First Steps

You and you’re partner have agreed to get married – Congratulations!…. what now?

You may assume that setting a date is the first thing you should do but unless you are set on getting married on a particular date (like Valentines day…. errr… a little cliche don’t you think?), you will find you can save a lot of money being flexible with dates and allowing venue availability to dictate your wedding date rather than the other way around.

The actual first step is to discuss with your partner how much you are willing to spend on your wedding and then decide how best to spend it.

Factors you will need to consider to make these decisions:

  • Maximum number of guests – you’ll probably need to draw up a list of guests. Divide it into 3 sections, have to invite, like to invite and will invite if budget allows. Then decide where you draw the line, do you only invite people that you absolutely have to have there or do you stretch it to include all the fun people as well? Burn this list once you’re done – you’d hate for Aunt Mavis to notice it laying on the coffee table and find out she didn’t make the first cut!!
  • Parental monetary assistance – great if you have it! (put it in the bank and save for your first/next home and tell your parents you spent it on the dress… they’ll never know!).
  • How much money do you have saved or how much you are able to save over the coming months? (I know anyone that is smart enough to read my blog will be smart enough to know NOT to take out a loan to pay for a wedding so I needn’t mention it…)

Once you have settled on a final dollar figure, halve it. One half is for you and your wedding, the other half is to feed and pickle your guests. Take one third of the amount allocated to feeding and pickling, that’s for alcohol. The other two thirds you should divide by your number of guests to get a catering budget per head.

Example: Maximum amount willing to spend = $10,000. Number guests (including you and your partner)= 80

$5000 to cover things like, marriage license, rings, celebrant, your dress/suit, booking fees, decor, entertainment etc etc

$5000 X 1/3 = $1600 (rounded…$20 per head, two bags of goon a bottle of wine each… not bad) for alcohol and $3400 divided by 80 = $42.50 per head for food (most caterers quote on a per head basis so this makes it easier to understand)

Ask yourself:

Is this realistic?

For shits & giggles let’s do the same exercise with my $5000 for 150 people.

For the wedding and us = $2500 (note, this was the deposit on our venue alone).

For alcohol:  $800 = $5 each.

For food: $1700 divided by 150 =  $11 per head.

This probably is achievable for someone who owns a large property and loves cooking and DIY. I take my hat off to anyone who achieves this!

TIP: Aldi has a selection of wines for $4! They’re not bad! seriously, give the Shiraz Cabernet a go! – DIY personalised wine bottle labels and nobody has to know!

(it’s this one…. shhhhh…. don’t let too many people know! or they’ll put the price up)

Now for the fun stuff, working out your wedding style.

Discuss what is important to you both and what you can happily leave out. For example, are you happy to have a civil ceremony at the courthouse and only have guests at your reception? Do you want to have a sit-down dinner or will cocktails & canapes suffice? Do you want to spend on rings? photography? cars? make-up? hair? etc.

Once you have decided the style of wedding that you would like as yourself again of the budget:

Is this realistic?

Next post…. Wedding style inspiration

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