What To Do When Your Budget Spirals Out of Control

For today’s Wedding Wednesday post, I thought I’d discuss budget a little. I am planning on doing a video on wedding budgeting but for today, I wanted to talk about what to do if your budget spirals out of control. I feel like managing a budget is at the front of every bride’s mind – whether their budget is Β£10,000 or Β£100,000!

I have definitely had my moments when I’ve received ridiculous quotes from vendors that weren’t even close to what I had in mind. However, it’s also true that a lot of my more reasonable vendors came back with quotes higher than I had expected – and even if they were relatively small amounts, a little here and a little there really adds up.

So I thought I would share my tips on what to do if you suddenly find yourself with alarmingly escalating costs:

  • Breathe. It may seem like the be all and end all now, but in a couple of weeks, you may not care so much about those extra flower arrangements or hotel upgrades.
  • Remember the reason why you’re doing this. I’m not a fan of people saying it’s ‘just one day’ – I totally get it, it is just one day but it’s also an important day and one that I’ve definitely been thinking about for a long time. That said, I think it does help to remember why you’re in this and that on the day, you’ll be so elated to be marrying your soon-to-be-husband that all those tiny details? Well, they’ll just be details – that no one but you will notice.
  • Get creative with your budget. DIY what you can, call in favours, negotiate and generally do whatever you can to get those numbers down. Bridal hustle is 100% a thing!
  • Concentrate less on the minute details and more on the overall feel. This is probably the most helpful tip I’ve learnt. If you’re less fussy on the particulars, it can save you a fortune. Take for example flowers – all florists have to bid for flowers so if you absolutely need 100 pink peonies… well, it’s going to cost because they’re going to need to nail down that order before they can wait for the price to drop. If you’re less fussy on what exact flowers or shade you have but rather go for an overall ‘feel’ (i.e. soft, romantic blooms in bright colours), then your florist will have a lot more wiggle room and you’ll have a lot more cash in your pocket. This can be applied to table settings, furniture rentals, marquees and so many other general decor items and could be potentially save you a small fortune.
  • Impactful doesn’t have to equal expensive. I think a lot of people love the idea of a wedding that is unique and individual to them (I know we definitely do!) but this doesn’t necessarily have to come at a cost. I heard about a wedding recently that our friends attended where the bride and groom had a few different courses for dinner and sat at a different table for each course to spend enough time with their guests. Another included photographs of the couple with the guest in question for the escort cards. There are so many ways to make a wedding meaningful and special – and they definitely don’t have to cost a fortune.
  • Prioritise your vendors. If your budget is out of control in a major way and cutting corners here and there won’t help then you may need to look seriously at where you’re spending and whether this is an area in which you can save. This may not be for everyone but certainly for us, we’d rather pick the things which are the most important to us and save on the things we don’t care about as much. I suggest limiting yourself to three items each to splurge on (for me, it was photography, food and flowers!) and then being firm with every other category or vendor that doesn’t make this list.

I hope this was helpful! Let me know how you’re managing your budget woes if you’re also planning your wedding – or – for any of my lovely married readers, please share what you thought was worth it to save vs. splurge on, I would LOVE to hear!

Photo credit: The Grovers

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  1. 9.21.17
    Lisa said:

    As someone who used to work in the wedding industry, I heard many brides say they regretted not hiring a videographer. I say splurge on that! One area to save is favors- no one cares about them, and if they’re personalized with your names and the date, guests especially won’t want them.

    Another area to save? The bridesmaids shoes. Don’t make them all buy matching shoes. No one will notice, no one will care, especially if their dresses are long. Also, let them do their own makeup.

    Also, not related to budgets, but try to avoid speeches that last 10 mins +

    It sounds like you’ve got the right idea- food is definitely an important area worth splurging on!

    • 9.21.17
      amie1 said:

      Great advice! Dan was surprisingly 50/50 about a videographer but I’ve heard so many times that the day goes by so quickly that I want it documented every way I can haha!

      • 9.22.17
        G said:

        I was against getting a videographer because “who ever watches their wedding video?!” My husband said he wanted one because his brother’s wedding video was the only thing he still had to hear his mom’s voice. OMG! I’m so glad we got a videographer, we watched the highlights all the time.

  2. 9.21.17
    Illy said:

    What are you doing about dress and alteration costs? I’m having a hard time deciding if I want to splurge on a wedding dress. Ive splurged on other things aspects of the wedding (photography, all-inclusive venue), but I am debating whether the dress is worth the splurge ($2.5k+). I feel like I can find something I like at a cheaper price since I am looking for an a-line with a sweet heart neckline, but I am worried about having dress regret if I don’t splurge and try on more expensive dress.

    • 9.21.17
      amie1 said:

      Hi Illy! I haven’t bought my dress yet but I would say regardless of budget, don’t pick a dress that you’re not 100% in love with. There are SO many out there that you will be able to find one that makes your heart sing and I think you can do this within a budget that you’re comfortable with. I’ve tried on dresses that were $1000 and dresses that we’re close to $20,000 (they didn’t tell me this before trying on btw – I was not considering spending that much!!) and I genuinely believe you can find beautiful dresses at every budget. Some of the cheaper options looked way more expensive and some of the really pricey ones didn’t look that expensive to me. At the end of the day, spend what you’re comfortable with and don’t feel like you need to buy an expensive dress for it to be beautiful – I really don’t think this is the case!

  3. 9.21.17
    Tracy said:

    I remember you said Dan doesn’t want “faffy food” at your wedding while on the other hand food is one of your budget splurges..? What does a splurge-worthy non-faffy wedding menu look like?

    • 9.21.17
      amie1 said:

      Hi Tracy! I can’t share our wedding menu but I was referring to catering all weekend anyway :). I said early on that if we wanted our guests to travel, I wanted to be able to host them properly and for us that meant covering a welcome dinner, the wedding day food and a goodbye meal on the Sunday too. Paying for food for that many people over three days bumps up the cost considerably which is why it made my list!

  4. 9.21.17
    Lisa Autumn said:

    YES I absolutely loved this post Amie! I think it is so important to remember why you are even doing this.. great thoughts girl!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

    • 9.21.17
      amie1 said:

      Thank you Lisa! You are so sweet πŸ™‚ xx

  5. 9.21.17
    Sam Dibble said:

    I’m currently planning my wedding for next May and budget is absolutely on my mind. I’m quite lucky that I am quite creative so I’m making my own invitations, favours, crystal bouquet, table plan and whatever else I need to! We also got an amazing wedding package at our dream venue which includes a lot of the little touches like table decorations, chair covers and sashes so that’s helped our budget a lot.

    I love your wedding posts and Pinterest boards!
    Sam xx