Expert Advice on Planning a Wedding Budget

— Wedding Budget Planning

The weddings that captivate us share common elements. Through chic and imaginative styling, they creatively encapsulate a couple’s distinct style and character. To execute this well, these events require organisation, prioritisation and financial clarity behind the scenes, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

Whether you’re designing a wedding that’s large or intimate, opulent or understated, astute financial planning can significantly enhance what you’re capable of creating. Cost is important in terms of preparation, but it does not determine the value of your experience, and planning techniques are available to make sure your wedding is exactly as you’d hoped for.

We asked two budgeting experts, financial planner Canna Campbell of SugaMamma TV and event designer and stylist Jessica Sloane to share their tips on how to achieve the wedding you envision.

Be clear on the figures

Canna: Before you even start planning it’s important to discuss, in detail, what your financial situation is with your partner, including any debts. Also look at any contributions you may have from family members towards the wedding. Knowing where you stand financially is so important when planning a wedding, as well as in life. Getting married represents being joined as a team so working together on this is really important, and it removes a lot of stress as the planning process goes on.

Choose your non-negotiable elements

Jessica: After setting a budget, first and foremost, couples will need to decide what is most important to them. If photography is high on their list - as it is with all my clients - then they should allocate more there, and adjust in another area of the budget to compensate. Set your total budget and then allocate percentages to what is most important.

Consider the true value of a wedding planner

Canna: A good wedding planner is absolutely worth their weight in gold. Their advice is informed and incredibly valuable, they take care of the small details and any concerns before and on the day so you get to focus on enjoying yourself. It’s a way to make sure nothing is forgotten about and nothing is overlooked. They’re also a great sounding board during the planning process. They’ve done this before and they know what works and what doesn’t. They can tell you how to best bring your ideas to life with the experience to back it up.

Fill in other high-priority elements

Jessica: We highly recommend a quality photographer. Your wedding images are the only tangible element you have from your wedding to help you relive the memories and share them with loved ones as the years go by. Since a wedding day moves fast and there's so much to cover, shooting a wedding takes a special skill set and level of talent. A skilled photographer is worth the investment!

Canna: Even if food isn’t the central to your story, I think it’s important to get it right. People focus on the experience they have at a wedding, that’s the memory that will last. When it comes to food, I think it’s important to make sure you’re offering something fresh and nutritious so people have the energy to have fun and get up on the dancefloor – that’s what it’s all about!

Be conscious of easy ways to save

Jessica: There are a few ways to be clever when allocating your budget. Choosing a venue that has natural beauty means you won't have to dress it up as much or spend money covering up things you don't love. Also, plenty of couples are shying away from wedding favors for their guests since they're often overlooked. If this is something you are willing to give up, you can allocate that budget elsewhere.

Canna: One of the easiest ways to have the wedding you want within your budget is to adjust the size accordingly. Some of the best weddings are the intimate ones, because you have time to spend with one another and enjoy the moment. This can mean you’ll have more room in your budget for the little touches you have your heart set on.

Plan to enjoy the process

Jessica - Enjoy this engagement period because you will never get this sweet time back. It doesn't have to be stressful if you set weekly goals for yourself and your partner so that you don't get behind.

Image credit: Cinzia Bruschini

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