Posts Tagged ‘wedding budget’

Not everybody loves a huge shindig so is it possible to get married without a party? Sometimes it can seem like everything is geared towards the reception and trying to outdo the last wedding that we went to. If you are on a tight budget or if you just don’t want the whole circus of a wedding then how do you do it? Follow this guide to find out how you can get the wedding you want!

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Small weddings are usually the best ones as you get to interact with all your guests and this enables you to relax more knowing that you have your closest friends and family around you. There is also more focus on the ceremony itself as you know everybody there is focusing on the words you are saying and are truly there to celebrate with you.

A smaller wedding is easier to get away with if this is perhaps your second time around as most people will understand why you don’t want a huge wedding again, especially extended family members. As well as saving on costs you are also cutting down on wedding nerves.

If you have a groom who is nervous about making a speech having a smaller and familiar group of people around him will help him out immensely. Also you can focus more on the day itself knowing that the sea of faces watching you make your vows will be familiar and this should help seep away any nerves leaving you free to enjoy your day without any stresses.

Location, Location:

Locations for smaller weddings are often easier to find. You don’t need to fall into the trap of finding a location big enough to cater for everyone. Why not do what Kate Winslet did when she married Sam Mendez and hire a local pub? You can really go wild here and choose a destination wedding or a really quirky place that sums you both up as a couple or is somewhere that provides the backdrop of a mutual hobby.

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For example if you are both into potholing there are some locations where you can get married in a cave or tunnels (May not be suitable for some guests). Or there are the more ordinary routes such as a civil ceremony in a quiet location or a registry office. Other locations include gardens, theaters, cinemas, music venues, private houses, barns – you name it.

You can even get married on the London Eye. A destination wedding is a sure fire way of keeping your guest list small and ensuring only the people you really want there are invited. They can be costly though so make sure that you have budgeted enough and decide if you are going to pay for people’s flights and accommodation too.

Who to Invite

This is entirely up to you. Most small weddings cater for the couples nearest and dearest including family members and close friends. Or if you have a large circle of friends it is sometimes easier to just invite close family to avoid the extra cost and the possible awkwardness associated with having to choose who will be present.

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If you have children then you will have noticed that your social circle will have changed quite dramatically – do you invite the best friends you see only every six months or the people you see every day? Here’s where you can justify not inviting these people. If they don’t know you as a family or as a couple then what’s the point? Invite only the people who you both know and who you know care about you all immensely.

Don’t invite the people one or the other of you has never met. This should be easier to explain to people without hurting anyone’s feelings. Most importantly let people know your intention to have a small wedding and make your reasons clear.

  It’s your wedding and it’s your choice how you do it, it isn’t up to anyone else. Of course should you choose to throw all caution to the wind then why not elope? It doesn’t have to be as tacky as Gretna Green or the Little White Chapel in Vegas.

There are plenty of ways to do this. There are many ‘Elopement’ packages available in the UK as well as around the world. Small weddings are getting bigger by the day and many people have caught on to this idea.

You can rent a location and have two witnesses supplied and a champagne reception just for the two of you. Many places also allow a small number of guests should you feel as though an elopement will ruffle too many feathers.

Costing

You will still need a certain amount of cash to fund your wedding – albeit not as much as a huge wedding but still a required amount. There will still be all the usual wedding costs to out lay regardless of how small you are planning to go.

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Venues, celebrants, rings, outfits, photographer, reception ,wedding bouquet and of course‘Thank You’ flowers all cost a lot of money and although you will be cutting a lot of the cost down by not having a big wedding or reception, they will still all need paying for. However, it does mean you can then splurge on the other details if you have the budget for it.

You can of course throw a party as such for the people you wanted to invite but couldn’t. It doesn’t have to be anything flash – you could even have it in your home with just a select few friends and family members. Or look to hire a function room in a pub – usually free in some places if you have a certain amount of people in attendance. This gives you the option to escape into the quieter areas of the pub and not hurt anyone’s feelings. However you do it as long as you do it your way then that is all that matters.

Having a smaller budget doesn’t have to mean having a low-budget wedding. You and your spouse-to-be can plan a big wedding without racking up debt that takes years to pay off. To enjoy the wedding you want without sacrificing, you’ve got to pick and choose the components that are important to you so time and money isn’t wasted on things that aren’t as meaningful. With a small-budget wedding, planning ahead is essential because it gives you time to comparison shop and find the best services, items and supplies at the best deal. Use these tips to plan your big wedding celebration and reception in a budget-savvy way.

Make Your Own Decor

If you’re a DIYer you can save a great deal of money by making your own table centerpieces, place cards, and other reception and ceremony decorations. Use these times to bond with friends and family members as they help you create your wedding ceremony and reception decor. Find inexpensive supplies in nature, at craft stores and thrift shops.

Avoid Peak Wedding Season

June and October are two of the most popular months of the year to get married. Because these months comprise the peak wedding season, prices are typically higher. You can save a lot of money on prime wedding locations simply by scheduling your wedding for a month that’s not as popular. January and April are two of the less popular months, and you may be able to find much cheaper prices for reception halls and wedding entertainment.

Hold the Ceremony and Reception in the Same Place

The cost of transportation from the ceremony location to the reception location can be quite expensive. If you’re able to hold the wedding and reception in the same facility, you can cut costs while making it convenient for everyone.

Pre-Wedding Grooming

You and your partner will both want to look your best on the big day. Instead of spending lots of money getting your makeup professionally done, you can buy yourself some new makeup and use online tutorials to do your own. Likewise, save hundreds by having hair done at a less expensive hair salon versus one that’s upscale.

Your Wedding Rings

Your wedding rings will be a most special symbol of your love for years to come. Follow your intuition on the style of your wedding ring, there is no convention; if the bride and groom have different preferences there is nothing to stop the groom opting for gold while the bride goes for platinum. If you do want to splash out on one aspect of the ring, such as a diamond set or special engraving, you can save in other ways –  choose palladium instead of platinum, or 9ct gold instead of 18ct but ultimately choose what feels right.

Your wedding day is sure to be one of the most special days of your life. Decide early on what’s important to you and your partner so you can focus on making those aspects a reality, while eliminating anything unnecessary that would consume your budget. Getting crafty and creative with friends and family members will help you save tons of money, as well. Don’t let a tight budget lead you to believe that you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. You can; you just have to be budget savvy and creative.

Guest post contributed by Lucy James from Biggerdiamonds4less.co.uk.

According to a wedding survey by BRIDES Magazine in 2011, wedding budgets for Americans are a bit down – probably because of the tough economy. Today’s brides and grooms spend an average of $26,501 on a wedding. Even though the dollar amount is down a couple grand from 2009, that’s still a huge amount of money. So it’s no wonder that brides and grooms argue about money frequently during their wedding planning process.

Luckily, we’re here with tips to help you avoid the arguing, set a realistic budget, and stay financially on track (and blissfully happy.) while you’re planning your dream wedding.

Figure out who is contributing

Today, more and more brides and grooms – even those who have never been married before – are contributing most or all of the total budget for the wedding. Parents just aren’t paying as much anymore, either because they can’t afford to as they approach retirement with less than ever in savings or because brides and grooms simply want complete control over the big day.

It’s important before you even begin planning your wedding to have an honest conversation with both sets of parents to see what they’re planning to contribute. Remember that as an adult, you’re not entitled to any cash from your parents. But if they want to contribute that’s great.

Note: Parents who do contribute to the wedding, reception, or rehearsal dinner may want to have more control over the details. If this bothers you, figure out a way to pay for the wedding on your own.

Find your own budget

Once you know what your parents will be contributing to your wedding, figure out what your own contribution will be. If you’re one of the lucky brides whose parents will foot the entire bill, you can skip this step. Otherwise, check out your own savings account and potential savings between now and the big day that you can chip in for your dream wedding. Remember to be realistic, and not to over-charge on credit cards (even low interest ones) if you decide to use them for some of your expenses.

Decide what’s most important to each of you

At this point, you should have your total wedding budget. But you’re going to put that dollar amount on the shelf for a few days. Right now, instead of focusing on money, focus on both parties’ dreams and expectations for the wedding day.

Chances are likely that certain things that are super important to you may be a little less important to your groom, and vise versa. And there are probably some wedding details that don’t matter much to either of you. An easy way to figure it out is for each of you to make a top five list. Write down, in ranked order, the five most important things about your wedding day. It could be the food, the mood, the decorations, the favors, the dress, the venue, the number of guests, or anything else about your wedding day.

Compare lists, and figure out what’s most important to each of you. Commit now to spend money first on the most important things, and to figure out how to cut expenses on the things that are less important as needed. This simple communication technique can help you through financial arguments well into your future as a married couple.

Set a realistic budget

Once you know what you have to spend and what’s most important, set a realistic budget. You may need to do some market research to figure out what things tend to cost in your area. (ie. In some places, you can rent a wedding venue for less than $1,000, but in other areas, that’s next to impossible.)

Budget for the things on your “most-important” list first, and then add in money for everything. Work on your budget line by line until everything adds up to exactly how much money you have to spend. You may need to take away money from some categories to be able to fund others, but in the end, you should have every dollar accounted for.

And one excellent way to avoid wedding finance arguments later on is to add a 10% contingency fund to your wedding budget. This extra 10% (which really needs to be accounted for in your original budget based on what you have available to spend.) can be used for emergencies or unexpected expenses that really need to be paid. The bonus is that if you get everything without using your contingency fund, you can have some extra honeymoon fun with the money.

Keep track, and stick to your budget

Having a budget is all well and good, but if you don’t track your spending and stick to your budget, you’re going to blow right past it, creating all sorts of tension in your wedding planning process. So track every single receipt in a spreadsheet-style wedding budget.

You should also host weekly or monthly budget meetings (depending on how often you’re doing wedding-related shopping) to discuss where you’re at with the budget. This will help you find areas where you might need to adjust because things are more or less expensive than you’d thought.

Remember, if you’re getting strings-attached funding from parents, you may need to include them in your budget meetings to ensure that they know what’s happening with the money they’ve allotted for your wedding.

Following these simple steps will help keep you organized and on budget during your wedding planning process. Since there’s nothing romantic about bickering over money, you can avoid all of that throughout your engagement just by creating and sticking to a wedding budget.