funding a wedding

Funding Your Dream Wedding

Funding Your Dream Wedding: Your Essential Planning Checklist

If you’re newly engaged, the planning stage has officially begun – and how exciting it can be! But amidst all the excitement comes the big question; ‘where do I even start?’. From wedding dresses, flowers, wedding stationery and cake to venue hire, decorations and entertainment, you have a lot to think about.

But your dream wedding doesn’t just have to be a dream – with some careful financial budgeting, you’ll be able to achieve it. Today, with the help of the budgeting experts, Jolly Good Loans, we’re creating a checklist which will include many of the things you need to plan for, as well as offering up some hints and tips to help keep you within budget along the way.


Image: Pexels
Image: Pexels

The venue

Hiring a venue should be your natural starting point, as it serves as the fundamental building block for the rest of your wedding. Whether you want a luxury feel or a more rustic, country theme, your venue will determine it all.

The venue is also one of the most expensive parts of your wedding, so facing the costs up front is our top tip here – this allows you to gain a better understanding of your budget for the rest of the wedding. If you know that you’re going to have to go a little over budget to secure your dream venue, be sure to readjust your spending further down the line – perhaps look to cut back on expenses for flowers or table decor.

If budget allows, you can always send a Save the Date card before your venue is set, to ensure that all your friends and family hold your date. You don’t need to mention a venue, unless of course, you’re marrying abroad! Then it’s pretty vital!

Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

The wedding invitations

Once you have booked your wedding venue, you’ll need to think about your wedding stationery. This might include a save the date card but will definitely include wedding invitations. It’s best to create your invitations while you still have a good understanding of your budget and before you allow yourself to overspend in other areas.

GB Blue Save the Date card
GB Blue Save the Date card
Isobel Wedding Invitations
Isobel Wedding Invitations

First impressions mean absolutely everything when it comes to your wedding, and your invitations are going to set the scene for the big day. With this in mind, be sure not to sacrifice quality for price. The texture of the card, the colours and fonts used to create your invitation will let your guests know what to expect on the big day, so don’t underestimate their importance!  

On the Day stationery must also be considered – you might require an Order of Service or Order of the Day, to ensure your guests know what is happening and when. If you are keen on extending the theme of your invitation to your menus, placements and table plans, there are usually ways of doing this using digital printing if you want to keep costs to a minimum. It’s also quicker and allows for the inevitable last-minute changes to the table plan and, of course, the printing!

Photo: Amanda Karen Photography
Photo: Amanda Karen Photography

The wedding dress  

The wedding dress is arguably one of the most important parts of the wedding – well, at least to the bride! It may take time, but everyone will find a must-have wedding dress that fits like a glove (eventually!), and it doesn’t have to cost you your entire budget.

Our top tip is to avoid shops and dresses you know are out of your budget – as this will only lead to disappointment if you find ‘the one’ but can’t afford the asking price! Find a variety of shops that are within your budget and stick to trying dresses on in these places.

Remember that not only do you need to buy a wedding dress, but also bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen outfits. It might be that if you can find all your wedding attire in one place, they’ll discount the cost for you. Start with the outfits for you and your partner and then shop around for other members of the bridal party. You won’t need to look too far to find pocket-friendly dresses, suits and shoes on the high street. There is always the option to hire dress suits for the groomsmen too.

The flowers and room decor

When it comes to wedding flowers, these can cost as little or as much as you’re willing to spend – and sticking to a budget doesn’t have to mean compromising on the finished product. If possible, go for something seasonal. This will help to keep costs low without sacrificing any of the impact.

While flowers have the power to transform your venue, so too do your decorative decisions. If possible, try and get an all-inclusive package with your venue where they’ll decorate it for you – the likelihood is that the decorations they use will be the ones that best complement the venue.

If this isn’t an affordable option, look at how you could decorate the space with a DIY approach – you’ll be surprised what you can achieve with a little creativity. And don’t forget to ask your friends to help you!

Photo: Unsplash
Photo by Rob Sarmiento on Unsplash


The photographer

Choosing the right photographer is vital, as you’ll have these pictures forever, and so will those who are nearest and dearest to you. Prices will depend on the type of service you want and how long you want the photographer to be there for, so think about which parts of your wedding are the most important to have photographed. It might be that you opt to have a professional photographer during the day and have a friend who’s handy with a camera taking the evening photos – if you’re lucky, your friend will only charge you a drink or two!

Another alternative is to supply disposable cameras around the venue for your guests to take their own photos throughout the day and evening – this way, you’ll have authentic looking photos to remember your wedding day by while making a considerable saving in comparison to hiring a professional.

The wedding cake

The wedding cake is definitely the yummiest part of your day! You have so many decisions to make when it comes to your cake, from the colour and icing to the flavour of the sponge and how many tiers you’re going to have. Bearing all of that in mind, you can understand how cakes get rather expensive.

If you have a self-proclaimed Mary Berry amongst your family and friends,  we would 100% recommend approaching them to see if they’ll make the cake for you. They’re likely to do it out of the kindness of their heart – or at least you could offer to cover their costs – which leaves room in the budget for other special things. 

There are so many choices now too – from a real cheese wedding ‘cake’ to tiers of cupcakes. It’s just going to be hard to decide which you want more!

Photo: Thomas William on Unsplash
Photo: Thomas William on Unsplash

The entertainment

With wedding entertainment, you need to think about what suits your personality and the day you’ve got planned – something that will be enjoyed by all of your guests and provide a day and evening to be remembered for all the right reasons. You might prefer a laid back acoustic act during a meal, or a live band in the evening. Alternatively, a magician is a fun way to keep the kids (and adults!) entertained for a couple of hours.

If you’re working to a tight entertainment budget in order to have a nicer venue or the dream dress, then we would suggest getting your guests involved. Ask all of your guests to provide you with 3 of their favourite songs and put a playlist together to keep the dance floor alive into the night without needing to shell out for a DJ.

There you have an essential planning checklist for your wedding, including some handy budgeting and money saving tips along the way. We hope you have a great time planning your wedding and have the wedding of your dreams!

Author bio:

Keith Harrison is a content creator and writer for Jolly Good Loans – your online personal loans encyclopaedia.



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