So last week I wrote about some of the things wedding planning has taught me in terms of finding ‘the one’ (dress that is), the dangers of Pinterest and the guilt of narrowing your guest list down – click here if you missed it! Today’s post is all about budgeting.
So why budget? Unless your second name is Kardashian budgeting is a necessity for all newly engaged couples starting to plan their wedding. The wedding industry is worth billions of pounds for a reason. As soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’ to stationers, florists and potential venues you can practically see the pound signs light up in their beady little eyes. I can’t recommend enough, the importance of both partners doing a little research around costs before you start making decisions or even worse, handing over that ’emergency’ credit card. My fiance was shocked at some of the quotes and prices I passed on to him. I think he thought I was being over-extravagant at first, the words “Well you look and see if you can find it cheaper then!!”, echoed around our house for months.
As soon as we had the venue, photographer and cake, places like Paperchase, Ebay and River Island became our savior. Without giving too much away my evening invites, wedding planner and guestbook all came from Paperchase saving over half of what I was quoted by wedding ‘specialists’. My bridesmaid dresses in the exact style, colour and sizes I needed came from River Island and all three cost what I was previously quoted for ONE dress! I also picked up beautiful Laura Ashley material for my favours, card box with a love heart chalk board and thank you cards all on Ebay for a couple of pound! It really pays to take to the high street and spend a few hours searching Ebay – the money I saved instead of going to specialists or shopping on sites like Etsy was unreal!
At this point everything got a little confusing; what had we organised? What had we paid for? Where’s the budget all gone? Have we forgotten anything? This is where this little online tool (available here) comes into play…
The Wedding Cost Calculator breaks down your budgeting nightmare into simple steps. It asks you a series of questions such as – Where do you want the service? – Registry Office? Church? Reception Venue? You select your option, submit and move onto the next step. It tackles entertainment, wedding decor, stationery, bridesmaid dresses, hair and makeup – including all the little, but important, things you may have overlooked. It then asks for your budget and then gives you an outline of the potential costs…
In the above sceenshot you can see the calculators predictions and comparisons. Let me tell you it’s scarily actuate in terms of the quotes I have been given! What’s great about this tool is that it also allows you to change the amounts it suggested with your own exact amounts once you start booking. This can then be shared on Facebook or by email to your partner. It also allows you to compare your original budget to your running total helping you to keep track of the pennies and your spending.
When planning a wedding it can be easy to lose track of your spending. It’s hard not to be swept away in order to impress your guests or to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. Embracing highstreet retailers and online tools are such simple and effective ways to alleviate some of the stress involved with budgeting and take back control. Remember that yes it’s lovely to have that ‘perfect’ day but do you really want to start married life with a cloud of debt hanging above you?
I’d love to know what your dream wedding costs. Give it a go and report back! Have you recently been married, did you find this tool accurate? Please leave you comments below! The Wedding Cost Calculator by Everyday Loans is available here.