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How to Allocate a Wedding Budget

It goes without saying that planning a wedding is an extremely joyful and exciting time for many couples. However, it can also be quite overwhelming and stressful, particularly when it comes to allocating a wedding budget. The management of your wedding budget is key in ensuring you and your partner experience a memorable day, without putting yourselves in a financial situation. According to Hitched, the average wedding now costs £17,300. However, it is all about having a dream wedding, within your own budgets. Here we are going to give you a few suggestions on how to allocate your pennies to get the wedding you want.


Determining Your Total Budget

Before you start allocating any funds to the different aspects of your wedding, it is important to determine your overall budget. Sit down with your partner and any contributing family members to discuss what you’re comfortable spending. Consider your current financial position, your goals for the future and a list of priorities for your wedding.

Prioritising your known expenses

To make your budget go as far as possible, you should prioritise your wedding expenses based on what matters most to you both. This way, you can guarantee that the most important aspect will feature and you won’t overspend in lesser areas.

The first items on the list should be non-negotiables, such as where you want to get married  and perhaps where you hold your reception. From this, you can allocate funds accordingly.

Where are you getting married?

Whether it is a church, a registry office or a licensed venue, then these costs need to be accounted for. Average for the legal ceremony costs is around £500, but this is just an average guide.

Venue and Catering

It is likely the majority of your budget will go towards securing your wedding venue and catering. You probably need to allocate up to 50% of your budget on anything that relates to the reception, food and drink. You have evening food to think about, a celebratory toast, canapes, if required…the list goes on. It really is the most expensive part of your day as it includes so much. This is an area you want to carry out extensive research in to make sure you get it right. Your venue will be the backdrop of your wedding and the food you serve will be remembered by everyone if it is below standard.

Be considerate of the number of guests attending, as this will impact both the size of the venue you require as well as your catering costs. The numbers for your day will be the only way of keeping to a budget here.

Most venues have different levels of catering so decide on how much you want to offer your guests and what package you can afford.

Also…Not many couples have the privilege of being able to offer a free bar, so don’t be persuaded to do this if you are tight on money!


Attire and Accessories

Looking good has a huge impact on the way you feel on your special day. There’s no better way to seal a special occasion than with an incredible look. Allocating funding to the bride’s gown, the groom’s suit and any accessories is critical!

Wedding gowns in particular can fetch impressive prices, which will seem even higher when you take into consideration that you will likely only wear them for the day. Renting is a popular alternative that allows you to save money while still wearing a gorgeous dress down the aisle. If you need to keep the costs down a bit, then a fully cleaned, only worn once, second hand wedding dress is a really good alternative! No one is going to know unless you tell them!

Photography and Videography

Capturing the special moments of your day with the help of a professional photographer or videographer is a non-negotiable part of any wedding. Take some time researching people in your local area, paying particular attention to their portfolios and testimonials. However, if you know a family friend who is a photographer, then always call in a favour! Everyone will be taking photogrpahs on the day as well as video, and many are really good at this – so you can expect loads more pictures being sent to you after the big event!

Entertainment and Music

There are so many options when it comes to wedding entertainment and music. Whether you want a funky brass band or DJ set to keep the celebrations going deep into the night there will be an option for you. You really don’t need to go over the top here – as long as everyone has a great time, it may not make the difference to having a seven piece live band or a DJ! Live doves, fire eaters or other live entertainment may not be necessary if you have a great crowd who are entertaining anyway!

Flowers and Decorations

Floral arrangements and decorations add a touch of elegance to your wedding. Setting aside a portion of your budget for bouquets, centrepieces and other decorative elements will add massively to your day. Remember, it is the little details that often make the biggest impact. But they honestly don’t need to be really expensive. Think carefully about flower choices, pick seasonal flowers and if you are on a budget, then having massive standing displays won’t be 100% necessary!

The wedding cake!

This doens’t have to be the old traditional fruit cake. We see so many couples who incorporate it into the food for their day, perhaps as dessert, or part of the evening food. Keep it simple and make sure your guests get to enjoy your cake with you, rather than having it on display and going home with loads!


If you are enjoying your ceremony and reception at different venues then transportation needs to be arranged. Whether it’s a limousine, vintage car, or shuttle service, allocate funds accordingly. However if you are getting married at a venue such as Blackstock Estate then there will be no need to have a car!

Contingency Fund

There will always be unforeseen costs that arise during the planning stages of your wedding. Whether it be you fall in love with a certain out-of-budget dress or a venue too perfect to pass up, unexpended expenses are likely to pop up. It may be that a photographer can no longer make your wedding, alternative arrangements will need to be made.

It’s wise to have a contingency fund for any last-minute changes or emergencies. Play it safe and prepare for the unexpected.

And next to plan is the honeymoon…

Get in touch

Allocating a wedding budget is a key step in creating the wedding you’ve always envisioned. By carefully considering your priorities, researching vendors, and tracking your spending, you can achieve a beautiful and memorable day without undue financial stress. We hope!

Please talk to us about budgets when you get in touch – we really are very good at helping you!

As always, our thanks goes to all the amazing photographers who have supplied us with so many great images. Please find their details on the specific weddings.

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