A lot of people have told me that they couldn’t propose marriage to their partners before they knew that they had saved enough money for a wedding. Others might even decide to borrow money from a bank to pay for their wedding party before they’ve even made the proposal.

Here is my advice: If you know that you want to propose marriage to your partner, but you haven’t done it due to concern that you cannot afford a wedding, then I suggest that you might be presuming that your partner even wants an expensive wedding party. Why not propose first and then discuss the issue of the wedding cost with your partner? If you choose go to a bank to borrow money for your wedding first, than you are making money and your assumption that an expensive wedding is necessary as the leading factors in your decision to propose.

Couples who think this way are not right or wrong. But it means they likely WILL have an expensive wedding just because they have assumed that getting married costs a lot of money. It is a fact that a wedding with 200 guests, whether traditional or not, will cost you money. Yet, wedding planning professionals deal with wedding vendors daily. As a couple, you typically haven’t been exposed to vendors at all until you begin planning your wedding. You probably don’t know the range of prices on a wedding cake, wedding gown, flowers, decorations, or catering.

If you begin organizing your wedding by determining your budget for it, you will realize that a wonderful wedding can be accomplished with any budget. After you have a budget, you can visit different vendors, get their price offers, and see if any of these offers are in your budget. When you find a vendor offer that you really like, and the price is attractive, then you can make an order. But only by making a strict budget first, will you be able to prevent your money from just swimming away. Otherwise, you will run out of money just at the moment when you need to order something really important. In the worst-case scenario, you will only notice that you have seriously overspent after your wedding. By not budgeting a wedding, you miss a big chance to control your costs.

TIP 1. Make priorities. In every budget ­– including a wedding budget – there are fixed costs and flexible costs. Practically, this means that you decide which elements of the budget are obligatory, and this depends a lot on your vision for your wedding. Do you want a lot of guests? Then you will focus on the wedding venue, catering, and drinks. Do you want a small event? Then you will focus on the wedding gown and suit, and things like decoration. Maybe you’re not even interested in a party and all you want is for the day to be properly documented. Then you will focus on getting a trendy photographer. There are hundreds of options for what you can choose as fixed costs. When you begin organizing a wedding, your first priority is to decide what options are more important to you, and these will represent your fixed cost. In your planning you always reserve money for these costs, no matter what.

There are also flexible costs, which are other attributes you might need for your wedding. These are less important, and you can play with the price and the quality of the services you get.

If you want to control the money in your wedding budget, you will need to make choices. If you order without keeping that in mind, you will go over your budget.

TIP 2. Determine a vision. As I’ve explained, you can only begin your budgeting when you have a vision of the kind of wedding you want. You need to understand what you want specifically before you spend any money, otherwise you might be stuck with such small things as a car or flowers, and no money for anything else.

When you spend money on what you really want, and you’ve fully thought about your wishes, you wouldn’t have any regrets about how you’ve spent your wedding budget. You won’t find yourself frustrated after the event because you realized you had accepted some service that is in your budget but you didn’t really need. You won’t find yourself unhappy on a wedding day with all the traditional attributes and thousand of euros paid.

If you want to control money, you’ll need to ask yourself a lot of questions and answer honestly why you want to have one or another thing at your wedding.

TIP 3. Put a range on your wedding costs. Without yet knowing anything specific about the kind of wedding you want, you probably already know what overall budget you find reasonable. You know what money you’ve already saved for your wedding celebration. Now you need to determine two figures: The reasonable budget, and a margin, which is what you leave extra to pay for the unexpected things. Any figure can be a wedding budget, whether EUR 1,000 or EUR 100,000, and the sum doesn’t affect your method of organizing the wedding at all. Ultimately budgeting for a wedding connects three factors: your wishes, your available resources, and the price of goods and services.

Do you need help figuring out your wedding budget? You can contact me on anna@whitepepperweddings.com to register for a free skype session with me.


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