus keeping the costs down. And if you're having a big party you'll find that you spend barely more than 2 minutes with anyone in particular (including your new fiancé/e), and that everything will pass by in a whirlwind!


Tips for your Engagement Do

--> Write down everything that's important for your celebrations.

--> Think about your budget - it can sometimes run away from you!

--> Who would you like to celebrate with? The amount of people will affect your budget.

--> Delegate! Whether to friends or an event planner - you don't have to do it all by yourself!

--> Take a moment during the evening to take everything in.

--> Remember to send thank you cards to those who kindly bring gifts with them.

--> Get your guests to take lots of photos!



Your Engagement Photoshoot

This is another opportunity to do some pre-wedding planning. Usually when you're engaged, you choose a photographer that you love the style of and book them for an engagement photoshoot, with a mind to booking them for your wedding too.


The beauty of this is that you'll have stunning engagement photos for your Save the Dates, and for Insta of course. But also, it'll give you and your photographer the chance to get to know each other before your wedding, so that you'll feel nice and relaxed around them on your wedding day.


Your photographer is one of the most important people at your wedding. They'll be capturing the memories of one of the best days of your life, and snapping friends and family who are celebrating with you too. You'll treasure these photographs and share them for years to come, so it's important to get your photographer right and your engagement photoshoot is the perfect opportunity for this.


Tips for your Engagement Photoshoot

--> Choose a photographer who matches your style.

--> Be sure to think about your budget here too!

--> Think about your own style. Are you comfortable in front of the camera and love super elegant posed portraits? Or are you a bit camera shy and would prefer something natural? You should choose a setting that'll feel super relaxed - going for a walk in your favourite place is a great choice!

--> If you love the results of your engagement shoot, be sure to book your photographer for your wedding straight away! The best photographers get snapped up quickly! *pun definitely intended*


Let the Adventure Begin!

Whatever you decide to do for your engagement, remember to enjoy every moment of it together and soak up all the positive vibes. Have fun, set a date, and start dreaming about your Big Day!!!