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Budgeting for a wedding

From visiting venues to choosing suppliers, planning your dream wedding is an exciting time. Creating your wedding budget might not sound romantic, but if you start planning now, you can both enjoy the big day without worrying about money.  

A wedding can be one of the biggest expenses you may face as a couple, so good planning is the most important factor to keep your wedding costs from getting out of control.  

Taking control of your wedding costs starts with a clearly defined budget plan. You can use the following steps to create it.

Make a list of all expected costs 

Now is a good time to start your financial journey together. Ideally, both of you should work on the wedding budget plan. Take your time and make a list of every expense you can think of and how much you estimate it will cost. 

Then add up the total cost of all you need to pay for and add in 10% for last-minute or unknown expenses.  

Set a budget for your big day 

Once you have made a list of everything you intend to pay for, then set a budget for an amount that you can agree on and can afford to spend.   

Setting a budget can also help you make sure you have money left over for other financial goals you might have as a couple. For example, you may want to buy a home or to travel. Think about whether your wedding expenses will affect your ability to reach these financial goals. 

Next look for any ways you can reduce the costs you have listed. Do your research to find out what things really cost and shop around for the best deals – it will be time well spent. It’s always worth trying to negotiate on prices too and this will be easier if you know what things cost. 

Decide how you will pay for your wedding 

You will need to decide how you’ll pay for your wedding. Ask yourself: 

  • Where will the money for the wedding come from? 
  • Will it come from savings or contributions from family? 

If you borrow money  for your wedding, make sure you also budget for the interest you’ll have to pay.  

Work out how much to save 

Once you’ve set a budget and know what you’re saving for, you will then need to work out how much you’ll need to save in total.  

  • If you have no wedding date, find out how long it will take to reach your saving target if you save every month. 
  • If you have a date for the big day, find out how much you need to save each month to reach your target in good time before the date. 

To work out a monthly savings plan, calculate how many weeks or months from now until your big day. Divide the total cost of your savings target (this might be the full wedding cost) by the number of weeks or months. This is what you have to save each week or month.  Use our page on how to build up savings for more tips and advice. 

You can avoid financial strain by giving yourselves enough time to save for your wedding. For example, if you need to pay €10,000 towards the cost of your wedding and you start saving 2 years before the date, you’ll need to save about €415 a month. If you start saving 1 year before the wedding, you’ll need to save about €833 a month.  

Now is a good time to draw up a weekly or monthly household budget plan. You can use the MABS My Budget tool and how to budget guide to see if you can spare the extra money from your monthly income. 

Once you’ve decided to put aside some money each week, put the money into a savings account in the post office, credit union, bank or building society. This way you cannot access it too easily.  Decide if this account will be in both names. 

Get more help on how to build up savings which includes advice on finding money to save and other money-saving tips.  

Think carefully before you borrow 

If you think borrowing is necessary, there are some things to think about before you borrow.

Tips for saving for your wedding 

Some things to consider when planning your wedding: 

Set your own priorities. Start with what is really important to both of you and work from there. 

Get married off-season. For example, October may not be too cold and could be quieter and cheaper than a summer wedding. Midweek bookings are generally more affordable than weekends. 

Get married abroad. Having your ceremony in a different country can sometimes be more memorable than a traditional experience at home. It could also double as your honeymoon. 

Borrow or rent items, instead of buying everything new. 

DIY or ask friends or family to help with baking, flowers, music or photography. 

Choose second-hand (vintage) engagement and wedding rings and wedding dress. You could save hundreds of euro by buying in a vintage shop or online. 

Search wedding saving tips online.  You will find hundreds of money-saving tips online to choose from that will suit you. 

Manage your money after the wedding 

When you get married, you are also committing to a life of managing your money together. 

Whether you plan to manage your finances separately or jointly, you will need to get on the same financial page and agree on your money management rules going forward. Talk about spending habits, debts and financial responsibilities. Discuss your financial priorities and goals for the future as a couple, so you can work together to get there. 

Discussing and agreeing on future financial decisions will help avoid conflicts over money down the line. 

Get more help from MABS 

If you’re struggling to manage your money or to make ends meet, or you feel like borrowing more is the only solution, help is available, contact MABS.

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