Make a proper wedding budget... and stick to it

Make a proper wedding budget

Weddings are supposed to mark the best day of your life, so it’s quite natural to want to splash out and go the extra mile on such a special occasion.

And, if you’re the sort of chap who already has several homes, a collection of high-spec sports cars and his own private jet, then you probably needn’t bother reading this. The rest of you, though, should pay close attention!

Start with a strategy

If your bride-to-be has been planning this wedding since she was six, you’re not going to have an easy job of persuading her that shelling out for solid platinum tiaras and a dress designed by Very Wang herself might perhaps be a tad excessive. Nevertheless, you’re going to have to plan this carefully if you don’t want to end up in the poorhouse, so make setting a budget - and realistic expectations - a top priority.

Sit down with your fiancée and her folks at the earliest opportunity to work out the details. The average British wedding costs £18,000 including rings, dresses and reception, and if that’s too steep for your pocket then you need to either set a limit you can live with or work out how long it’ll take you to save up what you need. It’s up to you: you can still enjoy a fabulous day on a modest budget, but if you’d prefer to go the whole hog you need to set yourself realistic targets and keep to them.

Keep track of everything

Once you’ve agreed your budget and timings, don’t let things spiral out of control. Take a note of every penny you spend on wedding items and keep a running total to ensure things don’t get out of hand. A lot of couples set up spreadsheets or download apps to track expenses as they go along, while opening a special bank account purely for wedding spend is a great way of keeping a close eye on your funds.

Consider using a pre-paid credit card as a method of payment. It’s a great way to get all the benefits – and none of the drawbacks – of a credit card. It’s pay-as-you-go, so there’s no risk of going into debt or being stung by hidden fees and charges.

Remember that the wedding industry exists to sell you a multitude of goods and services - some of which you may not actually need -so tread carefully. Always think twice before signing on the dotted line and ask yourself how each purchase will impact upon the budget. Setting yourself strict limits like this will help focus your minds on determining which things you truly want to be part of your nuptials and which would be an unnecessary waste of cash.

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