Q5 – How does the timing of the day affect the budget?
If you have the ceremony at 12pm, it is going to be a long day if you also want an evening party. The added costs to be considered might be more reception drinks, more entertainment, feeding the guests twice, photographer waiting longer for the first dance etc.
If you do want an early wedding you could invite all the guests to the ceremony and have a formal reception or tea party straight after the service and no evening reception. Alternatively, you could have a very small ceremony and just book a table at a restaurant for close family. Then have a gap before an evening party with all the guests invited.
Q4 – Will the date of the wedding affect the cost?
If you have a particular date in mind for sentimental reasons (the anniversary of your first date) you may need to rethink if it falls on a peak bank Holiday Saturday. The summer is always going to be more expensive for weddings, because of the weather – June is the busiest month. If the date is one of your 3 most important things though, you may decide to just go for it and make savings elsewhere.
Weekends are more expensive for every aspect, including the ceremony. Registrars cost more and so do venues. Many hotels are offering mid-week packages to couples, as a budget option.
If you are completely flexible about the date of your wedding then why not take advantage of a last minute booking, or a cancellation, which should be discounted.
Q3 – What are the 3 most important things for your day?
Sit down and discuss with your fiancé, the aspects of your wedding that you do not want to compromise on. This could be the dress, flowers, transport etc. Is the location of the venue crucial to the success of the day? Have you always dreamt of a designer dress? Does your fiancé want to arrive at the ceremony in a Ferrari? Does the ceremony have to be in a church? Do you want to share the day with all your friends and family?
If it is easier, write a list of the parts of the wedding you are not so fussy about, e.g cars, food, entertainment, favours, cake? This will help you to decide where the majority of your budget needs to be spent.
Some more things to think about before you start to get to grips with your budget.
Q2 – What do you remember from weddings you have attended?
Think back to weddings of family and friends and see what you remember, good and bad.
Do you remember the invitations, the bridal car, the dress, the flowers, the favours, the cake, the music, the food, the bar and any personal touches?
Hopefully this process will put the wedding into perspective. The elements that you think are crucial may not necessarily increase the success of the day. Would you prefer to cut the budget on some items and spend on the parts that will be remembered by the guests?
Remember also that it is your wedding so you want to be proud of your efforts, as well pleasing your guests. The most important memories of the day should be yours!