Wedding Budgets:
By Lorna Urwin

03 November 2016

It comes as a surprise to nobody that planning a wedding gets very expensive, very quickly! Trying to balance your budget can be one of the trickiest things to get right. You want a gorgeous, high quality event, but you don’t want pangs of regret viewing your bank balance when all the fun has died down. Here are some ideas for the areas of your wedding where you can afford to save, and those most often worth splurging on.

Save On...

1/ Timing

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Image by Paper Antler Photography

Go for an off-peak time to significantly lower your costs. Look at a variety of options for the month and day of the week you choose. Weekdays are cheaper than weekends (though consider whether your guests will be able to take time off work to attend!), while cooler months are far less popular for most venues.

Providing a sit-down dinner for each guest can be a big drain on your budget. Save on this by moving the wedding to earlier in the day and opening up your options for food. Often an afternoon tea or light lunch will be far cheaper to cater for!

2/ Location

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Image by Kerry Bartlett

Choose a beautiful location. Some settings, though charming, serve more as a blank canvas for your event. They often require a lot of extra décor (and cost) to bring them in line with your desired look or theme. By contrast, opting for an already-gorgeous setting with no enhancement needed can help save those pennies!

A reception site that provides the catering essentials (from waiting staff and linens to furniture like tables and chairs) may also save you money as opposed to hiring these from external suppliers.

3/ Number of guests

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Image by Bohemian Simplicity

Though you should of course take into account your own priorities for attendance, the optimal size for the guest list should always reflect the budget too. You can make countless small savings across the board but, when there’s a cost per head, reducing guest numbers is the single most effective way of cutting costs.

Splurge on…

1/ Photography and videography

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Image by Siaosi Photography

Your photos and video are one of the most long-lasting elements of your wedding. For years to come, they’ll transport you back to the magic of the day. For that reason, high quality photography and videography is an excellent contender for a wedding splurge. Take time to consider what set up will suit you best (for example, whether you’d like a package with two photographers to capture more aspects of the wedding, what kind of images or video are must haves and what format you’d like your media).

2/ Music

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Image by Honey Honey Photography

Music is the backbone of entertainment for most receptions. It sets the tone, creates a particular atmosphere and (if done right) sets the scene for an epic dance party! It’s often worth spending a little more to ensure a professional and dedicated approach to this. Think about whether you might like to pay extra for the energy of a live band as opposed to a DJ, ask for extra musicians to ensure the music flows (e.g. when the main band takes breaks) or be willing to shell out a little more for someone who understands your vision for the music.

3/ Food

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Image by Lori Paladino Photography

As mentioned above, catering for guests can be costly. Switching from a sit-down dinner to a lunch (or brunch/afternoon tea) or reducing the number of courses can be effective ways to save, but when it comes to the food itself, delicious, high quality fare is almost always worth splurging on.

If you plan for your event to run for a long time, particularly late into the night, ensure that guests won’t get hungry by providing simple but delicious snacks several hours after the main meal!