Wedding Guide: How to Finance and Budget For Your Dream Day Chapter 1: “When's The Big Day?”

You’ve announced your engagement. You are excited to get started with the wedding day planning. Personal Loans Now explores the cheapest and best days and months to get married so you don’t have to turn to unsecured personal loans.

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Learning Highlights
  • The average length of an engagement is 19 months.
  • The most popular wedding day is Saturday while the most popular month is in August.
  • An average wedding day takes 200-250 hours to organise.
  • Wedding planners charge 10%-20% of your wedding expenditure

The Wedding Day

In this chapter of our guide of money-saving ideas for weddings, we will consider the first joint decision you will need to make as a couple. This is, which is the best date for your wedding? We discuss how this can increase or reduce its eventual cost. Also, we look at the role of wedding planners and the pros and cons of hiring one. Finally, we look at wedding insurance and whether it is worth taking it out.

How To Choose The Best Wedding Day

It is a classic scene in any romantic film or book. The bride-to-be announces her engagement to close friends waving her ring in their faces for them to admire. Their first question is “When’s the Big Wedding Day?”

Good question. When will the wedding take place? Should you just choose a random Saturday in July? If only things could be so easy! The first crucial decision you have to agree on as a couple is when to hold the wedding and there are a number of factors to take into account when it comes to choosing the Big Day.

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How Long Should The Engagement Be?

Firstly, you must consider whether you would like a long engagement. The average length of an engagement is 19 months. Of course, this varies from couple to couple and what other commitments you may have, whether these are personal or professional. It might also be a question of saving money for the wedding. How long that takes, depends on many factors:

  • Have you already got savings?
  • Are you already cohabiting or living with parents (and therefore have fewer daily expenses)?
  • Are you expecting financial help from your families
  • Ultimately, how big do you envisage your wedding day to be?
  • Are you waiting for a personal loan or trying to improve your credit rating?

The general rule is that the more lavish the wedding is, the longer it will take to organise. There is great competition for certain venues. For some, you will need to book at least a year in advance. This is especially if you are planning on marrying in the most popular months and/or days. The most recent statistics show that over half of weddings take place on Saturdays. The most popular months tend to be in the summer.

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Saturday is a Wedding Day

Obviously, Saturday is the most common day to hold a wedding as it is convenient for the guests. They would probably not have to take time off work to attend. It also gives them the following day to recover and to return home if they have travelled a long way to come.

Unfortunately, this means that Saturdays tend to be booked first when it comes to approved premises for weddings, churches as well as venues for the reception. Saturdays close to Bank Holidays tend to be the most sought-after days as it allows an extra day for wedding celebrations. The other consequence for you as a couple is that these dates tend to be much more expensive. This is something you should bear in mind when you are choosing a date for your wedding.

The months of May to September are the ‘Peak Season’ for weddings. So people book places for the ceremony itself to be held as well as the reception over a year in advance. Also, a winter wedding calculates to be up to 25%-30% cheaper for the venue and all the wedding suppliers and vendors.

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Wedding Day Seasons

As well as the relative availability and price of your wedding, the season you decide to marry can also dictate the type of wedding that you will have. To take a simple example to illustrate this point: what comes to mind when you envisage a June bride? A bouquet of roses and a marquee on the lawn with champagne and strawberries? Now try imagining the same type of wedding in December, and it just does not ring true. If you did go ahead with that type of wedding in winter, you would be paying extra for imported flowers and so on. The season affects not only where you can hold the wedding but also details such as the availability of flowers and the whole colour scheme of the wedding itself.

May has traditionally always been seen as an unlucky month to marry; the month of the Roman Feast of the Dead as well as the pagan festival of Beltane. This memory is retained in the Victorian-age rhyme, which contains the line: ‘Marry in the month of May, and you’ll live to rue the day’.

Summary:
  • Choosing a date for your wedding depends on how long you would like your engagement to last. There are also financial and organisational restraints. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the wedding, the longer it takes to arrange and naturally the more it costs.
  • The availability of venues for the ceremony/reception can dictate your wedding date.
  • The most popular wedding dates are Saturdays in summer. But these also tend to be correspondingly more expensive,
  • The season affects the entire wedding regarding colours, flowers, decorations and venue.

Apart from the factors mentioned above, what are the other factors to take into consideration when setting a date for your wedding?

Your Wedding Day: Consulting Relatives And Close Friends

It is worth asking close family members and friends if they have no other commitments on your special day. It may prevent them sharing your big day with you such as if they have holidays booked. Similarly, if you have other friends who are engaged, check that their wedding date does not clash with your own. In this way, you prevent the possibility of some friends in your circle not being able to attend as they have two weddings on the same day.

A word of warning, however, only ask close relatives such as parents and siblings. If you defer to every second cousin and colleague, you might discover that NO date is possible!

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A Special Wedding Day for the Couple

Some couples choose a date which is of special significance for them as a couple. It might be the anniversary of their first date or a year to the day since they got engaged. Other couples choose a date that is special to their family. For example, their own parents’ or even grandparents’ wedding anniversary. They enjoy the fact that it adds a feeling of continuity to their special day. They may view it as a symbolic good omen for their future life together.

In the 1950s and most of the 1960s, the most popular month to marry was March. A man was allowed a married man’s tax allowance irrespective of how long he had been married in the previous tax year, i.e. before April 5th. When the tax allowance rule was changed in 1968, there was an immediate drop in the popularity of March weddings.

FAQs about Wedding Dates

How can I go about choosing a wedding date?
You should take into account the length of your engagement and how long it would take you to save for the wedding so you do not have to rely on the help of personal loans, which might add considerably to the eventual cost.

What are the most popular dates for weddings?
The most popular day to marry is a Saturday followed by a Friday while the most common months (in order) are August, July, September and June.

How can my choice of wedding day cost or save me money?
The choice of the date can have a direct bearing on the ultimate cost of the wedding. Venues charge more during the wedding ‘peak season’ (Saturdays in summer). If you are flexible in choosing, you can make substantial savings. But if you have your heart set on a specific venue, then you should think about seasonal rates.

How common are mid-week weddings?
It is no longer considered unusual. According to hitched.co.uk (2015), there has been an increase of couples choosing mid-week weddings by a third over the last seven years.

Does my choice of wedding date REALLY matter?
Apart from the savings, you could make by avoiding a summer wedding; you could argue that as soon as you choose a date for your wedding, this date will become a special day for you and your partner. However, other couples like to opt for a date which is significant for them personally or for their families or choose a specific public holiday.


Wedding Day On Special Occasions

How would you feel about getting married at Christmas or the New Year? Some couples enjoy the idea of combining a wedding celebration with a popular celebration. Others couples dislike it as they feel it might distract attention from them on their special day. They may also worry that guests might have other family commitments. You might be charged more for a registrar marrying you on a Bank Holiday. However, a practical consideration is that getting married around Christmas can save you a fortune in decorations. This is because many venues will already be decorated for the holiday season.

Although February is one of the least popular months for weddings, the one exception is Valentines Day since couples enjoy the symbolism of marrying on a day dedicated to romantic love. A bonus of choosing such a date like Valentines Day or Christmas is that there is less chance of you or others forgetting your wedding anniversary!

Are you superstitious?

Many people would dismiss the idea that they are superstitious. It is therefore surprising how something like a wedding can cause even the most logical of us to think twice as if we were tempting fate. In fact, many of the traditions related to weddings have their roots in long-forgotten superstitions.

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How would you feel about getting married on a Friday 13th? You might find it much easier to book venues. According to the ONS, the average number of weddings tends to halve on this date.

You and your partner have chosen a date for your prospective wedding. The next question is whether you should hire a wedding planner to help you organise your special day. So let’s look at the role of wedding planners. Are they worth the cost or are they an unnecessary luxury.

Wedding Day Plan: Should you get a planner?

Wedding planners are a relatively new phenomenon in the UK. There continue to be some doubts about their role in the organisation of a wedding. Are they worth the money and do they only arrange big lavish weddings?

The Role Of A Wedding Planner

The role of a wedding planner is to help, advise and coordinate your wedding. They can run interference between the couple and meddling – though well-meaning – relatives. They are responsible for ironing out any last-minute hitches and troubleshooting so that the couple are free to enjoy their day without any stress.

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Wedding Event Schedule: The Advantages Of Hiring A Wedding Planner

The major benefit of hiring a wedding planner is that they are experienced. They know what things cost and can advise couples if their budget is unrealistic. Weddings planners may recommend that you take out personal loans UK. They have knowledge of local venues and know which questions to ask to ensure there are no hidden costs. (This comes in forms of administration fee or if a couple bring their own band or DJ.) They might be able to give you ideas on personalising your wedding; things that might never have occurred to you.

If you think about it, you have probably never tackled anything quite so complex as all the logistics of organising a wedding before. Organising a bring-a-bottle party or a dinner party for 12 seems a walk in the park in comparison! Quite simply, wedding coordinators can save you a great deal of time and aggravation. They are especially good when it comes to all the details. You may have to work and would prefer to take time off for the honeymoon and not for wedding preparations.

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The Drawbacks Of A Wedding Planner

The number one disadvantage of hiring a wedding planner is that they can add considerably to the cost of the wedding. Although they might be able to negotiate a cheaper deal for you with their contacts, these savings are not enough to cover their fees. This might seem a false economy to some people. Another downside is that since they have close professional contacts discounts may not pass on to you. Instead, they end up in their own pockets.

Some planners offer ‘package deals’. Package deals may restrict in your choice of venue, photographer and so on. They may offer you ideas on things you have never thought of. Although they may sound nice, these same ideas could add a lot to your proposed budget for the wedding.

Whether to hire a wedding coordinator depends a great deal on your character. If you are the type of person who needs to stay in control at all times, then you might dislike the idea of delegating even the smallest decision to a wedding planner. Other couples have found that using a professional has made them feel detached and less involved in the wedding itself.

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What is the UKAWP?
The United Kingdom Alliance Of Wedding Planners is a professional body for wedding organisers. Not only do they vet prospective members but also ensure that they abide by a strict code of business practice. Before hiring anyone, it is worth asking if they are a member.

Just the Wedding Day or Consultation Only?

Wedding planners do not have to organise the whole wedding as most offer different services according to your needs. Some couples consult a planner in the initial stages so they can have advice on budget. The planner helps to clarify and prioritise what is important to them. Others only hire a planner for the wedding day itself to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Only consulting a planner for ideas or on the day itself can cut their fees considerably.

FAQ’s About Wedding Planners:

Can I get married at Christmas?
Absolutely although Christmas Eve is more popular for a wedding than Christmas Day. (The same is true of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day).

How soon should I book the services of a wedding coordinator?
Like any wedding vendor, a coordinator’s services can be booked quite early so the sooner, the better – especially for summer weddings.

How much do wedding planners charge?
Like any professional, planners’ fees depend on their experience and their reputation. As a general rule of thumb, you should calculate that they will take anything from 10-20% of the money spent on your wedding. Consultation fees and fees for being present only on the wedding day itself are usually charged on an hourly basis.

Aren’t wedding planners only for rich celebrity weddings?
Not necessarily. Wedding planners can also offer advice with small more intimate affairs and can be hired for consultation purposes or to coordinate the day of the wedding itself.

Should I take out wedding insurance?
This depends. It is not necessary if you pay your suppliers by credit card as you will be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for amounts of £100-£30,000. Also, parts of your wedding purchases might be covered by your home policy. You should check with your insurance provider to see if you need to extend your cover. This might work out cheaper than a stand-alone wedding insurance policy.


Wedding Day Insurance

Most people take it for granted that they must have insurance for their car, house and their holiday. It does not occur to them to take out cover for their wedding day. Wedding insurance can cover you for the cancellation or rearrangement of your wedding day due to circumstances beyond your control. This can be fire, illness, bad weather preventing guests attending, wedding vendors going bust and so on.

An estimated 35-45% of couples take out wedding insurance.

If you do decide to take out wedding insurance, make sure that the policy you choose reflects how much your wedding day is going to cost. Policies range from around £35-£100. It is probably a fraction of your total wedding expenditure, and at least you will have peace of mind. Before paying for the coverage, make sure that Financial Services Ombudsman regulates the insurance provider. It ensures that their Financial Services Scheme protects you. Finally, like any insurance policy, check the fine print carefully. Know exactly what the insurance covers you for! You may also decide that it is feasible for you to take out a wedding loan to help you towards the big day. Think through this carefully but for some couples, this may be the best option.

Summary:
  • Using wedding planners is becoming increasingly common in the UK.
  • The advantages of hiring a professional to organise your wedding are that they can save you a lot of time and stress as well as offer advice with new ideas or point out unrealistic ideas or budgets.
  • The disadvantages are that they add to the projected cost of the wedding. Furthermore, their list of contacts may mean restricted choices for you as a couple.
  • Wedding planners do not necessarily have to organise the whole wedding but could be hired to help with the initial planning or just on the day itself.
  • It is worth thinking about taking out insurance cover for your wedding day for circumstances beyond your control which lead to the wedding being cancelled or rearranged.

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