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Picking Priorities For Your Wedding (How to make your wedding budget work harder for you)

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

Bride and groom hold hands and walk down the aisle. Bride wears a short fringed dress and throws her bouquet in the air. Groom wears a black tuxedo and bowtie.
Image by Laura May Photography

I feel like I talk about the importance of being super clear on your wedding priorities a lot, but that's only because it is so crucial to having a better wedding planning experience. Wedding planning can feel pretty overwhelming and a lot of couples find the whole process incredibly stressful. Given that it takes between 250-350 hours to plan a wedding it's hardly a surprise that couples are feeling the pressure. If you want to make sure you are using your time and budget wisely then deciding early on what your wedding priorities are is the best thing you can do. It will save you time and money throughout the planning process and will ensure that every single penny you spend is spent on things that you actually care about.

Why you should decide what your wedding priorities are

You can have a wedding on any budget but you can't have any wedding on any budget. Knowing what your priorities are will give you clarity on where to focus your budget, help you identify areas you can cut back on (especially useful when you start going down a social media wedding rabbit hole), and make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

Even with a generous budget, most couples can't afford to splurge on every aspect of their wedding, so knowing what to prioritise will make sure you get the most bang for your buck. The last thing you want is to realise you've overspent on areas that aren't overly important to you and then be forced to cut costs on things you really love.

If you are struggling to decide how to allocate your wedding budget, or are worrying that you won't be able to have all the elements you want at your wedding, then keep reading!

How to pick your wedding priorities

So you know that you need to decide on your wedding priorities, but how do you actually do it? Here's a really simple method to help you decide:

  1. Sit down with your partner and write a list of ALL the wedding categories you can think of. Make your list as detailed as possible. For example: Venue, ceremony, florals, music, food, attire, shoes, photographer, videographer, wedding planner, stationery....

  2. Go through your list and rank each category from 1-10 based on how important it is to you.

  3. Use the values you have assigned to pick 3-5 priorities. When allocating your budget you will want to look at these areas first.

  4. The lowest ranked items on your list are areas that you can look to cut back on. If stationery really isn't that important to you then consider either downloading a template from Etsy or going completely paperless. Both will cost a fraction of the getting a bespoke wedding stationery suite made. Or if you know that inviting lots of guests is a top priority, then consider going for more informal catering rather than a sit down plated meal. You'll save £££ per head which will allow you to invite everyone you want.

Whatever your wedding budget, you will likely need to prioritize, but the tighter your budget the more you will need to control costs in areas that aren't a priority. Choosing to focus your wedding budget on the things that really matter to you will mean you get more bang for your buck. As a wedding planner, I always recommend that couples focus their wedding budget on two or three areas rather than trying to spend equally on everything. No one will notice if you don't have wedding favours or send paper invites, so it's better to cut these items out completely if they aren't a priority for you and you'd rather put the money towards something that is a priority.

Top Tip: Spend lavishly on the things that matter most to you, and cut ruthlessly on the things that don't.

If you really love flowers and know that you want a statement floral piece then prioritise that in your budget. This might mean you need to cut back in other areas (for example, reduce your guest count, choose an off peak wedding date to save on venue hire fees, or diy certain other aspects of your wedding), but that doesn't mean it's not possible, even if you are on a tighter budget. A lot of wedding budget breakdowns will say things like 'spend 5% of your budget on florals', 'spend 1% of your budget on a cake' etc, but in my opinion that's going about the whole process the wrong way! Start with what matters to you and go from there. It's your wedding day, so do it your way. There are so many ways you can get creative with your budget to make sure you are able to prioritise the things that are important to YOU.

If you would like some help setting priorities for your wedding, or aren't sure how to allocate your budget in the best way, then why not book a Power Hour call with me. We can discuss your plans and figure out what to prioritise and how to best use your wedding budget!


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