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After the excitement of a proposal, it can be daunting to think about all that comes with planning a wedding. But before you get carried away with dream venues and Pinterest boards, it’s important to come up with a wedding budget first.

This will help you know what you can afford to spend overall and divide this up into every detail. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we’re going to take you through how to come up with a wedding budget, and the extra costs you shouldn’t forget.

Create a wedding budget

Putting together a comprehensive wedding budget is the best way to make sure you aren’t surprised by any unexpected costs later on.

You should start by working out how much you can afford to spend in total, and make a list of everything that you want your wedding to include. This should be as detailed as possible, so think about all of the little things like invitations, party favours and centrepieces, as well as expenses like the venue and catering.

Pick up some wedding magazines, search the web and talk to any married friends for advice on what to include in your budget. Get a few quotes from different venues, florists and caterers to give you an idea of the realistic cost of each as well.

Don’t forget

No matter how detailed you think your budget is, there’s likely to be something extra that you’ve forgotten. Check to see whether you have the following wedding costs included in your budget.

• Registration costs: this includes giving notice (at least 28 days), registering your marriage and the marriage licence.

• Want a church wedding? You will need to pay to use the church for the service and you might have to pay for extras included in the service, for example a choir or additional seating in the church.

• Make sure you (the bride and groom) are included in the head count for the reception.

• Alterations to dress and suits for the wedding party.

• Additional charges on your bill from venues and supplies. For example, VAT, delivery fees, overtime or cleaning services.

Another thing you could consider is wedding insurance. This will cover you against a range of unfortunate events, ranging from postponing your wedding date due to injury or covering you if you don’t receive a service you’ve already paid for.

Make cutbacks

If after looking at your budget you realise you need to make some cutbacks, look at the areas where you could be spending less.

For example, some venues offer a package that includes the service and reception, as well as catering which can really help to reduce costs. You could even look at holding your big day on a weekday such as Friday or out of peak season.

Take another look at your wedding guest list and see whether you could limit the number you’re inviting – does your old work colleague have to come to both the ceremony and reception? Or you could look at turning your sit down meal into a buffet. You just have to decide what’s important to you and your partner.

If the dress is taking up a large chunk of your budget, there are a number of ways to find an affordable wedding dress. You shouldn’t let ordering from an online store put you off either, as you have certain rights if you’re not happy with the wedding dress when it arrives.

Planning a wedding on a tight budget? Check out our blog series on how to plan a wedding for less than £450.

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