Planning a wedding is loads of fun, until it's time to actually sit down and talk about the B word...
Budgeting can be stressful and overwhelming, but with the right advice and tips, it doesn't have to be. We've asked Sue Torr, MD of Crue Invest (Pty) Ltd, for her professional advice on how to fund the wedding of your dreams.
So lovely brides, sit back and take in all Sue's invaluable advice. Before you know it, you'll be turning your dream wedding into a reality!
Together with your partner, plan your dream wedding in detail – taking care to address all cost areas, including the dress, venue, catering, bar, bridal retinue, photography, transport, music and honeymoon.
The easiest way to do this is to carefully tabulate each dream component. Once you have made this list, the next step is to prioritise each dream component into (a) not negotiable, (b) somewhat negotiable and (c) nice-to-have. For example, you may have your heart set on a particular venue which is not negotiable. On the other hand, you may be open to negotiating the guest list down to fewer invited guests; and you may consider a videographer a nice-to-have.
Once you have designed your dream, the next step is to put a price-tag to each dream component. Added together, you will end up with the total cost of your dream wedding. Be sure to cover all possible expenses, including the less obvious ones such as accommodation for the photographer (if the wedding is out of town), gifts for the bridesmaids, vehicle hire, shoes and accessories, and wedding planner fees.
The third step is to determine your various sources of financing and funding. How much money do you and your partner already have saved? How much more are you able to save between now and the wedding? Will either set of parents be contributing toward the wedding costs and, if so, how much? Do you have funds available in your access bond?
If you intend saving money between now and the wedding, be sure to invest in a flexible vehicle such as a money market account. This will ensure that you are able to easily access your savings as and when deposits and down-payments are due. Taking all your sources of funds and savings potential into account, you will be able to fairly accurately calculate how much money you will be able to allocate for the wedding.
If there is a shortfall between the cost of your dream wedding and your available funds, the final step is to put plans in place to achieve the dream. Essentially, you will be faced with three options:
Option 1: Take out a loan to cover the shortfall
Going into debt to finance a wedding is never a good idea and should be avoided. Personal loans are considered high risk and therefore attract high interest rates, meaning that this debt is very expensive. Starting out a new relationship while heavy indebted is enormously stressful and not an ideal way to start your new life together. Bearing in mind that money is the number one reason that couples argue, we advise considering Option 2 & 3 as alternatives.
Option 2: Postpone the wedding to allow you more time to save
This is a wise option but is only practically possible if the invites have not yet been sent out. Delaying the wedding by a few months will give you and your partner some breathing room, and will allow you extra time to save.
Option 3: Revisit your negotiable and nice-to-have dream components
If you and your partner are willing to make compromises, the revisiting those negotiable and nice-to-have items on your list will help to reduce the overall cost of your wedding. Introducing a cash bar for spirits, doing away with a wedding cake and wedding favours, reducing the flower budget and limiting the guest list can all help to reduce the cost of the wedding whilst still ensuring that your special day is beautiful.
When it comes to money, don’t let the cost of one wedding day create a burden for the rest of your married life. Know your timeline, communicate your dreams to each other, be realistic and design a dream wedding that is uniquely yours.
Financing the wedding of your dreams may seem an impossible task at first, but if you and your partner break the process down into these four simple steps, you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. In order to ensure this process works, it is essential to know your timeline, be realistic and be willing to compromise.
Happy Planning, lovelies!