Steph’s Bride Diary: How exactly do you decide on a wedding budget?

She’s worked for Scottish Wedding Directory for seven years, but digital editor Steph doesn’t feel that clued-up about deciding on a budget. 

The bride diariesweddingbudget“Now that Christmas is well and truly done and we’ve welcomed in 2019 (how did that happen?), it’s time for us to really knuckle down with our wedding plans.

I really wanted to get a couple more bookings under my belt before the end of 2018 but actually, I didn’t really realise how all-consuming planning a wedding is until I started thinking about our own. It sounds silly; I’ve worked at Scottish Wedding Directory for years now, so you’d think I would know everything inside out!

The thing I’m finding hardest to get my head around is a budget. I speak a bit about this in episode one of our podcast, Let’s Get Married. We’ve talked about roughly how much we want to spend, a ballpark figure, but realistically I don’t know how much everything will cost until I’ve spoken to the suppliers that I’d like to use.

Rab and I sat down together and talked about the kind of wedding day we really want, and we always came back to a common theme: a weekend-long celebration not just of the two of us, but of our friends and family. How often do we get to spend a weekend with all of the people we love most?

Throw in great food and copious amounts of booze, and that pretty much sums up what we want our wedding to look like!

We know that this is a more costly choice of wedding, both for us and for our guests, because we’re asking people to stay over for two nights. That means that we have to make sure they’re fed and watered for two days pretty much, which doesn’t come cheap.

P L A N  A H E A D 

Wedding planners are great for keeping your thoughts in one place. Here’s a few of my faves! 

  1. Personalised leather wedding folder (£48) BeGolden
  2. Leather wedding personal planner (£51) kikki.K
  3. White with rose gold foil luxury calligraphy wedding planner (£25) Blush & Gold Stationery Boutique
  4. My chief bridesmaid bought us this fab personalised wedding planner concertina folder (from £22) Harris & Jones

Prioritising is key. We’re deciding what wedding elements fit in with our vision of the perfect day, and allocating the biggest chunk of the budget to those things.

For us, it’s the venue, food and drink, accommodation, photography and flowers. For you, it might be completely different. It’s really important to narrow that down though, so that you can get a clear vision of what you’re willing to spend more on. I’m trying to think of ways we can save money in the short term too.

Maybe waiting a while before booking a honeymoon, or getting a cheaper wedding ring and upgrading at a later date. You really need to think creatively about ways you can save money when it comes to weddings, if you’re working to a budget.

One thing I won’t be doing is any DIY projects; I don’t want to add any extra pressure to an already stressful situation, and I know that I would be anxious about making things or decorating myself. I’m leaving that up to the experts!

The one thing I do before I make any decisions is ask myself, “Are we choosing this because it’s what we really want, or because of what we think is expected of us?”.

Make sure that everything you decide on is a priority for you and your partner, not for anyone else, and not because you think you should have it.

Of course, we all want to make our guests happy, but it’s so important that you put yourselves at the forefront of your plans.

At the end of the day, your wedding is all about the two of you – everything else is just the icing on the (wedding) cake.”

Steph's Bride Diary