Let’s talk money.
A common part of arranging weddings is the amount of budgeting involved.
For a couple, planning a wedding can be one of the most costly jobs they will ever get involved in. It’s not something people do every single day, and most people only ever do it once.
Couples often planning their first-time wedding often make common wedding budget mistakes. Whether this is down to the pressure of preparing everything themselves or a lack of planning process, the thought of an out-of-control wedding cost can cause a lot of stress.
It’s not the right way to start the lead-up to your wedding day, that’s for sure! The most common wedding budget mistakes can come from a lack of communication, lack of planning, or just biting off more than you can chew.
Here are some of the biggest wedding budgeting mistakes you should avoid!
1. Not Deciding On A Wedding Budget
This one seems obvious but after seeing how many couples spend more than they desired on their wedding, not everyone does this!
You need to do some research on all the costs involved in planning your wedding, where you might be able to save money, what your current financial situation is, and ultimately come up with an overall budget for your wedding.
This is your first step, and it doesn’t happen easily.
Look, so many couples go over budget when planning their wedding. It’s normal. But having a ballpark figure that you are working to is the first step to avoiding any wedding budget mistakes.
2. Not Keeping Track of How Much You've Spent
Before you spend a single penny on your wedding vision, at the very least set up a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your allocated budget.
You don’t have to have amazing accounting skills or even be particularly financially savvy to pull this off, and keeping track will save so many headaches and potential arguments further down the line!
We’ve searched around online and found a few good wedding budget planning spreadsheets that you can download for free. We’ll link one below that we like.
3. Not Discussing Who Is Paying For What
If you haven’t had this conversation yet, you better pop the kettle on and start chatting!
Every couple has different circumstances and often, they may receive some money from their family as a donation for their wedding budget.
Find out ahead of time where the money is coming from, who is responsible for paying for certain elements, and how you will split things.
If you have that out in the open before you make decisions on your various wedding vendors, it can make your life so much easier.
4. Rushing Into Wedding Planning Decisions
Some of the wedding budget mistakes we see couples making stem from rushing their decisions about certain elements of their wedding day.
Your wedding dress, wedding cake, decor pieces, wedding musicians, live band, venue, and any other big-ticket items on your day require real thought.
Do not be pushed into buying something that you do not want or need. It costs more to change your mind at a later day and make sure that you are both on the same page.
It’s important to not feel pressured into making purchases until you are 100% sure that it is something you absolutely want for your wedding.
5. Impulse Buying Low-Cost Items
This is one of those wedding budget mistakes that creep up on you.
The small stuff adds up.
You might think your late-night online window shopping isn’t really making an effect on your allotted wedding spending amount, but all these additional costs can quickly add up if you are impulse buying en masse.
If you are buying online, leave things in your basket for a day or so before pulling the trigger. Go back and make sure it’s something you both want! You might realise you’ve gone a little overboard and don’t really need half of the things that you initially fell in love with.
6. Purchasing Items Instead Of Renting
A fast track to buyer’s remorse and a post-wedding hoarding problem is using your budget to purchase your whole wedding set up from top to bottom, instead of simply hiring the things you’ll only use once.
Yes, some of the more sentimental or important items are best off purchased and kept.
But what the hell are you supposed to do with 70 candle holders, vases or table napkins after your wedding day is over?
Yes, you could take the depths of Facebook marketplace and try your luck, but it’s totally worth just saving some extra money to begin with and not making these wedding budget mistakes upfront.
7. Not Having a Wedding Priority List
This is a big one for anyone managing their wedding budget.
You should absolutely outline what parts of your wedding day are most important to you. Your wedding planner may be able to help with this.
Having a priority list of those items you simply can’t afford to settle for less on will allow you to allocate your funds correctly.
For most couples, the majority of their wedding budget will go towards their wedding venue. After that, you’ll want to figure out which vendors or parts of your day makes sense to priotize.
Before purchasing a particular item or booking a wedding vendor, check to see which wedding element is most significant.
When hiring wedding entertainment, it can help to book your evening entertainment first as they are usually more expensive and have limited key date availability.
8. Not Having A Clear Contract For Wedding Vendors
This happens a lot when couples try to save money by hiring friends or family to provide wedding services on their big day.
In an attempt to get ‘mates rates’, you may get a reduced rate on services or even offered for free as a wedding gift. Whilst this can be fine, a lack of contract can cause potential issues down the line and can even cost you.
It might seem trivial, but in the grand scheme of things you should be clear in exactly what your supplier has agreed to on the day, and have it in writing!
9. Not Hiring Local Wedding Vendors
One of the biggest hidden costs in the wedding industry is the travel costs of your wedding suppliers.
Your wedding budget can quickly disappear just from paying for people to travel from one place to another.
If you’re hiring an acoustic wedding singer, or wedding photographer, you can save so much by hiring key suppliers who are located close to your wedding venue.
On top of the service fees, you will be paying for travel costs and the hours involved in traveling for hours to supply services on your wedding day.
Be mindful of your wedding budget when booking vendors who are located a considerable distance from your chosen venue, especially if you are booking multiple suppliers.
10. Not Being Flexible With Your Wedding Date
One of the best ways to save money on weddings these days is to be flexible with what day you actually choose.
Many couples are dead set on a Saturday wedding in the Summer. You have to be aware that the fees involved in doing this can be significantly more damaging to your wedding budget if you aren’t prepared.
These key dates are highly sought after and wedding suppliers will not be able to cut deals on costs, expenses or give you any wiggle room to pay any less than you might wish.
This is one of the reasons why weekday weddings are becoming more popular for couples trying to save on wedding costs and stay on top of their wedding budget.
Making purchases and spending on your vendors can often be a little easier on ‘off-peak’ dates, making the whole thing way less stressful!