Wedding costs every groom-to-be should be aware of

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Whether you’re thinking about making the grandest of gestures, or you’re already engaged, you need to find out the wedding expenses every groom-to-be should be aware of as you prepare for your wedding day.

As a couple, you might be used to paying for things jointly. But when it comes to weddings, there are times when tradition could step in. There may be parts of the day, and the build up towards it, that you’ll be expected to foot the bill for alone.

 Being aware of these wedding costs can help you plan and budget carefully. And, by managing your wedding expenses effectively, you should be able to avoid any unexpected surprises along the way, allowing you to start your marriage off on the right foot financially.

If you’re concerned about the impact of coronavirus on your wedding, check out our guides to find some useful guidance and resources:

 

The rings

The engagement ring is the thing that starts it all off. Some say it’s customary to buy a ring worth roughly two months’ salary. But you shouldn’t feel pressured into spending that much if you feel you can’t afford it – only spend what’s right for you.

If you haven’t popped the question yet, visit several reputable jewellers to compare costs of engagement rings before buying. That way, you’ll get a good sense of each ring’s value based on the size, cut, clarity of the diamond (if there is one) and the metal it’s made from.

You’ll also get a good idea of what you can buy for your budget. You don’t have to choose a diamond ring even if you are looking for sparkle. Lots of modern couples are forgoing tradition and opting for vintage-style rings made with other precious gemstones for a cheaper, but no less meaningful, alternative. For more information on what getting engaged could mean for your finances, read our guide.

Once you’ve found the perfect engagement ring and you’ve received that all-important ‘Yes’, the next step is to purchase your wedding bands. There are lots of options to choose from in a range of prices so you’re sure to find wedding rings that suit your savings and your style.

Hopefully you’re planning on wearing those rings for a long time, so it’s also a good idea to weigh up the level of investment you’re making compared with how much you want to stretch your budget.

 

The stag do

You don’t think you’re getting away without having ‘a last night of freedom’, do you?

Your friends and groomsmen will probably want to arrange a get together before your wedding day to celebrate – so you’ll need to make sure you can afford things like drink, food, and possibly travel and accommodation too.

The traditional stag night has evolved over the years – from a night on the town to a few days abroad. If the event is being planned for you, make sure you control the budget if you think the cost of festivities could spiral out of control.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, it is wise to talk to your groomsmen before rushing to make plans. You’ll need to consider who is comfortable travelling if you’re leaving the country, as well as the practicality of activities that can be carried out safely and within government guidelines. Given the ongoing lockdowns and travel restrictions, it may be wise going somewhere closer to home to avoid any disappointment. It could also be a good idea to do your research and book through a reputable company that specialises in stag weekends. Make sure you read their terms and conditions in case you need to rearrange package dates should any issues arise.

Suiting up

Looking smart on your wedding day is key. If you go down the traditional route of wearing a suit, you can either buy or hire.

Traditionally, the groom’s family covers the cost of suits for an usher, the best man, and the father of the groom. But in today’s modern age, that’s not necessarily the case so you should always keep some budget aside if you’re planning to cover the cost yourself. A lot of grooms find little difference in the cost between hiring and buying a suit so consider both options if you don’t already own a suit.

If you’ve got just a few groomsmen, have no strong preference over whether you all wear the same thing, or you’ve got your eye on a suit you think you might wear again, it could be better value for money to buy it outright.

If you’re opting for something like a traditional morning suit, or perhaps a kilt, or there are lots of groomsmen who all need to wear the same style of suit, then hiring might be best.

Once you’re suited, make sure you’re booted too. Make sure you save some money for new shoes, a tie, and maybe some smart cufflinks for a nice finishing touch.

 

Everything else…

If you’re sticking with tradition, the groom and his side of the family tend to take care of things like paying for the ceremony fees, the transport, flowers, gifts for the groomsmen and parents, accommodation on the night of the wedding, and the honeymoon.

That’s a lot to budget for. Make sure you know what budget you have available from the outset and agree who will be responsible for certain costs.

You might be able to get a helping hand from your guests. Many couples now ask for donations towards their honeymoon instead of wedding gifts.

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and romance of planning a wedding, but taking a sensible approach to your spending, without feeling tempted to take the extravagant route, can help take some of the stress out of proceedings.

And if you are the person taking responsibility for any bookings, including the venue, make sure that you understand the small print of any and every contract. Ask venues about their coronavirus cancellation policies too before you book – even if you’re planning a wedding next year.

If you’re looking for guidance on planning or rescheduling your wedding for 2021, click here to read our interview with wedding planner Rianna Elizabeth for her top ten tips for tying the knot in 2021.

For more information about your rights to a refund if you need to change or cancel a wedding, visit:

MoneySavingExpert’s article about wedding and coronavirus rights