Ok, so it's not the most glamorous part of planning a wedding, but you need to nail down what you need and get the best out of your day without running yourself into debt. Here's a few ways to make the process a little less painful...
Work out what you want
'It may seem obvious but you need to decide the type of wedding you want before doing your sums and booking venues,' says wedding planner Julia Dowling. 'I've seen a lot of couples book the venue first, only to realise they've blown the majority of their budget and can't afford another element they were desperate to include'
Have the money do the talking
About 50% of couples foot the whole bill themselves, which means that the other half ask for help, mainly from Mum and Dad. Sit down with each set of parents individually, you with yours and your partner with theirs, and ask if they would like to contribute to your wedding day.
Add it up
Your parents' contribution + yours = your total budget. Note: do not include your credit card limits in the total. You don't want to run yourself into debt as a married couple, that's no fun is it?
Spend it wisely
Now that you have a figure, start thinking about your priorities. What do you want most? A jam-packed dance floor? Amazing food? Or brilliant a brilliant photographer such as myself? (Shameless advertising right here!) Allot the bulk of your budget there and find ways to save elsewhere.
Consider every cost
'Most people go over budget by at least 30% because they didn't account for everything up front', says wedding planner Annie Lee.
Be sure to include the following hidden costs:
Weather back-up plans (tents, heaters, umbrellas etc)
Taxes (Always ask if things include tax!)
And even postage costs for invites!
Hopefully these few tips will help you along your way to planning your perfect day, with as little trouble as possible.