Many of the articles you’ll read online or in magazines are still based on old traditions, many of which are totally irrelevant to the modern wedding – gone are the days when the bride’s father is expected to pay for the majority of the wedding. Thankfully, times have changed and the majority of engaged couples have already lived together for a number of months/years, and many have children together, pets, and even joint bank accounts! So, it’s no surprise that the bride-to-be no longer relies on mammy and daddy to foot the bill – I couldn’t bring myself to burden my parents with that cost, especially nowadays, where the average NZ wedding costs around $30-$35k!
Naturally, many parents do and will want to help out financially – and this includes the groom’s parents. In fact, it is not uncommon to see the bill split three ways between each of the parties. In my case, me and my fiance Adam are paying for the majority of our wedding. My parents have said they would like to pay for the dress and cake, but have also been helping out with deposits for various suppliers, and Adam’s parents have offered to pay for our flights (from NZ to the UK).
Try to establish early on who will pay for what and how many guests you intend on having at your wedding. This will help out massively when planning your overall budget.
Setting the wedding budget
You could just dream up a number in your head or look at the average cost of weddings in your city and use this, but I would recommend carrying out the following steps to give you a much more accurate and realistic idea of the costs involved.
Make a list of everything you need to budget for and put this in to a budget planner…here’s one I prepared earlier – Wedding Budget Planner this covers the majority of standard wedding expenses. However, every wedding is unique, so I’ve left plenty of room for you to add your own items and make notes.
Read over this list again and prioritise each item from 1-3, one being most important and therefore, where you would rather allocate more of the budget. For example, is it your dream to have a live band/DJ at your wedding or would you rather spend that money on a made-to-measure gown and play your own songs off an MP3 player? I know this may be difficult to do as you may want to rate everything on the list as being important, but, be realistic in this step and this will help you out greatly in step 3.
Research, research, research! Take all the number 1’s on your list and start looking for suppliers/vendors on google, in wedding magazines, at trade shows etc. – remember, these are the most important aspects of your wedding so you will want the best that you can afford. Get a few different quotes for each and note down the estimated cost alongside that item. Repeat this process for items 2 and 3 but remember that these are not as important, so rather than looking in high-end magazines try searching on websites such as Trademe, eBay and Etsy, or ask around your friends and family – they may have hidden talents or know people who can help you out for a fraction of the cost.
If you’re a bit shell-shocked after finding out how much things cost or perhaps you were a bit too generous in dishing out the number 1’s in step 2, you can always go back and review your priorities until you arrive at a figure and suppliers/vendors that you are happy with. Good luck!
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Keep calm and marry on,