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You best wedding budget guide for 2024 and 2025

Beautiful forest wedding in West Sussex

1.    The Venue 20% of your budget​

The Venue will always end up being one if not the largest investment in your day. You will probably spend the majority, if not all day at the venue, you want to know it’s a place where all your family and friends will feel welcomed, looked after and most importantly will have fun. Not all venues are made the same, and as Wedding Photographers Bella and I have spent a few occasions with venue managers that feel like that schoolteacher that hates children. As a good rule if you don't get a good Vibe from any Vendor, walk away, no matter how perfect it seems on paper.

2.   Catering 15%

Now in this department we are biased because we are foodies, but we always advice that a good portion of the budget is spent on the food. This will vary, some venues will tie you into their own catering services, some of these are great, some are very underwhelming. For our top list of beautiful venues that allow external Catering to see here for more.

3.   Wedding Rings 10%

​With some luck it’s going to be attached to your skin for the rest of your life. Obviously, Budget is going to determine how much you can afford to spend on this, however some key things to remember to make sure you get the best value no matter your budget. 

Diamonds aren't your only option for sparkle. As a dad of a rockhound daughter we spend a lot of our family holidays digging in the dirt for crystals. There is something equally amazing about finding a quartz crystal point and they are incredibly beautiful. Don't write of using other beautiful gems like Amethyst, Emeralds, Garnets, all of which can be sourced from within the UK, you could even turn into a rockhound yourself and pop up to Scotland to mine your own if you had the time. 

4.   Photography 10%

Ok, so yes, we are a wedding photography business, of course we would value ourselves highly when planning a wedding right? I have no doubt we are a bit biased, but the fact speaks for the selves. The day is the most important part of the memory, but it’s only a memory without photos, and I don't know about you, and maybe it’s because we are getting old, but without photos I wouldn't remember a lot of the details of my Childs 1st birthday. Photos should be cherished and valued highly; I would value them higher than 9% of the budget but we are trying to be fair to the rest of the budget. A good Wedding Photographer will capture the day in all its beauty, eternalising those moments that on your busy day may go unnoticed. We have a whole guid on how to pick your wedding photographer which you can read here. But The Key takeaways and order of importance are the following >>> Do you like their style, do you like them, do they fit within your budget.

5.   The Band 5%

There is something really special about live music, it’s like good food, it can transform the feel of a place with some good musicians, go from people sitting around listening to a bad playlist to everyone on their feet dancing the night away.

6. Drink 5%

Whether its Mimosas or freshly made smoothies, you're going to want some refreshments for your guests. 

7.   Flowers 5%

Flowers can transform the feel of a venue, for some couples they don't like the idea of all the waste with natural flowers, see here for some amazing ideas on alternatives which can be kept and reused.

8.   The Dress and the Suits 8%

To be clear we don't think you have to spend a fortune on a wedding dress to look a million dollars, so many of our brides get their wedding dresses from second hand/charity shops. They will probably still need to be tailored to your shape and size, but there's a chunk of money to be saved for no downside, plus it’s a little better for the environment as well.

9.  Lighting and Decor 8%

The Little things can make all the difference, unique lighting, small handmade decorations, it all adds the ambiance of your wedding day, for a list of our favourite handmade decorations and lighting options click here.

10. The DJ 2%

A good DJ is great to take the pressure of keeping people entertained, but it’s actually very easy now to create your perfect play list for the evenings fun on apps like Spotify which you can get a year’s subscription to for less than the price of a DJ, although don't forget to include the hire of sound equipment, your Bose mini probably won't cut it in any reasonable sized venue.

11.  Guest Entertainment 2%

If the budget stretches and you don't need to spend more in other areas, think about some fun activities for your guests, this might include party games, face painting, there's all sorts of ideas to get everyone in the mood for a real shin dig, click here for more detail on what's available to you on your wedding day.

12.  Hair and or Makeup 2%

More and more of our Brides and Grooms seem to be opting for friends to do their makeup, but we feel investing money into a professional is a great idea, mainly it takes the pressure of your friend or family member on the day, they can just enjoy the ride with you.

13. The Cake 2%

Mum/Dad/Auntie Val May well be able to take some of the financial burden here, but like with hair and makeup, if you hire a professional, not only are you taking the pressure off, but you pass the liability over to someone else as well.

14.  The Transport on the day. 2 %

There is a chance you may have someone in your family or friendship group who owns a beautiful car/camper, but if not, you will need to consider how you are getting to and from the ceremony to the venue, and if it’s all in one location you may still want to consider having something a bit special for the day. 

15.  Wedding Favours 2%

I don't think anyone really expects favours, almost everyone is just they’re on your wedding day to celebrate and party. For some couples though it’s a nice gesture to show gratitude to the people that have helped make the day possible.

16.   Officiant 1%

If you are getting married in with a legal ceremony you will need a registered Officiant, spend some time researching and chatting to options, they are quite front and centre when it comes to it, and there are good and bad ones out there.

17.  Additional shiny bits 1%

Apart from the Rings, you may wish to allocate some budget to things like earrings, Cufflinks, Necklaces etc. 

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