You are engaged! You know you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with but now what? Well, whether you are planning a short engagement, or a really long one, how do you decide what your wedding budget should be? It really is something you should probably talk about sooner rather than later.
There’s an amazing article by the author Stefanie O’Connell about why she returned her engagement ring (but accepted the proposal) and if you read through the reasons – there is so much more to it than worrying about having an expensive bit of jewellery on her hand – they really apply to everything, but especially a wedding. If your goals are to have the biggest and most extravagant wedding ever, then blow your budget, but if not, if there are other priorities, then maybe you need to rethink. Stefanie and her partner decided to spend the money on a dream honeymoon instead, but only after discussing their priorities for their marriage and their lives together.
There’s a great episode of the sit-com friends where this exact discussion comes up. Monica’s parents have spent the money they put aside for her wedding as they assumed she would never get married. Monica has been dreaming of a big and glamourous wedding since she was a child and when she finds out that her fiancee Chandler has some savings she thinks she can just spend the lot on the wedding. He “puts his foot down” and says no. They then go on to talk about their priorities, and of those of you who have never seen it I won’t tell you what happens but the video is available on Youtube and is embedded below.
In short, there is no hard and fast amount that you should spend. At the end of the day it is between you and your partner (and anyone else who is contributing if that is the situation). Just because I or the family down the road wouldn’t spend that amount doesn’t make it right or wrong. Whether it is something you want to prioritise over something else is only something you can decide. I would suggest that perhaps it isn’t something to get into debt over, but equally, if you have a repayment plan in place then again – you’ve got to do what’s right for you.
My top tip for your wedding – whatever the budget – get over on to Pinterest! There are some amazing ideas on there, and loads are for people on a tight budget – and even if you aren’t you can save money on things which you can then put towards something else. Check out my Weddings on a Budget board to get you started.