Milestones: Planning for your wedding

Everyone knows that weddings aren’t cheap. They’re one of the biggest days of any person’s life so being able to afford the wedding of your dreams is the goal for every engaged couple.

There are plenty of tips and tricks on how to save money on your wedding floating around on the internet but advice on how to save for your wedding seems to be a little harder to come by. We’re here to share some hints and tips with you on how to save for your perfect day.

With a bit of planning and attention your finances can be put to good use, setting aside a healthy chunk of money to pay for the wedding, no matter how expensive your taste.

Begin as soon as you say ‘Yes’

The length of time from the proposal to walking down the aisle varies depending on the couple and their circumstances. Whether you are excited to jump straight in or have the motivation for a longer engagement this shouldn’t affect when you start planning for the nuptials.

You need to make the most of the time you have to save. One of the first things to do is open a savings account specifically for your wedding. If you set a date more than a year in the future, an ISA could be the ideal solution for you. If you are planning a shorter engagement, however, shop around for the best savings account. Find the one with the best interest rates and instant access.

How much do you need?

Each wedding comes with a different price tag. A small, intimate wedding is obviously going to cost a lot less than a massive celebration with crowds of friends and family.

You need to work out what your ideal wedding looks like and how much you are realistically willing to spend.

Start with the must-haves and guest list. What will make your day special and who do you really want to share it with? Deciding these things early on will help come up with an overall budget and provide you with an end goal which will prevent stress in the long run.

Once your guest list is drawn up and you have a general picture of what you expect from your wedding day, now is the time to get to the nitty gritty side of wedding planning.

There are loads of tools and planners available to help with this more detailed process, making sure you don’t leave anything out. Make initial calls to get an idea of the costs for your local area. This will allow you to create realistic budgets.

 Consolidate your savings and set goals

Now you have opened a dedicated savings account, got some approximate quotes and worked out a rough figure to save, the hard work begins.

You may already be a savvy saver. In which case, what do you and your partner currently have saved up that you are willing to contribute towards the wedding? Consolidate the savings you do have into your new savings account to keep track and easily see the progress you’re making.

If your family are willing to contribute to the wedding, ask how much they would like to give and add this to the account along with your own savings. Being able to see what point you are starting from will make your end goal easier to achieve.

Set yourself achievable goals between now and the time of your wedding. Breakdown the final figure into the number of months left until your wedding date to give you a clear idea of how much you will be aiming to save each month.

At this point it may be a good idea to speak to an independent financial adviser. They can help identify the best way to manage your finances. They can also help you with long term saving goals, so your marriage begins in the best financial way.

Where can you save money? 

Look at your current spending habits. Where are you spending money that you could save instead. Do you really need that Friday night curry? Or morning artisan coffee? Taking a packed lunch to work and avoiding trips to the pub are some of the first step to take.

Then, take a look at your outgoings. If you are coming up to the end of your phone contract see if there is a cheaper option for you. Are you able to switch energy suppliers to make a saving? If you live close enough to work, cycle or walk instead of driving to save extra petrol money.

If saving isn’t your forte, try making it into something a little more fun. See who can save the most money each month, or who can reach £50 first from changing their spending habits. A little heathy competition will motivate you to try your hardest and reach your goals! Remember, it’s not going to be forever.

Getting into these habits now is not only going to help you save for your wedding but it will also become a skill you can use to help save money in the long run.

Once you have been through this cost cutting exercise, decide as a couple how much you can afford to set aside each month from your pay check. Set up a standing order to put the agreed amount directly into your savings account on payday.

Where can you make money?

Saving for a wedding could turn out to be a blessing in more ways than one. Take this opportunity to scour your house and garage for things you no longer need. Ask your friends and family too. Sell anything that is worth something online or hire a pitch at a local car boot sale. You may not make huge amounts, but every penny helps, and you will have far less clutter than when you started.

You can also see if there are any overtime opportunities at work, extra shifts you could pick up or even ask for a pay rise if you think you deserve it. If there are no opportunities for overtime you could consider getting a second job doing evening and weekend work.

Best ways to borrow money

When it comes down to it there may still be a gap between the amount you have managed to save and the amount you initially wanted to fund your dream wedding. In this case re-evaluate your budget. Is there still anything on your list that can be cut down or left off?

If you still find that there isn’t enough, you may want to consider a credit card to cover the costs. Make sure you shop around for the best deals – there are some good 0% interest options about. Compare offers and see which would work best for you.

Always spend wisely when using credit. Make sure that you only use the card for wedding costs and are able to pay off the credit in full each month or by the time the 0% interest runs out. Set up a direct debit to ensure you don’t miss a payment.  Starting off married life with a pile of debts you may struggle to pay off is not an ideal situation.

Enjoy the rest of your lives!  

Your careful planning and cost cutting will all pay off in the end. You will be able to enjoy your dream day without the worry of paying the wedding off in the back of your mind.

This experience will set you up with good spending and saving habits for the future, the ideal start to a happy marriage!

If you are planning your own wedding and would like to have a chat with us about how to  manage your finances during, and after, this exciting time get in touch. We are always happy to help!

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