Bride And Groom Sipping Drinks Walking Down The Street

It's difficult enough coming up with a workable wedding budget in the first place, but things can get especially tense when that carefully constructed budget blows out. The simple answer - don't let it.

First things first, the whole point of a budget is to remember that there's a finite pool of money from which everything else flows. Put simply, if you over-spend in one area you have to make it up somewhere else - that means spend less in another area, not spend more overall.

To help you do this, make a list from the outset with items that "I can't possibly do without" at the top, working your way down to those elements you fancy having but which are really just icing on the cake. Now when it's time to slash you know where to start.

Not being able to afford those satin sashes for your chair backs might be disappointing - briefly - but it's never going to be the thing your guests are talking about afterwards.

Having said that, if you save elsewhere you never know what you'll be able to squeeze in. Certain things often blow the budget so avoiding them from the outset is a fairly safe strategy.

8 Simple Steps

Steps to help spend within your means and still have a fabulous and fun-filled wedding.

  1. You've no doubt heard that timing is everything. Budgeting is no exception. Booking wedding services at the last minute is a sure way to pay top dollar.
  2. Stick to schedule. Enjoying the wedding so much that you lose track of time on the night is another budget buster - overtime rates add up in a flash, make sure you know when those rates kick in.
  3. You negotiate when you buy a house, a car, even a sofa - why not a wedding? Always ask your service providers for a better deal, and remember being flexible can have an enormous impact. Holding your wedding on a Thursday, for instance, will open the door to deals you'd never see on a Saturday
  4. Negotiate when buying in bulk particularly for dresses, shoes and accessories for your bridesmaids, and if you know someone else getting married why not shop with them to secure a better price on wedding services and products for each of you. 
  5. Be as brutal as possible with the guest list. Separate those who are important in the lives of you and your partner - just culling 20 or 30 guests from your list may save you thousands 
  6. Seek out wedding guests who may have a hidden - or well-known - talent which you can call upon such as a wedding singer or musician, a cake decorator, calligrapher, DJ or someone with decorating flair. You may be surprised by the stylish and accomplished people you know!
  7. If you can wait until after the big day to recoup some of the cost, you might consider selling your wedding gown, centrepieces and accessories. It's not for everyone but selling while your gear is still relatively new will often fetch a pretty penny. Hiring your dress from the outset is another option
  8. That said buy second hand - it can save you hundreds if not thousands. 

Ultimately you have to live with what you spend - and what you have left to start your lives as newlyweds afterwards is equally important.

Whether it's worth going deeper into debt to cover the cost of Bollinger versus Brut, or a Bentley compared to mums Barina; by being clever with costs and innovative with your money-saving ideas you'll be able to afford and enjoy a successful celebration - with no financial regrets the morning after.

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