First of all congratulations, you’re getting married abroad!
You’re about to embark on an exciting journey, but before you get started there’s one thing you absolutely must do and that is work out how much you can afford to spend. It may seem boring when compared to looking at beautiful weddings venues online but if you do this now your wedding will be so much easier and hopefully less stressful to plan.
If not you may end up feeling overwhelmed by choice and possibly disappointed if you happen upon a venue or supplier that is out of reach financially.
There is one thing to do before you start working on your budget and that is decide how many guests you wish to invite, then work out 80% of this total, as this is the average acceptance rate for a wedding abroad
So if you wish to invite 50 people, 80% of this would be 40 guests.
Now you have your guest numbers we can move onto the six things to consider when planning your budget for your wedding abroad, once you’ve read this we suggest heading over to our budget calculator and having a play around with amounts to allocate to each part of your wedding before you start researching suppliers. You’ll need to open a Luvana account to access this, but don’t worry it’s FREE!
First and foremost, you need to sit down together and have an open and honest discussion about what you are both happy and can realistically afford to spend. If affording your wedding means you need to cut back on a couple of things on the run up to the day then so be it, but you must be realistic, not having any nights out or day trips between now and the wedding will soon become tiresome if you’ve stretched yourself too thin. Over spending will cause unnecessary stress, to what should be one of the happiest times of your life! Big does not always mean beautiful, an intimate wedding with close family and friends can be just as magical, you’ll just need to be more realistic with your expectations, smart with your spending and be prepared to do some DIY, or at least gather together your creative family and friends to help.
Will anybody be contributing?
It’s important that you know from the beginning who (if anybody) will be helping you pay for the wedding. Your parents may be willing to contribute to the cost, so have this conversation with them early on in the planning so you can add their contribution into your wedding budget.
Whilst I’d never suggest anyone get into debt for their wedding I also know many of my couples have taken out loans, so if you’re are considering this take advise and research your options. You don’t want to be paying for this one special day for the rest of your life so be smart, only take out what you can afford to pay back.
Decide what is most important to you!
It’s time to create some wedding wish lists. Decide which elements of the day are most important to you (good food, specialist photography, nice flowers). If for example, photography is high on your list of priorities then set aside a good sum of your budget for a great photographer, and if flowers aren’t all that important, then go simple or consider fake flowers. Making a list of priorities is a brilliant way to guide you and keep cost under control!
The C word
It won’t be the last time you hear this during your wedding planning and this is when you’ll need to learn how to do it. You may find you and your fiancé have different priorities, it’s perfectly normal, and it’s even more fun when your parents get involved with their wants and desires. It’s good practice for married life to find a happy medium and come up with a list of joint priorities that you both agree on and if parents are so insistent on you having a particular supplier that you haven’t budgeted for then ask them to contribute; I see it all the time. Just make sure you do what you feel is best for the both of you.
Ways to save costs.
Think about ways you can save money, start by shopping around for bargains. For a summer wedding, end of season summer sales the year before are a great time to look for bridesmaid dresses and suppliers often save special discounts for the National Wedding Shows, even wedding dresses!
Be willing to compromise(see there it is again), if you’ve found your dream dress in a designer shop but can’t justify spending so much money on something that you’ll only wear once; shop around for a similar style by a cheaper or lesser known designer or find a seamstress to make your dress. Or if you simply can’t live without the dress then buy it and be willing to compromise (here it is for the 3rd time) on something else, like cutting back on decoration or not having a photo booth or fireworks.
Think DIY, we’re a world of ‘wannabee DIY’ers’ we’re obsessed with craft shops and our Pinterest and Instagram feeds are filled with projects we aspire to make. Well this is the time to get started! You can make anything from invitations, favours, table decorations and your name cards and table plan – it’s these little things that can often add up. Designing and creating your own wedding decor can be fun and gives you a great sense of accomplishment when the compliments start rolling in. Don’t worry if you’re not particularly creative, we all have one friend or family member who’s crafty, use it for an excuse for a night of wine and wedding DIY!
Don’t forget the small stuff
Budget carefully and always over estimate rather than be too optimistic at this point, update your budget every time you pay a supplier or arrange a new quote. Use our budget calculator so you don’t end up missing a supplier or item you may not have to think about with a wedding at home.
The implications of missing something at this stage is not fully appreciated until all the invoices start rolling into to be paid towards the end. One thing that I’ve seen catch couples out a lot is the party back home. Some parties back home can cost as much or in some cases more than the wedding day itself. If you’re wanting a party back home then you need to allow for this in your overall budget.
If you haven’t already we suggest creating your FREE Luvana Wedding Account and using the ‘My Wedding Budget’ tool to see how we have divided up a typical budget into percentages and create your own digital wedding budget so you’re in full control of your spending at all times. We also have a Budget Checklist you can download which explains what to consider when budgeting for your wedding AND the after party.
If your budget doesn’t extend to a large after party then think about a garden BBQ or inviting those that couldn’t attend for drinks instead of a full party.
There’s always a compromise
No matter your budget (and I’ve worked with some very large ones) there is often compromise and limitations along the way!
Just remember what this day is all about, the two of you celebrating your love and commitment to one another and having an awesome party with your loved ones to celebrate.
Now it’s over to you.
Do you have any budgeting or money saving tips to share with other brides and grooms?