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How to Plan a Wedding Budget in 6 Steps

By Swingers

Trying to plan your wedding budget but not sure where to start? Here’s how to budget for your perfect wedding in six simple steps.

How to Plan a Wedding Budget in 6 Steps

Planning a wedding is no mean feat, and sticking to a precise budget for the big day is perhaps the hardest part. The fact that not all wedding budgets are created equal makes it even tougher to plan your own! However, if you remember it’s all about adhering to your own financial and emotional needs, you’re already on the right track.

We firmly believe that sorting your wedding budget from the get-go makes for a much smoother experience – dare we say, even an enjoyable one. To help make the wedding planning process as painless as possible, we’ve put together a step-by-step budgeting checklist. Here’s how to plan a wedding budget in six simple steps!

1. Confirm who else will be contributing

woman holding money

First things first, you’ve got to determine who exactly is contributing to your wedding fund. We highly recommend figuring this out sooner rather than later! If you put it off too long, you could end up having some really awkward conversations – or, on the flip side, compromising on your dream wedding because you didn’t factor in a surprisingly generous contribution!

In the days of yore, the bride’s family would cover the majority of wedding expenses. This isn’t really the case anymore (not least because some weddings involve two brides, and others involve zero!), but you still might find that some family members want to contribute. It’s helpful to know this as soon as possible – so try to ask family members early, without being too overzealous. If certain people have expressed interest in contributing to your wedding, that’s a great place to start!

2. Calculate what you can afford to spend

man writes in notebook

Once you know how much money will be coming in from other sources, it’s time to get out the calculator. Your total wedding budget will include money set aside by you and your partner, as well as any contributions from friends and family members.

If you’re thinking your budget looks a little small, catch up with your partner and discuss ways that you can save more for the budget. These can be little changes that add up over time – think forgoing that weekly takeaway until after your wedding, or limiting the number of coffee shop drinks you purchase. You can also talk about how to stretch your budget further by shopping for deals, borrowing or renting certain items and potentially limiting your guest list.

Discussing budget strategy isn’t nearly as fun as cake tasting or planning your hen do, but it’s just as important in the grand scheme of things, if not more so! Having a clear number in terms of what you can spend will make sticking to a budget far easier, so make sure you don’t skip out on this part.

3. Factor in hidden costs and potential contingencies

piggy bank

As with any big event, weddings can easily go awry in an alarmingly expensive way. Experts recommend that engaged couples set aside 12.5% of their budget for contingencies. This will help cover any unexpected costs that may crop up, like insurance and guests you’ve forgotten to invite (whoops!). For couples having a particularly large, elaborate or last-minute wedding, you may want to set aside even more.

Also, as you’re putting together your budget, don’t forget to incorporate hidden costs from the beginning! These aren’t so much emergency costs, but rather the costs that people tend to overlook while planning – things like travel fees, clothing alterations, and band equipment. Pull together a list of potential hidden costs (a little Google research will help!) and add them to a spreadsheet so you can keep track.

And of course, if you don’t end up having contingencies or unexpected costs, all the better – you’ll end up with a healthy surplus to spend on last-minute extras that will make your wedding truly unique!

4. Choose a suitable wedding venue

swingers crazy golf wedding

Where you get married takes up a pretty big chunk of your wedding budget – typically about half the total. This is for good reason: just about every other part of your wedding hinges on the venue, from accessibility to atmosphere. It’s not something to rush, so choose wisely – keep a clear head if you look at expensive venues, and remember the half-your-budget rule!

As an alternative wedding venue, Swingers hits all the marks: affordable, fun, stylish and complete with everything you need. We’ll provide the food, booze, music and crazy golf – you just bring your partner and guests for an absolutely unforgettable wedding! There’s nothing like teeing off with a fruity margarita in hand to break the ice; in other words, Swingers is the perfect venue for wedding guests who may be meeting for the first time.

We have a selection of different wedding packages to get you started, which should make budgeting (and planning in general) a lot easier to manage. If you want to go all-out, you can even hire out the venue for complete rein over decorations, menus and more!

5. Work out price per head

couple budgeting

Now that you’ve got a venue in mind, it’s time to work out the price per head. It’s not the most glamorous task, but breaking down your budget this way is key to realistic wedding planning! Start by creating a guest list to figure out how many people you’re expecting – you might want to divide the list by ‘must-invite,’ ‘maybe invite,’ and ‘invite only if extra space’ to get a sense of your minimum and maximum numbers.

Now calculate the price per head. To do this, simply divide your venue budget (plus catering and similar guest services, if these are separate costs) by your number of guests – again, feel free to divide by different numbers to get a ‘minimum’ vs a ‘maximum’ cost per head. If it feels too high (or too low), you may need to recalibrate; if it’s just right, then well done, you may proceed!

Speaking of just-right budgets, here’s what you can expect at Swingers: the Perfect Set (20+ people at £85/person) or the Forever Set (50+ people at £135/person). Both wedding packages include a glass of fizz on arrival for guests, nibbles to enjoy and a round of crazy golf. We’ll even provide a DJ as part of each wedding package to ensure post-nuptial boogying! And of course, with Swingers, you don’t need to worry about additional budgeting for catering, drinks or music – we’ll take care of everything for you. 

6. Track your spending

woman on laptop

Finally, to ensure the budget doesn’t get out of control, make sure to track your spending. The easiest way to do this is to set up a Google sheet. Remember to include everything in here – even the smallest costs. Things to track (which we haven’t already mentioned) include hair and makeup, favours, ceremony fees, insurance and wedding cake. If it’s in the wedding, it goes in the sheet.

With your final budget and tracker in hand – and digitally shared with anyone else who might need it – you’re ready to go full steam ahead on your wedding! If you’ve followed these tips, you’re all set to have a beautiful and reasonably priced celebration. And if you’re still stuck on the venue question, be sure to check out those Swingers wedding packages. For a fabulously memorable wedding in a unique setting without the stress of separate budgeting for catering and music, you simply can’t do better than Swingers.

Swingers ~ The crazy golf club

We believe that life is more fun when there is an element of competition, and that competition is best enjoyed with friends.

Swingers, the crazy golf club takes the holy trinity that is crazy golf, street food and amazing cocktails and combines them all into one incredible social experience