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Kildare Nationalist – Personal Finance: Tips for a Big Budget-conscious Day

Your wedding will (hopefully) be a once in a lifetime event, a day when you and your partner are officially bound in a holy marriage, surrounded by family and friends as you publicly express your love for one another. ‘other. All very romantic – and usually quite expensive by the time you add up the costs for clothing, accommodation, food and drink for the guests, music, wedding decor and a lot more.

A wedding is often the second most expensive expense in a lifetime after a home – the average budget for a wedding (including the honeymoon) is around $ 29,000 – but there are ways to cut and cut and to make the financial burden a little easier to bear. Here are some ideas to get you started on a budget-conscious big day!

Make a budget

It can be as simple as a basic Excel spreadsheet or a pen and notebook – but one of your first tasks when planning a wedding should be budgeting (and sticking to it). as much as possible) – otherwise the costs may very well skyrocket out of control. Be sure to include a contingency for what can and will go wrong – Irish wedding site One Fab Day suggests a figure of 12.5%.

If you’re trying to figure out the different costs, consult with family or friends to see what they paid for their weddings, or look for answers through online forums. One Fab Day has some great tips for creating a wedding budget – check it out at onefabday.com/work-out-wedding-budget/. And WeddingsOnline offers a downloadable wedding budget calculator (in Excel format) to help you track costs – see www.weddingsonline.ie/blog/mrs2be-wedding-budget-calculator/.

Avoid debt

Starting a new life with a whole heap of debt to contend with isn’t the most ideal scenario, especially if you plan to buy a property in the not-so-distant future. Once you have a budget for your wedding, you can figure out how you are going to save as much money as possible to carry it out. Give yourself a little time and you might be surprised at how much you could accumulate – saving € 800 per month over two years would net for example € 19,200, a very large amount that could cover everything you need.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has a handy online spending calculator (www.ccpc.ie/consumers/money-tools/spending-calculator/) that will help you determine what you are spend each month and identify areas where you could reduce and thereby increase your savings capacity. Commit to reducing impulse shopping online or regular dining out, or see if you can save costs like insurance or utilities by switching providers.

If you need to take out a loan to cover costs, make sure you get the best rates and can afford the repayments. Again, CCPC can help – check out www.ccpc.ie/consumers/money-tools/loan-comparison/ for a personal loan comparison tool that lets you enter the amount you want to borrow and the duration of your credit, then find out the monthly payments and the total cost of credit on the available credits.

Be flexible

If you take a flexible approach to the wedding planning process, it could very well benefit your bottom line. For example, when choosing a location, there may be a substantial price difference between off-peak and peak dates, so chat with multiple locations and check their pricing agreements before focusing on a particular month and day. .

If you end up with a peak date, savings could be made by opting for a midweek day rather than the weekend. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price or look to add value to your package by having something more included for free. A word of advice: pay for the best meal you can afford, as it’s a big part of the day and one of the things guests will likely remember with the group!

Cut the fat and tinker where you can

Once you’ve finalized your wedding essentials list, take the time to figure out where you can save money by doing it yourself. Something that immediately comes to mind are the invitations, which can eat up a good chunk of your budget. If you’re pretty creative (or can enlist the help of someone who is) and have access to a computer and some simple software, you can (speaking from personal experience) make your own wedding stationery that looks like to the company. A wide variety of models are available online or you can just use your own imagination. For a more professional effect, you can match your own design with quality card stock or pre-made borders.

Ditch the RSVP cards and stamps for a phone number and email address and, if the invitations don’t mean much to you or your future spouse, you can always email them and spend the money. elsewhere.

Speaking of the invite list, the question of how many people to invite will need to be addressed (and hopefully not dictated by public health boards for much longer). Some couples may feel obligated to invite out of courtesy the first cousins ​​you’ve met twice in your life, or the downstairs neighbor you’ve barely said a word to in ten years. At the end of the day, it’s your special day and your money, so it should be your choice and yours alone.

When it comes to the wedding car, you don’t need to fork out for a premium Rolls-Royce or luxury limousine – any car can be a worthy wedding vehicle with a wash, polish and the addition of a ribbon (you can pick up a roll of white wedding car ribbon for $ 6.49 at favorlane.ie).

And for your wedding cake, you can opt for one or two real layers for your guests to enjoy and use decorated styrofoam for the rest.

Photography – you get what you pay for

It’s tempting to track down that family member or friend who is ‘good with a camera’ on your big day, but duplicating them as a guest and photographer (unless they are invited to. taking pictures, which could open another box of worms) could lead to disappointment when it comes to your record of the occasion. One of the biggest expenses of my own wedding was the photographer, but it was well worth it – the experienced husband and wife team came to our separate homes in the morning and were with us until the start of evening, capturing the big and small moments for what has turned out to be a fantastic wedding album that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

If you’re not sure what to look for when choosing a photographer, One Fab Day has some helpful tips – see onefabday.com/choosing-wedding-photographer-tips/. And don’t forget to ask your friends and family in the days and weeks following the celebrations to share any snaps they might have taken during the day.

It is very easy to get carried away by the thrill of planning a wedding and spending wastefully on things that you will remember for years to come and wonder why you bothered about it. However, with a little careful planning throughout the process, you can ensure that you have a wonderful and memorable day surrounded by family and friends that costs the earth nothing.

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