Let’s be honest, we all wish we had unlimited funds to bring our wedding dreams to life and make our big day spectacular but, for all but a few, working within a set budget is an important reality and is an area of wedding planning that can quickly spiral out of control if we don’t plan ahead.
With current statistics showing the average cost for a wedding in the Thames Valley is around £26,000 to £32,000, we caught up with local wedding planner, Marie, from Isabella Weddings, to ask her expert advice on making those all important budgeting decisions.
At the very beginning of the wedding planning process, Marie advises couples to start with those aspects which have the biggest impact on the budget.
“The size of your guest list and venue for your wedding can make or break your budget. I would suggest you look at whether you would prefer a large scale event or a smaller, intimate wedding when allocating your budget. A smaller wedding can use a budget in many areas whereas a larger guest list might mean your money has to spread further.”
When it comes to allocating your budget to each element of the wedding, Marie believes that prioritising is key.
“Budget allocations will always vary for every couple because different things hold personal priority over others. For example some might prefer to splash out on a live band costing £3000 -£5000 and then forfeit a photographer or a sit down meal in return. However, for some, they might prefer to invest heavily in food, offering a five course meal for £100 per person and then perhaps not have an expensive evening reception. Some may have the budget to spend well in all areas, but as a rule of thumb your venue and catering will take 50% of your budget. However as a wedding planner I prefer to suggest to couples that they set out a list of priorities when it comes to their day and then allocate money according to how important each factor is.”
As somebody who plans weddings professionally, experience has taught Marie that couples often worry unnecessarily.
“I believe the word ‘budget’ can give the wrong impression, couples feel they are having a ‘cheap’ wedding, however, every wedding should be as special as the couple organising it. Your guests won’t know whether you went for the cheapest option on a menu or wine list so don’t get caught up in the worrying about what others might think. Your guests want to be looked after and fed and there are many ways you can do this without going over the top on all those little extras that may or may not be lost in the excitement of the day. A good wedding planner can help guide you and advise you so I would always advise using one if you can!”
Thank you to Marie for sharing her expertise with us today, you can find out more about Isabella Weddings below or on their website at www.isabellaweddings.co.uk.
Have you recently looked at a budget for your wedding and have any tips you can share with fellow brides? Let us know in the comments section below…
Above images courtesy of Jessica Davies Photography
Isabella Weddings have been planning weddings since 2003 and, with their wealth of experience and knowledge of everything wedding, have helped over 600 couples get married in style!