Tips for creating your wedding budget

Photography: Cat Arwel Photography

Let’s be honest, sorting your wedding budget doesn’t exactly equal wedding planning fun! It’s not easy (especially if spreadsheets just aren’t your thing), but being on top of your wedding budget will reduce some of that wedding planning overwhelm and help you feel in control.  

If you know it’s time to face this task but you’re not sure where to start with creating and sticking to your wedding budget, here are some tips. 

How to fund your wedding

There’s certainly not a one size fits all template, so the best place to start when setting your wedding budget is by talking about what you’re both realistically happy to spend on your wedding to avoid any regrets further down the line. Then you can look at the savings you may already have and make a plan for how long it will take you to save. 

Unless you have decided to fully fund your wedding yourselves, chat openly with any loved ones wishing to contribute. Have an honest conversation as to whether they wish to purely gift you some money for your wedding or whether they want to be included in some wedding planning decisions or perhaps they have ideas about where they would like to see the money spent.  

How to split your wedding budget

Deciding where to spend your budget is all about priorities! 

Bear in mind that the venue, food and drink will be your biggest expense and you should ideally allocate half of your budget to this. It’s also important to add a contingency fee for anything you may have forgotten or to help with any overspending, and it’s advisable for this to be 10-15% of your overall budget. 

After this, it’s really down to what’s most important to you. One of my first steps to planning a wedding is to discuss your priorities and what you envisage for your celebration because for a personal wedding that reflects your love story, all your decisions will stem from this, including where to focus your budget. Always keeping your priorities in mind will help stop you from spending money on things that aren’t important so you can use it on things that are!  

Green on green place setting London event planner
Photography: Cat Arwel Photography

How much does everything cost? 

Now you have your list of must-haves, researching how much these essential elements cost is key.

There are plenty of articles that will give you a percentage guide, but these don’t tend to take priorities into account. Supplier costs will also vary depending on things like location and time of year, so reach out to some suppliers you love and get an idea of how much their service is to give you an accurate indication. 

If you haven’t already done so, making a rough guest list will really help you at this stage because the number of guests will have an impact not only on the venue and price per head for catering but also on things like wedding stationery and any furniture you need to hire. 

How to keep track and stick to your wedding budget 

Putting everything on a spreadsheet is honestly the best way to keep on track. List your must-haves first, followed by nice-to-haves, and if you can’t picture something because it’s not important to you, it shouldn’t be on your list!  

Have a column for the estimated cost, one for actual cost and one for the difference and update your spreadsheet every time you book or buy something so you keep on top of your spending and can easily see where to re-jig your expenses as you go should you need to.  

It’s also a great idea to open a separate wedding savings account so you can easily see where you’re at.  

If this makes you think you’d rather have the help of a planner, my Tailor Made full planning and design service includes budget management, and I’d love to hear all about your wedding plans. If you’d like to book a complimentary consultation, please click here

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Hi, I'm Clara

London wedding designer, planner & stylist

I create bespoke weddings for modern city-loving couples who want to step away from the norm and have a celebration that feels personal to them.

By working in collaboration with my couples and encouraging their individual style, I can interpret what’s important to them and curate an experience that reflects their story. 

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