That big yellow taxi.. Also known as Budget.

Happy New Year from Agnes and I!

Apologies that its a little late but…

Happy New Year!!!! Hopefully everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year with their loved ones.

Now that we are in 2017, I can finally say ‘I AM GETTING MARRIED THIS YEAR!’ In 136 days to be exact. This both excites me and terrifies me because there is so much still to do! Last night I couldn’t get to sleep for hours (partly because of this cold that I haven’t been able to shake for almost a week) but mainly because I have been panicking about wedding planning. I am usually super organised and extremely cool under pressure but somehow wedding planning has not come naturally to me and has definitely gotten under my skin recently. Luckily for me I have Callum, who told me to take a deep breath and do something that DOES come naturally to me.. Make a list! It all seemed much better this morning, so anyone who is going through a temporary panic please remember, it is just that.. Temporary!

Now, it being January and straight after Christmas, one of the things on everyone’s mind is Money. Moolah. Cash. And serious lack of it.. which brings me onto this next topic nicely. Budget! The one word that everyone dreads, except suppliers who seem to ignore it completely. That scene from Miss Congeniality comes to mind. You know the one where she is ‘gliding’ until being interrupted, hitting that not so subtle yellow taxi?? Imagine you are Sandra Bullock, the gliding part is wedding planning and the looming taxi is your budget… It seems to put a stop to everything!

Image: www.thefriednoodle.wordpress.com

Following on from our guest list creation/discussion/frequent debates, Callum and I then had a better idea of numbers, which are essential when coming up with a budget (a couple people here or there are going to add much more cost than you expect!) After hearing some awful stories about people forgetting key aspects or wildly under budgeting, we thought the best course of action would be a huge spreadsheet listing everything we needed to consider;

– 100x 1st class stamps for invitations anyone??
– How about multiple wedding certificates incase you misplace one or need to send it out for proof of name change??

Nope I had no idea about these either!

Anyway, we started researching all the things a wedding entails, although some people will argue that most of the things I am going to list in this post are not in any way, shape or form a necessity. They would be absolutely correct. However, we created this list with our ideal in mind so that we could edit as we went- budget allowing! Being in the design industry, habit means you always shoot for the stars and then reign it in gradually (commercially) as necessary. Who even thinks about organising something they don’t really like/want to start with. Budget will most likely dictate all compromises you need to make.

So once we had compiled our spreadsheet of requirements, we then moved onto cost estimates for each one. We were very careful to do lots of research (basing it in the area local to where we were getting married as costs vary SO much!) we looked at lots of magazines and websites to make sure we covered a good cross section and then overestimated a little to allow for wiggle room.. trust me in some cases you need it to save you from having a total meltdown (in my case this was 100% the dress.)

Once we completed the cost estimates for everything, that gave us a total figure for the entire wedding.. Completely horrendous seeing it all rolled into one single number. For one single day. I am entirely in two minds about the budget. Part of me says that it’s literally one day, why would you spend any amount of money on it? Whilst the other part of me says, this is something that you do once (hopefully) so why not spend what you want as long as it is within your means. Borrowing money, knowing you will be paying it off long after your wedding day is not the way I want to start married life. That is why we made the decision to have a longer engagement until we were able to save what we needed, prior to the wedding.

Image: http://www.hercampus.com

Some of the most frequently asked questions re budget that I have encountered so far are; who is paying for the wedding? How much does x, y and z even cost? And how can we possibly afford it ourselves!?? So here is how we did it!

Now this may sound a touch drastic but it genuinely wasn’t.. Promise. We sold our house. When Callum first suggested this idea of his to me, initially I freaked out and told him what a complete idiot he was. However, the way that property prices were increasing in Tunbridge Wells, we soon realised that our first house had increased in value quite a lot. Instead of releasing some equity (a tad risky in my opinion) we decided to sell up and move on to a bigger house with more potential to increase in value. All of the costs of moving, stamp duty, legal fees etc were covered by the profit we made and we came out with a gorgeous new house (although I loved Golden Leaves) as well as some cash which we stuck straight into an ISA!

We took this lump sum of savings off the total cost, then worked out what the maximum amount of money we could save each month was. We could then see exactly how long it would take us to save the remaining cost, based on our max monthly saving amount. I felt that this was a really good way to do it as costs change so frequently. As and when we paid for things, we updated their actual costs. Some things were under, others over but having this working spreadsheet showed us constantly how much we were spending and really helped to keep us on track! I would highly recommend the spreadsheet and have sent it to many of my friends who have since gotten engaged.

My biggest piece of advice when planning is to make a budget and keep control of it at all times. Do not be pressured into spending when you don’t want to or can’t afford to as it will cause so much stress, you cannot begin to imagine!

If you would like a copy of our budget template so that you can put it to good use just drop me an email at Helena@soyouregettingmarried.com and I will send it straight over! xx