The Wedding Series | Guest Blog by Love Em

The Wedding Series | Guest Blog by Love Em

Everyone wants to be able to afford their dream wedding. With the pandemic causing financial strain for many people, it can be hard to see your dream wedding materialising. Here's how to budget for a post-lockdown wedding

How to budget for a post-lockdown wedding

Everyone wants to be able to afford their dream wedding. With the pandemic causing financial strain for many people, it can be hard to see your dream wedding materialising. With a few changes and a budget action plan, you can afford your perfect post-lockdown wedding! There are so many ways to save, so you don't have to cut corners when planning your big day. Here's how to budget for your wedding now, so you'll be ready for when the restrictions are lifted! 

Start Your Budgeting Early

The earlier your start planning for your wedding and putting money aside, the better. It may seem like your special day will forever be pushed back, but if you're not ready for when it does come, you're going to struggle! Try to put aside 10% of your wage every month. You'll be in a better financial position at the end of the lockdown. Understandably, not everyone can afford to put away 10%, but every little helps. If you can't afford to save that much, put in what you can when you can. For example, instead of purchasing a takeaway for Friday night dinner, make your own. You can save the money you would have spent on a wedding fund! 

Another way you can start the budgeting early is by creating your action plan! You'll need to start looking into how much everything costs. Did you know the average 2019 wedding cost around £30,000! Plus, every bride-to-be will be looking to book their wedding once the lockdown is lifted. You need to create your budget and start booking, so you don't miss out on your slot! Here are some things you may want to consider in your budget:

  • Stationary such as wedding invites and table placers
  • Your wedding dress, tux and rings
  • Potential bridesmaid dresses (If you're going to buy them)
  • Make-up and hair for your big day
  • The venue & transport
  • Flowers and other decorations
  • Food and catering for you and your guests
  • Your beautiful wedding cake
  • Music & Entertainment
  • Professional photography
  • The perfect honeymoon!

Start Booking Your Choices Early 

Yes, the lockdown seems to be extended every month. But you should consider booking your options as soon as possible. Small businesses especially need your support at the moment. It's better to secure your place a year in advance than have to pay last-minute excessive prices. Plus, you may find that booking early gives you a discount. Many businesses have reduced their prices, so you should consider booking soon before the prices get put back up. 

If you're looking to book your honeymoon, lots of places now have a Covid policy. This means your money is protected should anything get cancelled. There are great travel deals at the moment for 2022 bookings, so booking ahead of time may be a good option. While travelling may still be risky in 2022, you may really just want a getaway. Start browsing travel websites now and score a great deal before the whole world starts looking to travel again! 

Try To Buy Second Hand

It's not easy to make a dress fitting appointment when everywhere is closed. Wedding dresses are also expensive for many brides-to-be. Buying second-hand can save you a lot of money, and it's better for the planet. You could even consider wearing your mother's wedding dress, which is a sweet and traditional idea for many. Some of the best places to look are eBay, charity shops and other clothing reselling sites. There are even some boutiques which specialise in second-hand dresses. 

If you're not willing to compromise on the dress or tux, you could get your bridesmaid dresses second hand. I know people who have even asked their bridesmaids to wear their own dresses as long as the colour is right. Sometimes, a little bit of mismatch is perfect! Other things you can purchase second hand are the decorations and furniture. You can even your engagement ring (Yes, some people still pass on their mothers engagement ring!). If you're trying to set a budget for your wedding, compromising on some things can save you a lot of money!

Use DIYs To Personalise Your Wedding (And Save!)

With the whole nation in lockdown, going out isn't an option. Instead, you could use your time creating DIYs that will make your wedding affordable and personal! DIY weddings are becoming more and more popular, especially now money is tighter. DIYs can make your wedding look beautiful while giving you a sense of achievement as you created your own dream wedding! Here are some of my favourite DIY ideas that you could try during the lockdown:

  • Turn old t-shirts into bunting or garlands
  • Paint old mason jars to make vintage-looking vases
  • Make your own wedding invitations and menus
  • Create your own wedding signs with wood
  • Use empty photo frames to make a DIY photo booth - don't forget the props!
  • Make your own favours with cute candy bags

Make Some Money On The Side

Not digging into my own funds has been one of the best ways I have budgeted for my future wedding. I am not getting married yet, but my partner and I are already saving. However, we don't use our job incomes to save for the wedding. When you make money hustling for yourself, you can appreciate your budget more. It actually makes you want to stretch it further. If you're really looking for a DIY wedding, what's better than to say you did it all selling on eBay or blogging! 

There are so many ways you can make some money to either fund your wedding or help contribute to it. You shouldn't feel pressured to fund your wedding with side hustles. It can add unnecessary pressure to your planning. I have written lots of articles about the best ways to make money online, but here are a few ways you can earn some extra cash for your wedding budget!

Keep Track Of Your Spending

When you're budgeting, you shouldn't forget about how much you have spent already. I find it easy to allocate £100 to one thing but sometimes spend over that amount as I lose track of what I've bought already. Keep a clear record of what you have spent, and try to keep proof if you can. Set up a folder or email folder to keep all of your receipts and purchase notifications in. It may also help if you have a spreadsheet to total the figures for you. 

It's important to keep a close eye on your spending habits. If you're close to your budget in one section, you either need to stop spending or take it from somewhere else. When you have all of the numbers in front of you, it can seem overwhelming, but you need it for your budget. If you keep an eye on your spending, you can also see where you're saving money. Start by creating a provisional spreadsheet where you total up how much you think you're going to spend. Then, look at where you can cut down. For example, do you really need 20 types of flower? Maybe cut it down to 10 of the cheapest ones instead! When you start spending your budget, use a new tab to monitor it. 

Be Prepared For Hidden Costs

We have no idea how the future is looking for travel, weddings and general living. When you budget for your post-lockdown wedding, make sure you set aside some budget for hidden costs. Maybe your honeymoon travel insurance has doubled, or your venue had to shut for a case of covid. These things are going to cost you and should be factored into your spending. Unfortunately, you can't tell t what will go wrong, especially with Covid being so unpredictable. It's estimated that you should save an extra 5-10% of your original budget for hidden costs. That means if you're budgeting with £1,000, you should probably consider saving £1,100. 

Extra Tips To Help Shrink Your Budget!

So, we've covered budgeting as a whole, but what about all of the little bits? A wedding can include so many small extras like favours and decorations, which all add up. When you set a budget for your post-lockdown wedding, here are some things you can cut out or reduce to save you some money. Remember that post-lockdown weddings may still have to consider restrictions! 

  • Cut down on the guestlist - With Covid still lurking, it's better for your health and your budget!
  • Relocate the wedding - After the lockdown, some places could still be in ties. Consider a local wedding with those close to you. It will save you on travel and a potential fine!
  • Think about your favours - If you have favours, everyone will need one. Keep them small and simple. There will be enough sweet stuff at the dessert table!
  • Use local businesses - Local businesses are in desperate need of your support. See if there are any small businesses for the things you need like catering, decorations and favours. They may come out cheaper too!

Weddings can be expensive, but they don't have to be when you budget correctly. Your post-lockdown wedding will be dreamy whether you spend £100 or £100,000! What matters is you're safe, happy and finally able to marry the love of your life. There are so many ways to save money and budget for your dream day. What budget-friendly options are you considering for your big day? I'd love to hear how you're cutting costs and making it work for you! 

About the guest writer

Emily is a Cambridge based blogger focusing on personal finance, self-improvement and productivity! Having started an apprenticeship, Emily balances side hustles and study alongside her blog. On the blog, Love Em, you will find ways to lead your best life and make some money on the side. You can find her using the links below:


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