Planning Wedding Finances
Updated: May 9, 2022
For many of us, getting married to our best friend is the ultimate celebration and one we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives. It’s also one that many girls are excited for with many Pinterest images and ideas saved as they start their wedding planning.
However, your dream wedding may be more expensive than you initially planned for.
For many, money can be a sensitive topic in a relationship. That’s why communicating with your partner and making your expectations known from the start is a good idea. Remember to make room for compromise and to hear each other out as both of you decide on a sensible and comfortable budget for your big day.
Take charge of your money and find out how to budget for your wedding, honeymoon, and other wedding-related expenses.
Planning your wedding
Oftentimes, especially in the Asian culture, family members may want to have a say in the wedding planning process. This is especially so if they’re contributing to the funds. They may have strong views and opinions about which traditions should be included.
You can be open to suggestions but also remember that this is you and your partner’s big day (not your family’s!). Also, don’t use another family member’s wedding budget as a benchmark for your own, if that’s not what you’re comfortable with. Remember that a lavish wedding may not necessarily be more memorable.
Setting a budget
1. Make a wish list
Start by making a wish list of how you envision your wedding to be and what it should include. Include honeymoon expenses and door gifts for your guests in this wedding wish list. Decide with your partner what you would like to prioritise for your wedding because realistically speaking, a dream wedding may be out of reach for most of us.
For some, having a great DJ or band is a must-have, and for others, the venue decor places higher importance. Knowing your must-haves will enable you to allocate your budget effectively as we’ll discuss later on.
2. Crunch the numbers
Once you’ve asked and made it known how much of the wedding budget would be contributed by family or if it’s just you and your partner, you can then focus on budgeting. Ask yourself these:
How much can you and your fiance realistically and comfortably afford to spend?
Based on your monthly income, how much can you save between now and your anticipated wedding date?
How much are you both able to pull from your existing savings account?
By answering these questions, you’ll have a ballpark figure to work with, and you’re well on your way to planning that dream wedding of yours!
3. Estimate your guest list
The main bulk of a wedding budget is usually based on the guest count. The number of guests both of you choose to invite will determine not only the size of the venue you’d need, but how much you’ll be spending on food (and maybe alcohol).
You can also break it down into a per-person cost where you’ll take into account the cost of invitations, food, wedding cake and wedding favours per guest. Being strategic about who you want to invite is one of the best ways to cut down on your wedding expenses.
4. Do your research
Many times, there are a lot of costs -- both obvious and hidden -- that you’ll have to consider while budgeting for your wedding. For example, you may not only have to pay for the venue rental, but may also have to pay a setup and tear down fee. It’s best to check this with the venue prior to booking it.
If you’re choosing to provide your own alcohol, the venue may also have a service charge for that. You also have to consider the tips you may need to give to each of the vendors you engage for your wedding.
Educate yourself with the costs so that you’ll have a clearer idea of the numbers you’re working with. Find out how much each element of your wedding will cost, namely:
Food (and alcohol) charges
Clothing for both the bride and groom
And other elements you’ve decided to have
5. Do the math
Now that you’ve gotten the numbers for each element of your wedding, does your budget match the actual cost of your ideal wedding? We recommend using Google sheets so that you can share this easily with your fiance, parents and anyone else who may be contributing to be able to stay on budget.
Don’t go into debt to say “I Do”
You’ll want to start building your life together as a couple, but you wouldn’t want to start your marriage life drowning in debt.
If you need a bit more help budgeting, feel free to reach out to us.
Some extra tips for wedding budgeting
Start putting aside savings as soon as you get engaged.
Use your credit card responsibly, and pay off the balance immediately so you don’t accumulate debt.
Open a separate wedding joint account so it’s easy to know where the money is going and how much budget you have to work with.
Look out for wedding deals and discounts. This may be in the form of choosing off-peak periods to get married in or opting to go for all-inclusive packages.
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s not about how much you spend, but how meaningful the day is for you and your partner. Plus, saving more on the wedding also means you’ll have more to spend on your honeymoon!
Planning and budgeting before committing to any major financial decision, such as getting married, is imperative. While there’s nothing wrong about wanting to impress friends and family and making this day as memorable as possible, remember that no extravagant wedding can match a healthy and happy marriage life -- which is what’s important in the long run.
If you need help budgeting for your upcoming wedding, or how to budget and save in general, reach out to us. We can connect you to experienced people in the financial planning sector.