How to budget for a wedding in 12 months

23 Jan 2017

If your wedding budget is proving a burden, here are just some ways that you can cut costs

The 12 months before your wedding day can be full of excitement, but they can also be full of stress and financial worries. The trouble with weddings is that they can be expensive, but normal life doesn’t stop just because you are saving.

However, it’s important that that you’re not left paying for your big day for years to come. Here the debt experts at Creditfix have put together a plan to help you budget for your big day and still manage a normal life – helping you to get the best deals without scrimping on your suppliers, while having the wedding of your dreams.

Month 1 - The Date

Setting the date is the first opportunity that you will have to budget for your wedding. Many people automatically aim for a Saturday wedding, but this could ultimately end up costing you more. Weddings on a Sunday could see you get a substantial discount off the normal price. Some couples have saved up to 15% on their big day, just by opting for Sunday rather than Saturday.

If you time it right, you may even be able to book it on the day before a bank holiday, meaning that none of your guests need to worry about their sore heads at work the next day. Not only can a change of day save you money, but the month too. Booking an off-peak wedding is a sure fire way to save you a few pounds, although you might not be guaranteed the best weather. 

Month 2 - The Venue

The venue for your wedding ceremony and/or reception accounts for a big chunk of your budget. But because of this, it means that it is also an area that you can save money on. One way to do this is to think slightly outside the box, especially if you are getting married in a church and simply need somewhere for the reception. There are a ton of places out there that are probably not your traditional wedding venue yet offer a perfectly blank canvas for your special day. Ask around and do your research.

You might even be lucky enough to have a friend or family member who has a big enough house or garden to accommodate your guests and could rent the space out to you for a fraction of an actual venue.

Month 3 – Think about the rest of the year

Life still goes on, even with wedding planning, so you’re still going to have Christmas, birthdays and perhaps a holiday to think about before you say ‘I do’.

Plan for the big events in the year leading up to your wedding and decide how to approach them. If it is just the two of you celebrating each respective holiday season, then you may be able to cut down on presents and treats for the next few months to help save for the perfect day.

Month 4 - Look at your guest list

The more guests you have at your wedding the more it is likely to cost you. With many venues charging a rate per head, every person that you invite to celebrate with you will cost you more money.

Therefore, it is a good idea to take a thorough look at your guest list, and decide exactly who you want to be there. Never invite people because you think you should; invite those people who you want to share your special day with.

Month 5 - Speak with your suppliers

There are a variety of different wedding suppliers that you will find yourself having to meet with to discuss plans. Speak to your suppliers of choice about your budget and see if they can accommodate your needs. Remember that you are paying for the quality service of an expert with years of experience, so always be mindful of this when considering the prices they charge - although quotes are a good place to start. 

Month 6 - Get some cash back

Before you start paying for some of the bigger purchases, think about how you can make the most on what you spend. There are plenty of credit cards out there that offer cashback when you use them. This means that while you are spending, you may earn some money back.

Month 7 - Hire a student

If you are happy to compromise on expertise and experience in order to save some pennies, then the services of a student could help you beat your budget. Photography students, apprentice cakemakers and other budding industry professionals will be more than happy to lend a hand and discuss ideas at a fraction of the cost, while building their portfolio.

Month 8 - Plan your food

Think you are spending too much money on food? There may be some ways that you can save. Traditional sit-down meals can be swapped for afternoon tea, barbecues and buffets that can prove a cheaper option; speak to a selection of wedding caterers to find out what they can offer.

Month 9 - Dress your wedding party

If you are paying out for the suits and dresses for your ushers and bridesmaids, this is another cost that can mount up. Make sure that you check out sample sales, off-the-rail discounts and outlet stores for the very best bargains. Mismatched bridesmaid dresses even seems to be a trend that is catching on, presenting another opportunity to save the pennies.

Month 10 - Plan to sell things

You may not have had your wedding yet, but there is no harm making plans for the things that you can sell afterwards. It is a great way to make money when all the bills start to come in, and you can also help other couples save money on their wedding. 

Month 11 - Go DIY

As the big day draws nearer you will find yourself thinking about all those finishing touches. Centrepieces and favours are two parts of your wedding that you can give a DIY touch, and save yourself some money. There are a whole variety of projects out there for the crafty people among us, as well as ideas for those who are not quite as creatively blessed.... Remember, Pinterest and Instagram are a bride's best friend.

Month 12 - Relax

You have done so well saving money for the rest of the year, now as the wedding day draws nearer it is time to focus. There is a good chance that you will be rushing around for those last few weeks, so make sure that you take some time to breathe and really get excited about your big day.  

To help you with your budgeting, Creditfix has created a downloadable Wedding Planner to keep your finances in check.

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