From the dress to the reception, every bride has been dreaming of their wedding since childhood. But when the day actually arrives and it’s time to start planning, it’s safe to say that your mind quickly goes from bouquet to budget.
One of the more dreaded parts of wedding planning is figuring out how to pay for it. Here are three money moves that you and your partner can do to guarantee yourself the wedding of your dreams.
Plan first, search later
Many couples I’ve spoken to have said that the biggest challenge when planning their wedding was curbing overspending. When you’ve got your dream wedding in your head it can be easy to get carried away with the latest wedding trends and looks. But before you jump onto Pinterest to peruse vintage chic centrepieces or designer dresses, first sit down and decide how much you and your partner can afford to spend by creating a wedding budget.
Having a wedding budget will not only help you and your partner stay on track with your spending, but it’ll give you a clearer picture of where the majority of the money will be going. In most cases, this is usually the reception and photographer but it’s a good idea to a save at least another 5% of your total budget for those ‘just in case’ moments.
Line up your finances
Weddings are not cheap and for most people, this means that they will generally use a combination of finance options to pay for their weddings such as their own savings, credit cards and personal loans.
Opening a joint savings account with your partner can be an easy way to keep your eyes on the prize and make sure no frivolous spending eats away at the savings stash. Set up automatic payments from each of your bank accounts every week and before you know it, you’ll have a tidy sum to go towards your big day or your honeymoon | Kirsty Lamont, mozo.com.au
A low rate credit card can be a great option to pay for some of the smaller expenses like invitations and table decorations that you need to purchase well in advance of the day. The key is to pay back these costs over a short period of time so that you don’t accrue high-interest charges.
To help cover the big expenses like the reception or catering, flowers and photographers, many couples opt to take out a wedding loan. Not only does a loan help you to spread out the cost of your wedding over a set period of time, but it can also help you stick to your budget since you’ll be borrowing a certain amount. Look for a loan with flexible features like extra repayments and low fees. But before you sign up, take the time to compare offers on the market to be sure you’re be getting the best deal.
Make your budget go further
Every couple understands the value of making every dollar count, and just because it’s a wedding, doesn’t mean there’s a rule against saving a few bucks along the way. So here are some ways that you can make your budget, whatever it is, go further.
- Go minimal on the bridal party. Having a big bridal party can also mean a hefty glam bill. While many couples ask their bridal party to buy their own dress or tux, hair and makeup is usually paid for the bride and can cost around $200 per person. Aside from the cheaper price tag, smaller bridal parties can give a more intimate feel to a wedding and are easier to stay on top of. Because if there’s one thing every couple will tell you, it’s how hard coordinating schedules and availability between multiple people can be!
- Off-peak not off trend. If you’ve ever been to a wedding, chances were it was on a Saturday. But before you follow the crowd and do the same, why not consider having your wedding on either a Friday or Sunday? As Saturdays are the most popular day to get married, vendors will most likely charge more for the reception. This way you can still get married in your dream reception but at a fraction of the cost. And if you play your cards right and get married the day before a public holiday, there’s no stress on your guests about having to go into work the next day!
- Do the save vs splurge test. One trick to keep your spending within budget is finding the balance between knowing what to save and splurge on. For instance, you and your partner will never forget cutting the cake, but there’s a good chance everyone else in the room will, so before you order that six-tier wedding cake, make a call and if doesn’t pass the splurge test think of it as the perfect excuse to save some extra cash. But whatever you do, don’t skimp on your photographer. Your wedding photos should be taken by a professional with high-quality camera gear and equipment. Although you might initially think it’s a lot of money for just a few photos, they’ll last you for a lifetime and are worth the investment. Just ask any married couple!
Kirsty Lamont is a Director at financial comparison website mozo.com.au. She is passionate about helping Australians get a better money deal and helping them make better, more informed choices.