True value

Your special day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It’s more important to spend wisely and stay within your budget

Budgeting is perhaps the most important aspect of planning a wedding. Whatever you may think, it is not the amount you spend that counts, it is how well you spend the money at your disposal. And essentially, plan only for the type of wedding you can afford. suggests the following guidelines for a sensible budget:

    ■ Prioritise: What is more important to you, your dress or the food? Discuss your needs and wants with your partner and ensure both of you are happy with the decision.

    ■ Gain an understanding of how much everything costs: Recent reports suggest that the average British wedding costs around Ł18,500. Create an average cost chart to help you on your way.

    ■ Decide how you want to budget: Are you deciding the budget according to how much money you have overall? Or are you prepared to spend more on one element, and less on another?

    ■ Know how much money you have at your disposal: A thorough understanding of both your current and future financial situation is vital.

    ■ Set an appropriate budget: Use an online wedding budgeter (you can also find one at to list all the elements that can require a financial expense, and then allocate your spending against them.

    ■ Stick to your budget: By continually updating your online budget you shouldn’t get any nasty surprises, however, it might not be a bad idea to add a further ten per cent to your budget for the inevitable hidden extras.

Far and away – marrying abroad:

Taking off and getting married abroad can be an attractive prospect, but it is important to weigh up pros and cons.

Although it will mean you can celebrate your special day in an exotic location, friends and family might not be able to afford to travel abroad. The

people who come might be the only ones you want there, however, you might upset people who have been left off your list.

Budget-wise, getting married abroad is generally less expensive than the average British wedding. Many couples buy their own tickets and, while

the bride’s family may pay for the wedding package, which can be booked through a travel operator, it’s acceptable for guests to pay their own

way. Alternatively, you could jet off alone and get married in a romantic, private ceremony, but be sure you won’t end up regretting not inviting any family members.

A final important consideration is your honeymoon – unless you head off for a second week somewhere else, be prepared to spend it among your friends and family!


    ■ Shop around
    ■ Book in advance
    ■ Keep the numbers down
    ■ Look for local venues
    ■ Scrap the evening party
    ■ Wed out of season
    ■ Stick to a simple menu
    ■ Ask friends to help
    ■ Use flowers in-season
    ■ Plan your budget carefully

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