How to manage financial anxiety when planning a wedding
Anita Naik, Savings Expert at VoucherCodes.co.uk, provides her top tips on how to manage financial anxiety when planning a wedding:
"Understanding and managing your finances is never an easy task at the best of the times, however, throwing in a big goal, such as saving for a wedding, can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
"Wedding planning should be fun, not daunting, therefore this Stress Awareness Month, I've pulled together my top tips to help reduce financial anxiety and make the process as enjoyable as possible.
"First things first, understand how much money you can spend - talking about finances can be tricky, but it's important that you and your partner really communicate how much money you'll have available to spend on the wedding. Start by looking at how much money you already have saved, and how much of this you would be happy to spend. From here, you can add on how much you think you can save between now and the wedding – be realistic with this number as you don't want to be living off beans on toast for the next two years.
"If you suspect that either or both of your families would like to contribute money to the wedding, make sure you have this conversation as early as possible. This will ensure you begin your planning with a clear idea of the budget you have available, reducing any unnecessary stress later down the line.
"Next, prioritise what is most important to you – sit down with your partner and discuss what elements of your wedding are non-negotiables. Creating a list of your absolute must-haves, such as a videographer or open bar, will help you to easily divide up your budget based on the things that are most important to you.
"Doing this early will eliminate the chances of you both realising further on into your planning journey how much you want something and there not being enough money left in the budget, causing needless disappointment and stress.
"Break your budget down – working with one large number can be stressful, so breaking your budget into bitesize chunks based on the different categories you expect to spend on, such as venue, food, dress, photographer etc, will help you feel much more at ease.
"As you'll be paying for deposits as you go, it can be difficult to keep a firm grasp on your savings vs money out. Therefore, creating a budget spreadsheet, which both you and your partner can access, will help you to keep track of how much you are spending.
"Prepare for unexpected costs – regardless of how much planning you do, organising a wedding will always come with unexpected costs. Keep at least 5% of your total wedding fund aside to cover anything miscellaneous that pops up. Having money set aside for the unknown will help you feel more in control of your spending.
"Set up a standing order – an easy task to help reduce unwanted stress is to automatically transfer your wedding savings into a dedicated pot on payday. This will remove any temptation to spend it while it's sat in your current account and will help you reach your savings goals much faster.
"Make the most of discounts – there is no denying that weddings are an expensive undertaking, however, spending a little time researching can help you reduce the cost. "Plenty of brands offer discount codes throughout the year that you can take advantage of. For example, many high-street jewellers, such as Beaverbrooks and Ernest Jones, offer regular discounts which could help you save on your wedding rings and the same goes for retailers, such as ASOS and John Lewis, where you can purchase Bridesmaid dresses and suits for your Groomsman at a lower price.
"VoucherCodes.co.uk has offers and/or deals from over 5,000 of the UK's biggest retailers covering every imaginable product and service, so no matter what you are looking for, you're sure to find a great deal to help save you money.
"Lastly, if you have room in the budget, hire a wedding planner – if overseeing a budget causes you stress, give the responsibility to someone else. They will be able to help you bring your vision to life, organise your vendors, offer advice and most importantly, manage your budget, taking any additional pressure off you and your partner."