To begin with, don’t get overwhelmed! We are here to help, so keep reading to find some pro tips from our experienced wedding planning team at Gray’s Inn.
STEP ONE – Determine Your Priorities.
Sit down with your partner and discuss what aspects of the wedding are most important to both of you. This will help you allocate your budget accordingly and focus on what really matters.
Below are the core aspects of your day. You can use the rough percentage allocation to decide how much money you’d like to place where.
What to consider
Venue and catering 40%
Photography and Videography 15%
Music and Entertainment 10%
Flowers (bouquets/buttonholes) 10%
Wedding Attire and beauty 5%
Favours and gifts 2%
STEP TWO – Set a total budget
Decide on the total amount you are willing to spend on the wedding. Be realistic
Go through each category and consider that is truly important. Also, think smart and keep a small pot of funds on reserve for emergencies or if you’d like to upgrade an element of your wedding.
Pro tip: Keep funds aside in case prices increase as it’s hard to budget for a wedding that is 12-24 months away when you are unsure of inflation. The key is to book earlier to take advantage of the lower rates
STEP THREE – Divide your budget into categories
Draw up the rough amount you will allocate, then research and compare costs. Shop around for different vendors and venues to get an idea of the average costs. Compare prices, read reviews, to find the best deals without compromising on quality.
Break down your budget into different categories. Some ideas …
Venue and catering
· Do you have a certain menu style your considering?
· Can you opt for additional canapes instead of a starter?
· Is dessert required or can you consider a sweet treat or cheese board station in the evening?
· Can you consider plant-based or vegetarian menu?
Photography and Videography
Research into clever ways to have the best group pictures taken, to save time for the candid photos throughout the day?
Some couples opt out of the videographer, but will you prefer to look back at photos of your day or play short reels to relive the moments?
Music and Entertainment
What kind of music do you want to boogey to with your nearest and dearest?
Are there any key songs that hold special memories which you would like to feature on your big day?
The common debate is band vs DJ – so consider the variety of music and if the band or DJ can accommodate your preferred music. After all, the music sets the atmosphere for the evening.
Flowers (bouquets/buttonholes) / Decorations
Will having flowers make an impact to the setting?
Consider the fact that bouquets can be re-used in the centre pieces and ceremony flowers can be re-used as table decorations.
Does the venue set the scene itself, or do you require more dressing for the venue to create an impactful setting?
Consider theming as this can be costly and a large allocation fund may be required for this part.
Wedding Attire and beauty
Factor in the whole outfit from dress/suit, shoes, jewellery, make up, hair.
Will you pay for your main wedding parties’ outfits and makeup?
The photo moment is amazing, but this is for a small proportion of the day.
Check how the guests will arrive and will you be providing a bus/taxi service.
Stationary/ Favours and gifts
Incorporating the invites, table plans, place cards, table numbers or names are key. You don’t want to forget those!
Favours can be a nice touch however some couples now remove this element.
Factor in gifts for key wedding parties as traditionally the mothers would be gifted flowers.
A three-tiered cake looks great however will this be too much for the guests and will it to go waste? Is the cake just for show?
Consider other options like cheesecake? Cupcakes or something that identifies you as a couple. Pinterest is a great place to find ideas!
STEP FOUR – Prioritize savings.
Start saving as early as possible to build up a wedding fund. Consider cutting back on non-essential expenses and redirecting that money towards your wedding budget.
Pro tip: See when commercial retail sales are on, for best time to save money on purchases.
STEP FIVE – Consider alternative options.
Look into DIY some of the decorations and remember to allocate enough time to prepare. This will always take longer than you expect, but will be one of the most rewarding part, on the day, to you see your plans brought to life.
STEP SIX – Track your expenses
Keep a record of all your wedding-related expenses to stay on top of your budget. Use spreadsheets or budgeting apps to monitor your spending and adjust as needed. Be honest with everyone on budgets and consider mentioning a slightly lower budget so that if you want to enhance the package in the future, you can always be safeguarded and have that opportunity to extend your budget.
Wedding planning can be overwhelming, and going over budget can add unnecessary stress. By having a clear budget in place, you can make decisions confidently and avoid financial worries.
By following these tips and sticking to a budget, you can have the wedding you desire without unnecessary financial strain.
Style of wedding ceremonies: Your guide to the official ceremony that best represents you as a couple.
Up and coming
January 2024 – Choosing your ideal venue
February 2024 – Theming your Wedding at Gray’s Inn & Engagements
March 2024 – Mother’s day special: A guide for the parents on the day
Kirsten Maveric Photography
Liam Collard Photography