By preparing a budget, you will be in a much better position to control and monitor your costs. You should work out who will pay for what and make sure that everyone is clear about what has been decided.

Bear in mind that if someone is paying for something, they may feel that it gives them a say in how the money is spent. Be realistic about money; a wedding that’s going to leave you financially compromised isn’t a great start to married life.

Most couples allocate their biggest chunk of money, around 50%, to the reception. The other main areas, namely wedding clothes and accessories, music, photography, flowers and other miscellaneous items (invitations, favours and so on), will probably account for about 10 per cent each.

Once you’ve set a budget, stick to it. Add a safety net for unforeseen costs. Get a couple of quotes for every service and remember that, to get an accurate figure, you must provide as much information as possible, especially the number of guests. Read all quotes carefully (especially the small print) and watch out for hidden extras such as delivery costs or charges for extra staff.

Make sure that all bookings with your suppliers are in writing and confirmed in writing. Keep a running total of your costs to date so you know how on or off target you are.

You will almost certainly have to pay a deposit when you accept a quote. The balance will be due just before or just after the wedding. Check whether you need to arrange for payments to be made while you are away on honeymoon.

Average Wedding Budget

Item

Average Cost

Wedding Rings

£350

Wedding Dress

£700

Shoes, Veil and Accessories

£200

Bridal Bouquet

£75

Beauty Treatments

£75

Bridesmaids’ Dresses

£500

Groom’s Outfit

£250

Best Man & Usher Outfits

£350

Church Flowers, Pew ends, etc.

£500

Wedding transport

£300

Civil/Church Fees

£200

Photography

£400

Cinematography

£400

Wedding Stationery

£350

Wedding Favours & Gifts

£250

Wedding Cake

£200

Wedding Reception Catering

£4,500

Champagne Reception

£350

Hire of Marquee & Furniture

£3,500

Reception Decorations

£500

Reception Entertainment

£1,000

Bride’s Going Away Outfit

£150

Wedding Night Venue

£150

Honeymoon

£2,500

Wedding Insurance

£100

Misc Expenses

£300

TOTAL

£18,150

Please note that it’s quite possible to get married for just a few hundred pounds. It’s also quite easy to spend £25,000 or more!