Whether you’ve just started wedding planning or you only have a few months left until the big day, at some point in your planning journey, you’ll find yourself asking yourself, ‘why are weddings so expensive?’ The truth is, your wedding day will be as expensive or inexpensive as you like, but if you are looking to enhance your wedding day experience, then be expected to pay a fair and realistic price for professional services and quality products to avoid any disappointments on the day. And while we all love a good deal, if a price sounds too good to be true, than alarm bells should begin ringing in your head immediately.
At Carriages, I use an effective budget management system for all of my couples as it’s very easy for your wedding spend to start spiralling out of control. Expectations need to be managed and kept in line with the budget you have set for your big day from day one. So, to help you keep on the right track, here are my top six sensible tips to keeping costs manageable and within a set figure.
1. Be open and honest with all suppliers about your REAL budget
While many will play their cards close to their chest with their budget, make sure you are open and honest with suppliers about your real budget and state an actual figure. Saying that you want something ‘affordable’ or that you have ‘no budget’ will not be helpful to either you or your potential suppliers. What you may identify as an affordable figure will be completely different to what others class as affordable. And, if you state that you have no budget, this gives your supplier nothing to work with, so don’t be disheartened when you get quoted a price you were never willing to spend. Pinning down an actual number will avoid time wasting and allow suppliers to point you in the right direction on what is realistically achievable and what is idealistic.
2. Listen to industry experts’ knowledge and experiences
Listening to your wedding planner and suppliers is the best way to ensure you stay within your budget, as they will have a wealth of knowledge and many experiences of realistic prices within the industry. Your wedding planner in particular, will be able to match the best suppliers to your individual requirements.
3. Manage your expectations
Ensure your expectations are in line with what your budget can accommodate, and understand that sometimes, compromises will be needed if the budget does not permit to include everything you initially wanted. If you’re looking for a bespoke five-course menu at the best quality or an extravagant full-staged production for instance, don’t be surprised when it comes with a hefty price tag.
4. Prioritise what is important to you
Figure out which aspects of your wedding day are the most important to you and allocate you budget accordingly. Keep a track of these details on a spreadsheet for reference.
5. Check for additional extras
Always remember to check if prices include VAT and ensure there are no other hidden extras, such as supplier travel expenses for instance, before you sign supplier contracts. For information on hidden wedding costs, click here.
6. Look at the bigger picture
The best weddings I’ve had the pleasure of planning are the ones where the couples have focused on wanting to get married surrounded by their favourite people and to put their own stamp on their day. Don’t be pressurised to have certain details only because it’s classed as the norm. Remember your special day is about celebrating your love and not competing with other couples.