Issy’s wedding bouquet captured by Angela Higgins Photography

One of the first things people ask me when they get engaged is “What do we do now?”. The first thing I always say is “Enjoy it!”. I think so often we rush too fast past these precious moments, without sitting there and just relishing in the fact that they’ve happened, celebrating without too much thought of the next event.

The money for the wedding and all that it entails can be a tough reality hit for many engagees. With what can seem like endless costs associated with a wedding, you can start to understand the people who have really, really long engagements!

How do you decide where and on what to spend those precious dollars (and how many dollars to spend)? My first suggestion is to give yourself some time to sit down with your fiancé and talk about what is most important to you both.

There is no need to hurry this process – it may take hours or even weeks of discussion. Your discussion should encompass all aspects of the wedding down to the smallest detail so that you don’t get hit with surprises.

You can make lists as detailed as possible – for example:
– church – large arrangements
– aisle
– boutonnieres
– bridesmaids’ bouquets
– bride’s bouquet
– flowers for parents, grandparents
– tables etc etc

Or simply figure out “Yeah, we want our guests to have amazing food and wine but really, we’re not fussed about the cars” or “Oh we love cake! Actually all we do is eat cake, but really, I don’t mind what flowers we have, as long as they’re pretty!”

Then decide which of the things on your lists you can do without, amend, or do on a budget. Ask yourselves what aspects of your wedding you just cannot live without. What would you regret not having done, when you look back at your wedding on your fifth wedding anniversary. Those are the non-negotiable things that you will need to find the money for, and will give you the greatest pleasure when they are done beautifully, just as you’d hoped.

There are ways vendors are able to flexible as well- a dress designer may use a cheaper lace rather than the pricier French lace, you may forgo dessert at your reception venue for your wedding cake, your photographer may offer a package without an album. It’s always worth asking vendors if there is flexibility in meeting your budget.

If you need to put a savings plan in place, you can choose to cut back your spending in little ways. Have more cosy meals at home, just the two of you, have two drinks at the wine bar instead of five, find free entertainment, and before you know it you will have saved the amount you need. Who knows, this saving bug could catch on and continue throughout your life together!

How did your prioritise for your own wedding? Where did you splurge and where did you save?