For some reason, sunny weather around this time of year always makes Your Money think of weddings.
Your Money being the column it is, however, it’s not enough just to live in the moment and enjoy the romance of a glorious day. Oh no, we have to delve into the financial side of it all and look at boring things like costs and budgets.
We’re not mean spirited, merely practical, and in these austerity driven times practical is good. This is particularly true when you consider that the average wedding costs somewhere between £15 and £20,000.
To put that into perspective, £20,000 is a sizeable amount to put into a pension or not a bad start to a deposit on a house. Both of which, dare I say it, will be of much more use to you in the long run than a fancy wedding.
So if you’re in the market for a great day that doesn’t break the bank, Your Money has some ideas.
Most importantly, decide what you’re going to spend and stick to it. Mission creep is all too common in weddings and it’s easy to think that a few extra hundred here or there won't make a difference. Believe me, it will.
And know who is going to pay for what. Whilst the tradition of the bride’s parents paying for everything is long gone, it’s reasonable to ask both sets to chip in. Just make sure the demarcation lines are clear.
How many guests do you really need? Which ones are duty invites and which ones are real?
Your parents' financial help with the wedding is a gift, not a bribe to ensure you invite the right people.
Do you have to get married on a Friday or Saturday, or even in high summer? Weekdays and out of season weddings are cheaper. (And if it is a weekday, youll get to see who really likes you.)
If you’re going on honeymoon straight away, don’t get married in the school holidays, when hotels are infinitely more expensive.
This may seem a bit infra dig for a wedding, but if you can bare it, do a little haggling. There has never been a better time to get a discount.
Get a figure before you mention it’s a wedding. Prices tend to rise mysteriously as soon as the W word is mentioned.
If your friends are going to come and share your special day, it seems only fair they should put something into it as well, so put them to work.
Those who have a talent for dress making, card designing, cake baking can be encouraged to donate their skills in lieu of a present.
C of E wedding costs are set to rise by a massive 40 per cent from January 2013, so that’s something to bear in mind.
If you do go for the full church experience, try and hold it close to a major spiritual holiday. Chances are it will already be full of flowers.
Food can be expensive, so have a buffet rather than a sit down blow out, and save on the cost of a photographer by giving all your guests a disposable camera.
And finally, if your other half is intent on making a big splash, why not divert their attention and suggest you get married abroad?
It’ll be very glamorous and research suggests it could save you thousands. With the pound being quite strong these days, particularly against the euro, marrying abroad makes good financial sense. Plus it will save all those arguments about who to invite.
|NEED TO KNOW|
The cost of a wedding could pay for a house deposit.
Set a budget and stick to it.
Know who is going to pay for what.
Get your talented friends to make things rather than bring gifts.
Marry out of season.
Avoid duty invites.
Have a buffet rather than a sit down meal.
Don't be afraid to haggle.
Give your guests disposable cameras.
Get married abroad.