By Lauren Hayes, wedding co-ordinator at Pennine Manor
Part of my job as a wedding co-ordinator at Pennine Manor is to help couples plan out their budget, and to help them make the most of their budget. Some people come to us with an exact figure to work with, but some come to us to plan their dream wedding and then find out how much it will cost.
We’re always happy to help people work within their budget – and in fact, it can really help us when people have a set figure to stick to because we can then give them a few options and see which one they want to go for.
Figures from Bridebook in 2016 found that the average wedding in the UK cost £27,000, and even higher in London at £38,000. And these figures don’t include the honeymoon! Of course, many people don’t have this level of money and there are plenty of ways to save on budget, depending on your priorities.
In days gone by the bride’s father would traditionally foot the bill for the whole wedding, but this is incredibly rare to see these days. Most of the time, the engaged couple have saved up some money, have contributions from family, but are essentially in control of their own budget and spend.
Figure out your budget from the offset
The most important thing to do before you book or reserve anything is to work out your total budget. It will save a lot of stress in the run up to your big day if you can work out how much you can afford, or are willing to pay, for your wedding.
Work out a payment schedule
It’s also really helpful to have an outline plan of when everyone needs to be paid. Some people will need a deposit and then payment in full before the wedding day, whereas other people will need payment on the day.
If you’re setting aside monthly savings for the wedding, then it really can help you to plan out how much you’ll need and for what date.
Decide on your priorities
Have a really good chat with your other half and decide what are your most important parts of the day. Do you want to spend most of your money on providing a four course meal for your guests, along with a really good wine, or will you decide to go for a buffet and spend a larger part of your budget on the evening entertainment?
Alternatively, some people decide to have a small intimate wedding and spend more on their honeymoon.
Think about every last detail
Don’t omit anything from your budget planning – every little thing can add up. Everything from table decorations to wedding favours can be expensive when you’re buying them in fairly large quantities.
Ensure all your suppliers give you a full cost, including VAT and any other extras when you get a quote, so you’re not surprised later on.
And my final piece of advice is to ask your wedding co-ordinator for as much advice as you can. We have worked with hundreds of couples of the years and have planned so many different types of weddings. We’re always happy to help out as much as we can and offer the benefit of our experience.