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Getting married: budgeting for your big day

Everyone has their own take on what makes the perfect wedding – from the big white dress to the little white chapel, from high fashion suits to low-key chic, and from a guest list of hundreds to an intimate ceremony. Whatever your style, you need to consider the budget.

Set your wedding budget early

It’s easy to get carried away when arranging a wedding, but careful planning can help you avoid the risk of spiraling costs – and allow you to begin your marriage or civil partnership without the stress of too much debt.

Your first priority should be to set a budget that establishes what you can realistically afford. This will help you to weigh up your options and make informed decisions about where you can spend more, and where you might need to cut back.

Budgeting for your big day

Boost the budget

Take time together to work out how much you can afford and what you’re actually willing to spend. If you’re planning to save up to boost your wedding fund, you’ll need to work out your monthly income and outgoings so you can decide on a realistic figure to put aside on a regular basis. Our online budget tool can help you to do this.

If you're looking to boost your budget by borrowing money, it's important that you make the right choice for your circumstances. Our loan calculators can help to explore the cost of different loan amounts.

Do your homework

It’s worth spending some time as a couple working out your top priorities for your big day so you can allocate your budget to the things that matter most. There are a lot of potential expenses to consider, from the invites right through to the honeymoon.

There are many websites devoted to wedding planning that offer free checklists. Time spent browsing these can help to ensure you don’t overlook anything, and give you have a good idea of what things are likely to cost. If your budget permits, you might also want to hire a wedding planner to do the leg-work for you.

Your next steps

Don’t limit your planning to the wedding day

Your marriage isn’t just your wedding. It’s the start of an exciting new chapter in your lives that will probably change the way you manage your individual and shared finances.

You can find some practical tips in our Getting married - What it could mean for your money page to help you manage these changes, so that you can spend more time concentrating on the fun parts of planning your future together.

Further help and support

Find out useful hints and tips for effective budgeting.

The Citizens Advice Bureau has details about the key legal differences between living together and being married.

Time to take stock

If you’re saving for a wedding it might be a good time for a free personal financial review.

More on marriage

Practical next steps

Important legal information

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