Too many brides fall into these traps – we won’t let you be one of them.

New Zealand Weddings - - CONTENTS - By RACHEL RAM­SAY

Don't fall into these traps

THE TRAP: Mak­ing a ‘vague’ bud­get

“Lots of cou­ples come to me with a bud­get they picked out of the air,” says wed­ding plan­ner Becks Mur­ray from Envy Events (en­ “With­out fail, all of them end up spend­ing more.” There are so many bud­get break­downs on­line, Becks ex­plains, (spend 20 per cent on your cer­e­mony, 10 per cent on your pho­tog­ra­phy – you’ve seen the ones). “You need to dig deeper than this, as there are too many vari­ables with wed­ding plan­ning,” she ex­plains. For in­stance, that bud­get break­down you found might be based on a guest count of 150 – if you’ve only got 80 guests, the break­down’s rec­om­mended spend could be overkill. Keep your es­ti­mates ac­cu­rate by get­ting real quotes from sup­pli­ers you would se­ri­ously con­sider us­ing – and get them be­fore set­ting your bud­get, sug­gests Becks.

THE TRAP: Rush­ing de­ci­sions

The more time you leave your­self to plan, the more time you’ll have to shop around, com­pare prices, and bargain with sup­pli­ers, says Abid Al-Atafi of Auck­land’s North Shore Bud­get Ser­vices (ns­bud­ If you’re forced into mak­ing quick de­ci­sions, there’s a big­ger chance you’ll change your mind and end up back­track­ing, or over­spend when you could have found a bet­ter deal else­where.

THE TRAP: Swip­ing the wrong card

If you’re go­ing to be mak­ing wed­ding pur­chases on a credit card, it needs to be one that is giv­ing you the best deal. Take a close look at the in­ter­est rates, and con­sider seek­ing out an op­tion that of­fers zero in­ter­est on big pay­ments as part of its sign up pack­age. It means you can get those hefty pur­chases sorted, then give your­self a more flex­i­ble pay- off pe­riod, ex­plains a spokesper­son from Gem Visa ( Just be sure to keep track of your bal­ance and re­pay­ments to avoid un­nec­es­sary fees. Sign up to elec­tronic state­ments so you’ll get this in­for­ma­tion in your in­box once a month, and make sure you have a solid idea of how much money you have avail­able to spend be­fore you make any un­af­ford­able com­mit­ments, adds Abid. You need a good idea of what you are spend­ing in ev­ery­day life so you can ac­cu­rately as­cer­tain what you can real­is­ti­cally af­ford to spend on a wed­ding.

THE TRAP: Choos­ing to skimp on the wrong things

The best bud­get is one that en­ables you to save money with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the amount of en­joy­ment you get out of your day. Fo­cus on el­e­ments that will cre­ate last­ing mem­o­ries, rec­om­mends Becks. “In short, try not to com­pro­mise on food, en­ter­tain­ment and re­cep­tion dé­cor,” she rec­om­mends. “A beau­ti­ful room, great food and a fun at­mos­phere will leave ev­ery­one with a last­ing im­pres­sion.” Con­versely, skimp ruth­lessly on as­pects that are not deal break­ers. Becks’ top rec­om­men­da­tion? Cer­e­mony dé­cor. “You’ll spend the least amount of time at the cer­e­mony, and the sole fo­cus of pho­tos will be

on the two of you,” she ex­plains. She also rec­om­mends favours as the first things to be ditched: “Not only can they add up to be quite an ex­pense, but they are of­ten over­looked by guests and end up get­ting left be­hind.”

THE TRAP: Cre­at­ing an overly sim­plis­tic break­down

So you’ve bud­geted $2000 for a dress – have you fac­tored in how much al­ter­ations might cost? What about shoes? Will you need to in­vest in some spe­cial un­der­wear for that strap­less dress you had in mind? Are you buy­ing a new hair piece? With­out get­ting over­whelmed, it’s im­por­tant to con­sider the specifics of each com­po­nent of your big day – and it’s cru­cial to bud­get ac­cord­ingly. It’s all too easy to as­sign a generic bud­get for one com­po­nent – such as “at­tire” – and get caught up in spend­ing the en­tire amount on your dress, not re­al­is­ing that all these lit­tle ex­tras could add hun­dreds to your fi­nal bill.

THE TRAP: Slack­ing with your track­ing

“Spread­sheets, spread­sheets, spread­sheets!” En­forces wed­ding plan­ner Emma Newman (en­wed­ “In or­der to keep your bud­get on track, or­gan­i­sa­tion is key,” she ex­plains. “With each con­tract or in­voice you re­ceive, punch the dol­lar amount you are spend­ing into your spread­sheet, so you have a con­stant run­ning to­tal.” As busy as you will get while plan­ning your wed­ding – amid main­tain­ing a so­cial life and work com­mit­ments as ev­ery­day life marches on – it’s key that you don’t drop the habit of track­ing your wed­ding spend. With so many balls in the air, you’ll be sur­prised at how much can slip from your mind. The last thing you want is a nasty sur­prise later down the track.

THE TRAP: Fall­ing for false economies

It’s easy to as­sume DIY op­tions will au­to­mat­i­cally be cheaper, but this isn’t al­ways the case, warns Emma. While the hireage price of an all-in­clu­sive venue might send you reel­ing, it’s im­por­tant you con­sider the cost of cre­at­ing an equiv­a­lent set­ting your­self. Hir­ing a mar­quee is al­ways go­ing to be cheaper than hir­ing a full-ser­vice venue – but what about ta­ble hireage? What about knives, forks, cut­lery, sound sys­tems, and ev­ery­thing else you’ll have to source? There are less ex­treme ex­am­ples too: Venue A might fea­ture stun­ning sea views, Tus­can-style court­yards, or­nate chan­de­liers and lush green­ery, but yes, it’s ex­pen­sive – so Venue B, with its plainer court­yard and bare func­tion room might seem more ap­peal­ing. All you’ll need to do is hire a fairy light ceil­ing, rustic linen ta­ble cloths, and get your florist to cre­ate some ad­di­tional flo­ral dé­cor such as cen­tre­pieces, right? Wrong, says Emma. “Be­fore you look at the short-term, look first at the long term and suss how much ex­tra money you’re go­ing to need to spend to achieve a sim­i­lar ef­fect,” she ad­vises.

Track your wed­ding spend! With so many balls in the air, you’ll be sur­prised at how much can slip your mind.

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