Getting engaged can be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life – you’re very much in love, delighted to spread the word, and looking forward to getting stuck into the business of planning a wedding.
Unfortunately, weddings generally require a lot of money, particularly if you want a fairly traditional affair. According to weddingsonline, experts within the Irish wedding industry, the average cost of a wedding (including the honeymoon) in 2016 is €22,531, a rise of 6% on last year. Around 38% go over budget. It’s no surprise then that 28% of couples take out a loan to achieve their dream big day, with 22% sharing costs with their parents, and 72% using their savings.
If you want to save on the costs without sacrificing too much, we’ve got a few handy tips.
Set a firm budget
If you start planning early, you’ll have plenty of time to work out exactly how much you’ll need, and how long it will take you to acquire the funds. If you could save €300 each per month over the course of two years, that would net you a total of €14,400 at the end, which would certainly pay for a budget wedding. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has a handy wedding budget tool to help you keep track of your spend as you go.
Avoid taking out a loan if you can, but if you do, ensure that you get the best value option available. Bonkers.ie provides a useful loan comparison tool – simply enter your desired amount and the repayment term, and it will return a variety of fixed and variable rate options along with features and the total repayable.
Always be realistic – there’s no point in spending €30,000 on one day and then facing several years of financial difficulties as your struggle to pay off your debt.
Get to the church
If you’re a motoring enthusiast or you simply like the idea of travelling in style in a Rolls-Royce, you might be more than willing to fork out a few hundred euro on a fancy wedding car. Alternatively, why not scout around your circle of friends and family for anyone who owns a decent set of wheels – just add some ribbon and you’ve got yourself a wedding car!
Cut the cake
If you want an impressive wedding cake without the added cost, why not fake it? Opt for one or two real layers that you can cut and offer to guests, with decorated styrofoam making up the remaining tiers.
Hiring suits for the groom’s party is not unusual, but hiring your wedding dress might be a little shocking for some. Nonetheless, it’s a way to save quite a lot of money – that weddingsonline survey noted that the average spend on a wedding dress is €1,622. One Fab Day has a list of suppliers to start you off on your search.