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  • Olivia De Santos

How to Decide on Your Wedding Budget

Money, money, money. Must be funny…

HA! Think that is the first time I’ve ever referenced Abba… ever…

Moving on. Today’s blog is about how to decide on your wedding budget straight from the horse’s mouth. As a wedding planner I have worked with budgets at both ends of the spectrum, so I know a thing or two about best practices when it comes to deciding your wedding budget. If you have any questions, feel free to join the conversation in the comments of my YouTube channel and I’d be happy to help you.

So to get you started wit wedding budgeting, here is my 3 step plan to devising the right one for you.

Step one: Start with 100

Whatever currency you are working in, you need to start with at least 100 per person to cover the venue, food and drink package. 100 per person is a great place to start but please remember this will only cover your venue, food and drink in most cases. These are the essentials after all so make sure these aspects are covered first.

Step two: Who is contributing?

Are you footing the bill for your entire wedding or are you getting any help from any kind relatives or close friends who want to contribute? It’s worth knowing before you start the planning process who is helping and in what capacity. There are two main ways that people can help you bring your wedding life: 1) monetary donations 2) lending you their services

Monetary donations tend to come from family or if you have started a wedding fund that people can donate to. It can be awkward to ask but most family members will volunteer the fact that they have an extra grand they can give you or are willing to pay for your food and drink spend once you have announced your engagement or soon after. You’ll also be surprised by the amount of people who come forward during the planning process and offer you some extra money to ease things along. It is most helpful to know these things before you start planning, but don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of months to unearth what family members have in store for you.

With lending services, this can sometimes be more valuable than monetary donations. If you have an awesome photographer in your midst who can offer mates rates, or an Aunty who loves to bake, you can save hundreds or even thousands. Whenever you hear that a wedding of 100 people was created with just €8,000, you bet that that guest list is full of creatives and craftsman that helped put it all together and keep costs down. Asking for your friend’s is much less awkward than asking for money, and in a way, almost an honour. What I will say though is don’t go in expecting freebies, let them offer. You don’t want anyone to feel you are undervaluing their services.

Step three: How much do you have saved/are you able to save?

So now you know what your starter number needs to be and how much of that can be made up with your friends’ and families’ donations. If it is not covering the initial 100 you need, how much do you have saved or how much do you have the capacity to save before your wedding day? This takes a bit of accounting, which is a complete PITA (Pain In The Arse) to do, but is important when it comes to budgeting for your wedding (or budgeting for anything for that matter). For the scale of wedding you want, do you need a longer engagement to allow you to save a bit more? Do you already have a healthy sum ready for you to use? If you use part of your savings, how does this affect your future plans after the wedding? Have your parents decided they are footing the entire bill?

These are all questions you need to ask yourselves when devising your budget.

I hope you found this blog and video helpful on how to decide on your wedding budget. If you’d like to know how much it costs to get married in Portugal, check out this blog which gives you some average costs for services in Portugal.