The Wedding Budget Rollercoaster

The cost of having a wedding is growing every year and if you are planning to get on the wedding rollercoaster you may need to start saving now for your special day.  As little girls we dream about our wedding day from a young age and when we set the date we just want the day to be perfect and why not we say.  Is it possible to set a realistic budget for your wedding and stick with it without spending years paying back loans for your wedding? The spend on Irish weddings is set to grow every year and It may surprise you to learn that the average spend on Irish weddings has increased from €25,000 in 2016 (including the honeymoon costs) to over €26,000 in 2017 with this trend set to continue upwards.   Most couples dip into a good chunk of their savings with a helping hand from mums and dads plus the credit union loan.  The biggest spend is the venue with a whopping €14,000 average spend on the wedding reception venue and this does not include the entertainment.   The key to planning your wedding budget is to stick to it, don’t get carried away or you could end up paying as much as €5,000 more than you budgeted for your wedding.

The first thing you should do is discuss with your partner what type of wedding you would both like then look at your ideal overall budget spend including honeymoon, next look at your savings and any debts that you may have consider trying to clear any outstanding debts first to free up cash for saving toward your wedding.  Cutting back in other areas such as a holiday abroad may have to be put on the back burner whilst you are saving toward your wedding.  Talk to your own parents about making a contribution toward your wedding day.  Most Irish couples prefer to pay for their wedding themselves, however, the bride and groom parents will often cover the cost of say the wedding photographer or the wedding stationery or the wedding dress or even the honeymoon.   It all helps keep your wedding budget under control.   There are numerous wedding planning budget apps and wedding planning budget calculators online at various wedding bloggers sites and wedding hubs.   Ideally you should budget your wedding carefully and try to avoid over spending thus avoiding paying back for your wedding for years and years.

Speaking of wedding venues you will need to fill your wedding venue and this is where making a guest list can be a nightmare especially if both sets of parents are involved.   So let us call this part of the wedding planning “guest list anxiety” !  I saw somewhere a few years ago on one of the wedding magazines a great tip for planning your wedding guest list.  Simply have two lists, list A and list B.  Your A-list consists of the must-have people you couldn’t imagine not being at your wedding, like your family and close friends. These guests will receive your first round of wedding invitations with RSVP’s cards and reply date.  Your B list is made up of guests you still really want to be there too.  So when you start getting RSVPs back from your A list guests and you have some “regrets,” start sending your wedding invites to the B-list guest.  I know it sounds not too nice and you may risk offending people but I guess at the end of the day you have a wedding budget to consider and keep under control.   Setting the RSVP date for your first round of wedding invites your A listers should be sent ten weeks in advance of the wedding and your B list wedding guests six weeks in advance of the wedding.   Sending your B-list guests invites too close to the wedding will look too obvious letting them they may get a hint that they were second best.  Plan when you send your wedding invites and your wedding reply cards without being obvious, therefore, you will need two sets of RSVP cards with different reply by dates for each set.  Hope this makes sense! have budget friendly great designs for wedding invites and rsvp’s.

It’s always a good idea to have both sets of families involved in planning the numbers for the wedding so that everyone is on the same hymn sheet and has an idea who is invited from the families thereby not offending anyone.  However,  it can get awkward  if parents are paying towards a good chunk of the wedding budget, your guest list can suddenly becomes their guest list.  Traditionally and it is still the same today the guest list is split 3 ways for example bride and groom get 100 and both families 50 each.   When starting out building your wedding list go with your gut instinct and ask yourself  “who would your really like to have at your wedding?” “have you spoken to them in the last three or more years?”  Ask your friends for some advice on making your wedding guest list, I’m sure they will have some valuable advice.

Always try to avoid inviting people on a whim this is where your budget can get thrown off. Anticipate that “whim” moment along your wedding planning journey so be prepared to handle it. Crunching the wedding guest list numbers is no fun but unfortunately there is no other way around it if you are to keep within your budget and as we said already the wedding venue is the biggest price tag of your wedding budget.   With pressure from parents and both emotional and financial factors to juggle, your wedding guestlist can be a minefield to compile, we hope our tips above are some food for thought for you and we leave you with one last budget tip,  holding your wedding on a weekday can work out cheaper for the venue booking.   Just remember it’s your special day but it’s not worth going into debt over.








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