A wedding is one of the biggest savings goals for Aussies. Whether you dream of a big fairy tale wedding or a small intimate gathering, one thing remains true: weddings can cost a lot more than we initially plan for. But like most big financial decisions, planning is the key. With a little forward thinking, your big day doesn’t need to become a big headache. Guest writer Nick Petrovic, provides us with some insights on big ticket items and areas that can be a runaway expense.
Agree on the basics
Planning a wedding can be a stressful time for everyone involved, so it’s important that you and your partner understand each other’s expectations as well as the things you are and aren’t willing to compromise on. For most couples, there is at least one big-ticket item that they simply cannot see themselves cutting back on, so try to compromise and come to an agreement about the things you are happy to save on and those you aren’t.
Weddings conjure a variety of different images for different people, but for most of us there are a few basic elements that make a wedding day. A good starting place when budgeting for a wedding is making a list of all the different elements and estimating how much you plan to spend on each. Some examples include:
- Bride’s dress
- Number of guests
- Ceremony and reception venues.
- Wedding party gifts.
Organising a wedding can be a large financial commitment, so it’s important to consider its impact on the future. Discuss the use of credit cards and loans ahead of time, as it can be easy to get carried away.
The old traditions regarding who pays for the wedding often do not apply to many modern couples, so be sure to discuss family contributions before making any concrete decisions. Weddings are one of those things that can quickly become the subject of everyone’s input, so place some boundaries on how much influence outside parties have on the decision-making process. Parents, in laws, extended family and even friends may see it as their right to dictate certain aspects, especially if they are contributing financially, so be sure to make your position known early on.
We’d all like the perfect wedding. However, being realistic about how much you expect to spend can help minimise disappointment. Be sure to leave a buffer for those last-minute unexpected items as well.
This goes for saving as well as spending. Open a high interest savings account and treat saving for your wedding as a bill, non-negotiable. Start researching and purchasing items early so that you’re not caught out at the last minute. Shop around and don’t be afraid to negotiate. It often seems that when the word “wedding” is spoken, prices skyrocket. But suppliers want your business, and more often than not a little negotiation can go a long way.
Call on your networks
A wedding is a great time to call on the assistance of your contacts. Not only can this cut back on costs, it can also strengthen your relationship with associates and colleagues.
Like most things in life, experience is invaluable and hindsight is often 20/20. Learning from the mistakes and successes of other couples, friends and family members who have recently walked down the aisle can not only provide helpful advice, but also highlight problems or concerns you may not have considered.