By Tokie Laotan-Brown
Monday, 09 March 2015.
First thing, call
everyone and announce the news, you must be brimming with excitement. You are
in the clouds.... Do we really want to talk about money, No! But we must, but
not now, enjoy being engaged. Enjoy your moments in the limelight and relish
the romantic spells, wondering how you are going to feel and look on your big
Then, it suddenly dawns, Money! Take your time, start with the basics, what
type of wedding have you dreamt off? How many people have you envisioned will
be at your wedding? Will you be happy with a gathering of 10, 20, 30 people at
a garden villa in Spain or will you consider taking it easy and enjoying the
day with a few family members and friends. If you are going to be saving from
the moment of your engagement or maybe it’s a tight budget. Having a Sunday
Brunch at the beach, Friday or Saturday night simply desserts reception or an
immaculate destination wedding?
Wait a minute! You want a grand Vera Wang wedding gown or Yacht
wedding/honeymoon with 150 to 200 guests in attendance. Before you go on a
whirlwind adventure planning a once in a lifetime route to bankruptcy. Please
Breathe! Yes, Breathe....
Let’s begin again, figure out who can help financially with your wedding plans.
Have a talk with family members about who is paying for what and what they can
offer, it may not be in cash but who knows, a family member may know someone
who works at a car rental and can get a discount. Maybe your favourite aunt can
bake your wonderful wedding cake as a gift. Friends can contribute to your
flowers or music on the day, open your options.
If it is just you and your soon to be wife/husband taking care of expenses,
then it makes sense to still have that talk and work what aspect of the wedding
you are most likely to spend a higher than average amount on. For instance,
some people send more than average on the Photographer, because they want
quality photos and they feel it will last a lifetime. For some it will be on
Now how much do you have in the kitty? Do you need to plan for a longer period
of time to save enough? Are you willing to consider taking out a loan? Will go
to the bank or will look of other alternatives? If you can’t get a loan, will
you reduce the amount you need for the wedding? Are you saving on costs or
splurging? What areas will you consider saving on and what areas will you
splurge on? Where are you willing to accommodate your soon to be husband/wife’s
wants? Too many questions? Depending on how many people are sitting with you to
discuss finances, every member of the “Board Group” will be voicing an opinion
on how their money will be spent.
You may want the wedding venue, others may want all the family
members they have not seen in decades to attend. The average wedding these days
can go between 15,000 to 25,000 Euros depending on the individuals. Some
weddings have been organized for much less and have turned out to be simply
divine. Some have had the makings of a huge budget and significant high stress
levels but the fact still remains that 2 people have found love. It may or may
not be witnessed by family and friends but vows will be exchanged and
It is always advisable to budget on how to manage your wedding costs, it's very
important that you pick the essential things which neither of you want to
compromise on so that you can identify other areas where you're willing to save
money. It can be on any of the expenses areas of the wedding budget, like how
many people will be attending, venue, flowers, accessories etc. You will need
to assign budget percentages using a scale of priorities, so budget wisely.
Wherever you can create, like with the cake or invitations, do so or simply ask
for help from friends and family. Meanwhile enjoy the ride and reduce as much
costs where feasible, but most importantly enjoy the romantic spells associated
Tokie Laotan-Brown is the author of the
book “10 Steps to Managing your household budget” which provides readers with
useful financial management tools to assess how their household expenditure is