How To Budget For A Wedding

We all fantasize about it, don’t we?
The bridal gown..the wedding list..
What was a blissful fantasy turns to the sudden reality of catering for over 150 friends, relatives and those +1’s.

To avoid family drama it seems almost worth it to go all out and invite everyone to avoid hurt feelings. But then what is this really hurting?

Your budget?
The more people you invite, the more strain it puts on you, your partner, and your budget. Intimacy is of far more value than a grand scale wedding that costs you far above your budget- and for what? Spending one minute per person, not truly listening because you’re stressing about needing to interact with everyone?
Now, I’m not unfamiliar with cultural values nor the closeness of extended family- many of whom are spread out, hence, a wedding is a perfect celebration to reunite everyone. You want the right time and location with something that caters to everyone.

So how do you achieve this within your means?
I know weddings are a time you want to splurge and make an impression, but foremost, consider your current financial position. Are you currently paying off a student loan? Saving for a house? Paying off a mortgage? This is going into the territory of when is the right time? As if some sort of formula exists on “how to do life.” You don’t want the realities of life making you doubt the right time, nor do you want to rush just to fulfil the social pressure of getting married. There is honestly nothing wrong, nor a failure of any kind in taking your time and saving to your means to plan your wedding day.
You have to remind yourself of your own personal values in what marriage means to you. Remember, if you’re going to put effort into something, see it for its long-term gain, not a short-lived moment. You’re investing the hope of the rest of your forever into a single day. A day that is so predominantly about you. Not the list. Not your family. Not status. Not reputation. Not a show of wealth. You. Your dreams. Your wants. You get it. It is YOUR wedding day.

The Wedding Dress
Ladies, does your mother have a wedding dress that you could alter? When thinking about currency, remember that sentimental value is monetary gain. What you save on a dress, you can spend on catering, flowers, music, bar services, and ministerial fees.

The Wedding Cake
By downsizing on the guest-list you can save a fortune on catering and the wedding cake. Consider the size of your guest-list as an indication to how big your wedding cake will be. Remember, with wedding cakes you are paying for someone’s time, the ingredients and the symbolization of your union. Yet, if you have had a satisfying meal prior, ask yourself if it is worth spending money if everyone is too full to enjoy it. Hereby I suggest smaller cupcakes. Prebake before the wedding; invest time- not money into the baking and save on your budget. Yes weddings are supposed to be a relaxed and stress-free time, so get a group of friends together and have a baking weekend.

The Venue
Perhaps you belong to a Church, with a giving community, worship band and facilities to service. Perhaps a pastoral setting is appealing? With what you save with nature’s free surroundings you can invest in a photographer. The important thing to know is you have options. Play with the ideas of who to invite, where to have your wedding and what to cut down on. You’ll be surprised by the savings you will make. Look to nature and allow yourself to be inspired by ideas of where to hold your wedding. New Zealand is not bereft of beaches nor parks, gardens or domains. Your backyard is cute, if for when it rains. Local sports clubs if you are a member are great for discounted catering as well.

The Photographer -Musicians -Catering -Beverages
Before you look for ‘professional services’, look closer in your circle and ask your first connections to see if you know of friends or family who are photographers, maybe you have friends who are musicians. Don’t stress too much about the catering, at the end of the day your guests are family and friends who are ultimately there to see you happy. They understand your finance and your situation. They are not there to be provided a three course meal served on silver platers. Consider a buffet or a meal special to your culture and don’t be afraid to add a cheeky BYO at the end of your invite. At least that way, your guests will be drinking what they personally enjoy.
Here’s to a classy, yet cheaper wedding!

Disclaimer: The above information is general in nature and not intended to be advice. You should consider seeking professional advice before following any suggestions in this blog/website.