Setting a wedding budget can be one of the most painful parts of planning process. Whether you're after a sophisticated soiree or a more laidback gathering, here are five things to ask yourself to pin down a spending limit and stay on track with expenses.

How many guests are you inviting?
Are you planning a cosy ceremony with just the nearest and dearest, or a massive reunion of long-lost friends and relatives? As you’ll likely be paying for food and alcohol per head or table, the number of guests will greatly affect your expenses. Plus, downsizing the guestlist can help you save on invites, wedding favours and table settings.

What sort of venue do you have in mind?
Holding your wedding in a grand hotel ballroom will raise much higher bills than holding it at a restaurant. If you’re open to hiring out a restaurant, many of them have delish food, amazing ambience, and space to go bonkers with trinkets and flowers galore. For destination weddings, the benefit of getting married at a hotel is that a lot of the planning, food and flowers can be organised in-house, but they often require you to use their services and book a certain number of rooms. Opting for a villa could be a cheaper way to capture that holiday vibe, without shelling out for guests (plus you can choose more affordable decor and catering services). If you’re a nature enthusiast, rejoice! Parks and gardens are some of the most affordable options – plus they’ll look simply uh-mazing in photos. While hunting for a venue, remember to check if they have a minimum party size, and if they have all the amenities you’d need.

What style are you imagining?
Elegant, dramatic affairs will no doubt cost a pretty penny, due to the more opulent flowers, decor, food and music needed to set the mood. On the other hand, rustic or whimsical weddings often make use of easily-found items, like recycled mason jars and thrift store knick knacks, which saves a bunch.

Are there any hidden costs you’re missing?
With so many details to iron out all at once, it’s easy to forget about unexpected costs that might crop up along the way. Remember to pad your budget for alterations, printing costs, postage, and most importantly, your marriage license.

And most important of all, what’s important to YOU?
When figuring out what you can save on, this is the top-dollar question. Can’t give a hoot about having a huge wedding cake? Go for a small one or skip it entirely. Not a fan of live music? A sentimental iTunes playlist costs nothing to throw together. At the end of the day, nobody’s going to nitpick over what your wedding has or doesn’t have – it’s all about staying true to your priorities.

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