Budgeting for your wedding can be one of the trickiest parts of wedding planning — how much will you need, and who pays for what? We spoke to financial expert Kris Bondin, from billstopay.com.au, to get his advice on how you should navigate the tricky topic of the budget when it comes to your wedding...
How can we tactfully find out how much people will contribute to the wedding?
This will depend on how many people will be attending the wedding and the cost per head for each person. If there were 100 people at a cost of $150 per head you’re going to need around $15,000.
The background and culture of the hosts are major factors that can cause the amount of money you’ll receive towards your wedding to fluctuate.
Do we have to use the money people contribute for what they want, rather than what we want?
No, it should be the couple’s choice when it comes to deciding what they want to buy with the money given to them. But if somebody wants to add their thoughts on what you should buy, respectfully listen to what they have to say and take a mental note of it.
Who should pay most towards my wedding?
Generally, the cost of the wedding should be split between both parties. Often couples agree on different financial arrangements, which will create a balance in cost. For example if a majority of the wedding costs are by the male (who for example has most number of guests) then it may be the female’s obligation to buy appliances for their house.
My parents won’t contribute at all. What can I do?
This may cause some stress in the relationship but if you work together it can be dealt with by some determination and hard work. You will need to minimize expenses for the wedding and in everyday life. Companies such as Bills to Pay can offer budgeting help for difficult situations. It is an important day of your life but remind yourself that it is one day and you have the rest of your life with your partner so make the memory special, considering and keep in the back of your mind how long it will take to pay off the special day.
My family keeps asking about the wedding plans and then make critical comments about the cost. How can I handle it?
Although it is your special day, you may have a lot of pressure and many other things to think about. Be mindful that it is a changing point for their life too and be mindful of their opinions. If your parents are making too many critical comments, treat them as a shareholder and ask them to pay for things that you consider being too costly.
We want to pay for everything to avoid parental meddling. How can we tell them without causing a fight?
Tell your parents that as a new couple looking forward to the future you will need to be responsible for yourselves and want to start your responsibility by paying for your own wedding. Let your parents know that if you have any difficulty that you will openly ask for their opinion and help.
Who should pay for my bridesmaid’s dresses?
Historically, the bride pays for the dresses, but it all comes down to pulling budgeted funds together. To save money some brides will get the bridesmaids to pay for their own dress, giving them some freedom of choice with what they will wear, usually restricting them to a specific colour of course.
We want money instead of gifts. How do we avoid offending?
The best way to do this is by being open and transparent about your plans. You can start by spreading the word through your close family and let it reach other members invited to the wedding.
Is a cash bar acceptable nowadays as a way to save money?
A cash bar is acceptable, however, having one or two bottles of beer or wine on a table will keep the costs down. This will also help lift the mood of guests further in the night, potentially increasing the amount of money they give to the hosts!
If you need help budgeting for your wedding, try out the budget planner tool on hitched.com.au? It provides a full breakdown of all your wedding costs and allows you to compare your planned spend against your total spend, so you can see how much you’re (potentially) saving!