Budget and saving money
Knowing your budget is critical to ensure that you know what you have to work with and gives you some idea how creative you may need to get to stick to your budget.
But outlining your budget into each category (see our budget spreadsheet below), helps you understand if you can afford to bring in additional help such as hiring a catering company or if you will need to rope your friends into help you cook.
When you have your budget outlined, consider thinking about how much you are willing to spend on each item. Be realistic. It may also help if you have had a friend of family member who has recently been married to give you an estimate on what they spent. This will help you confirm that you have allocated enough in your budget or that you need trim some of the items.
Here is a mock up on a simple budget spreadsheet you can create in word.
To create a table:
- Open up a new word document
- Click on insert and select table.
- A pop window will open. In the number of columns enter 3 and for the number of rows you can enter 2 and then click ok.
- When the table is inserted to add more rows, press the tab key in the last column on the last row
($75 per head x 55 guests) does not include drinks
|Wedding night accommodation
|Hair and makeup
Once you have your budget locked down, make sure you stick to it!
This is extremely important. It can be easy to get carried away and keep adding more money into the budget, to have the best of everything however remember you are starting a new life together and you don’t want to be drowning in debt before your marriage starts. It also creates additional stress that you don’t need.
Now for the fun part, how you can save $$ on your wedding.
Some people think that as soon as you mention the word “WEDDING” the cost goes up. Well that maybe the case in some aspects but you must also remember that the some vendors specialise in weddings and experience sometimes will cost extra.
However there are a number of ways you can save if you are prepared to think outside of the box.
- Consider hiring a student or less experienced vendor
Photographers, florists and beauticians all start learning their craft in school and are always looking for ways they can refine their skills. You can contact your local school such as a Tafe or beauty school and ask if any of the students would be interested. You can always ask for a trial or to see some of their work.
For example by hiring a student photographer you may only have to pay for their transportation costs and other expenses such as editing time. Most students would then use your wedding day photos as part of their portfolio or towards their credits. This could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars
Now this can also turn into an expensive trial as you need to take into consideration trial runs and the cost of the materials. I suggest speaking to all of your family and friends and see if anyone has any hidden talents. You can have a working wedding bee and supply some drinks (be careful not to have too many as it may look good through rose coloured glasses) and nibbles and create your own favours or invitations.
There a number of sites and computer programs you can use to create custom invitations. To be even more cost effective consider sending e-invites. Yes electronic invites. It will save you money on the cost of postage and printing.
Making your own favours such as home-made cookies is another great way to save money. You can also consider giving every some seeds of your favourite flower and attach a hand written note “Watch our love grow”.
This is where you can start to think outside of the box and have some fun.
When Jaime King wrote some advice for our followers, Jaime mentioned that you can save money on decorations by choosing a venue that has lots of natural beauty. This is such a fabulous idea and I think it is one area that is overlooked that most. If you think of a ceremony venue such as rose garden, on the beach or in the botanical garden. The list is endless. Make sure you check with your local city council as their maybe a small cost involved or require you to book the space.
When it comes to the reception you can add impact, and mood lighting with candles. Candles are cost effective and help create some romance. Before you start buying lots of candles, check with family and friends as they may already have some that you can use on the day. You can also use a scented candle which adds to the ambiance.
Another option is using old book pages as a table runner. I love this idea as it creates a taking point for your guests and you can find old books from book exchanges and second hand stores. It will require you be a bit creative to put it together but the best part is it can look rustic so you don’t need to be a crafter to make it.
- The dress
Now before you start to say “there is no way I am compromising my dress” there are still a lot of ways you can save money.
Start by contacting the major wedding dress suppliers and find out when they generally have their sales. During sales you can save over $1000 on your dress. You must be prepared to buy an off the rack design and there may also be an additional cost for any alterations. This can also be a great time to pick up the bridesmaid dresses.
Think about hiring. This can be a great way to save money. This should also be an option for the mens suits especially if the groom and/or groomsmen don’t generally wear a suit. Save having all the money just sitting in a closet.
- Pre loved
There are a number of wedding buy, swap, and sell sites on Facebook that you can join.
Items are either new or used. You can pick up a items from decorations, candy buffet supplies (glass ware etc) to the dress. You must be prepared to check in each day to see what has been added and popular items will go very fast.
Make sure if you say you will buy an item you commit to it.
Remember to have fun and think outside of the box and the amount of savings are endless.
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