bridal-budget-stories

"We earn £100,000 and have saved £10,000 on our wedding so far - here's how"

The first instalment of our Bridal Budget Stories...

Bridie Wilkins

Sticking to a budget can take all the fun out of planning your wedding day. From the venue to catering and everything in between, there's so much to account for that it's hard to keep track. Add to that the coronavirus pandemic, when cancellations and guestlist changes are making for even more stress, and brides-to-be are seriously struggling. That's why we're calling upon you to share your stories. We're asking women for their exact wedding budget breakdown to help others along the way, and this week we've heard from a Bank Analyst who has managed to save £10,000 so far…

SEE: 11 celebrity couples whose weddings have been cancelled due to coronavirus

Couple's combined salary: £100,000

Job titles: Bank Analyst and Police Officer

Bride's age: 26

Groom's age: 28

MORE: Wedding terminology A-Z - everything you need to know when planning your big day

Initial planned budget:

£35,000 - £40,000 based on a guestlist of 110 people

Breakdown:

Venue: £5,000

Registrar: £500

READ: 9 fascinating rules royal brides must follow

Catering: £7,000

Wedding Cake: £500

Alcohol: £1,500

Photographer: £2,500

Videographer: £2,000

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Music: £2,000

Florist: £3,000

Fairy Lights: £200

PhotoBooth: £500

Wedding Dress: £2,000

Wedding Accessories: £500

Wedding Shoes: £1,000

Wedding Rings: £3,000

Hair: £500 (Me, 4 x Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride and trials for me, 1 x Bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride)

Makeup: £600 (Me, 4 x Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride and trials for me, 1 x Bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride)

Bridesmaid Dresses: £250 per dress - £1,000 total

Bridesmaid Accessories: £500

Suits: £3,500 (Groom, Best Man, 3 x Groomsmen 2 x Dads)

Save the Dates: £200

Wedding Stationery: £500 (Invites, Signs, Menus, Details of the Day)

Seating Plan: £1,000 - Bespoke caricature of each guest

Wedding Favours: £250

Actual expenditure to date:

£25,734.50

Breakdown:

Venue: £2,900 - The Barn at Upcote

Registrar: £550 - Gloucestershire County Council

Catering: £7,500 approx - The Little Pickle

Wedding Cake: £725 - Pretty Cake Company

Alcohol: Not looked at due to Covid-19

Photographer: £2,850 - D&A Photography

Videographer: £2,250 - Rix Weddings

Music/Entertainment: Not looked into due to Covid-19

Florist: £2,700 (Main decoration and I LOVE flowers) - Go Wild Flowers

Fairy Lights: £130 - Robert Dyas (DIY)

PhotoBooth: Not booked due to Covid-19

Wedding Dress: £600 (Sample Sale) - With Love Bridal

Wedding Accessories: £150 (Veil Only) - With Love Bridal

Wedding Shoes: £242.50 (Black Friday) - Charlotte Mills

Wedding Rings: £2,200 (Hatton Garden - family contact)

Hair: £430 (For me, 4 x Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride and trials for me, 1 x Bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride) - Andrea Luella

Makeup: £640 (For me, 4 x Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride and trials for me, 1 x Bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride) - Charlotte Tillyer

Bridesmaid Dresses: £190 per dress - £760 - TH&TH

Bridesmaid Accessories: £57 - ASOS

Suits: Not yet sorted

Save the Dates: £150 - Wildflower Illustrations Co.

Wedding Stationery: Not yet done - Covid-19!!!!

Seating Plan: £900 - Hey Draw Me! (My fiancé's ONLY approved suggestion).

Wedding Favours: Not yet done - Covid-19!

Effects of COVID-19:

"We have been really fortunate due to being key workers, we have remained unaffected financially - we've been on full pay throughout. My fiancé has commuted to work as normal and I have worked from home. I have managed to save a little more by not commuting - a saving of around £300 a month. We have continued to save for the wedding as we’d initially planned and had started to prior to the pandemic. Fortunately, our wedding was always planned for Spring 2021 so we haven’t had to cancel anything. We’ve just had to deal with the uncertainty!!! We did toy with the idea of a contingency date for Autumn 2021 but we’ve decided we don’t want to put our lives on hold any longer and the most important thing for us is to be married."

Saving tips:

  1. We immediately set a saving budget and created new savings accounts to pay into - completely separately to our other finances. We have also set up standing orders to take this money straight from our accounts on pay day so we don’t even see it and can’t be tempted to ‘dip in’.
  2. I am quite savvy with shopping around - I’ve spent a lot of time researching and getting a number of quotes to compare suppliers/products and prices.
  3. We have been realistic - some things we would have loved to have had but realistically we just can’t justify the money - will our guests really know? Probably not! For example, our dream would have been more expensive caterers and I would have loved Manolo Blahniks…
  4. I bought my dress in the sample sale - it was £2,000 and I paid £600 for the same dress, just because it was ‘last season’.
  5. Use family contacts: My sister is doing the bridesmaids' gel nails for the day and my brother loves interiors so is more excited than we are to dress the venue. My fiancé’s uncle works in Hatton Garden so has got us great discounts on our wedding rings and my engagement ring.
  6. Use local suppliers and small companies - we have tried where possible to support the small businesses local to our venue.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask your suppliers questions and see what else they can provide - our florist is providing all the candles/candle sticks for the tables and lanterns for outside free of charge!!! And our venue has different tables and chairs.
  8. I used the sales to my advantage - Black Friday for my shoes and bridesmaid accessories helped us to save a little.
  9. We chose to get married in the Cotswolds - not only is it beautiful but it was considerably cheaper than London & the South East - our venue is a real hidden gem and good value for money in our eyes!
  10. The date we chose was out of the height of the wedding season and a Thursday. (April fools day and the Thursday before Good Friday). We couldn’t justify the hike in venue prices just for a Friday/Saturday or the so-called Great British Summer!!!
  11. There are loads of companies which specialise in lighting which proves quite costly - I got our fairy lights from Robert Dyas last Christmas in the January Sales at half price. We will put these up ourselves the day before. So, I guess what I am saying is why pay someone to put some lights up when you can easily do it yourself?!

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