Here’s How To Save For A Wedding, According To A Senior Financial Planner

By Olivia Emily

2 weeks ago

We asked the team at wealth management company Rathbones for their top tips


A wedding is often cited as the start of a new chapter in your life – and the same is true for your finances. While the day itself will undoubtedly be joyous, a lot of time and, frankly, stress goes into pre-wedding planning and budgeting. Rather than scraping our final few pennies together, we’ve enlisted the experts for help. ‘The cost of living crisis and sticky inflation are impacting prices across the board and wedding suppliers are no exception,’ says Kindar Brown, Senior Financial Planner at Rathbones Group Plc. Here, Kindar provides her top tips on how to save for a wedding.

How To Save For A Wedding

A wedding bouquet

Set A Budget Early

‘The average wedding in 2023 cost £20,700, up 12.5 percent from 2022, so it is understandable that you may feel overwhelmed or stressed when you begin the planning process,’ says Kindar. ‘With many already feeling the impact and financial pressures of the cost-of-living crisis, having realistic expectations, and putting a strict budget in place have never been more important. For anyone planning their big day, start by having the conversation early on with your partner and any other family members who may be contributing. This will help you to establish your budget and therefore help guide decision making early on. It can be easy to get carried away so setting boundaries with a budget is key.’

Start A Separate Savings Pot

‘As with all life events, the sooner you start saving and putting money aside, the better,’ Kindar suggests. ‘Communication is key. Discuss whether you and your partner want to set up a separate bank account or even a joint savings account to provide a clear look at your savings and what your goal is. Make sure to openly talk about individual saving pots and whether you will each contribute a portion towards your wedding fund. Choosing a competitive savings account which matches your requirements is an important step.

‘It is also important to note after the wedding, if a surname is changed there will be additional costs to update passports and other documentation, too,’ Kindar adds.

Consider Your Priorities

‘Weddings are a bit like a jigsaw, with various aspects to plan for and pull together,’ Kindar says. ‘Start by creating a checklist for all the essentials you’ll need to spend money on and another for all the extra nice-but-non-essential expenditures.

‘Then it is also worth having a conversation with your partner to establish what areas you’d like to prioritise in terms of your spending,’ Kindar suggests. ‘Every couple is different and therefore the various components of a wedding will hold different levels of importance for each couple. Where one couple may value a top-of-the-range photographer, another may prioritise a three-course meal at the reception. If you agree on your priorities, you can then spend time shopping around and researching cost-effective options when organising those non-priority components.

‘Likewise, whilst some may hold the idea of a large wedding with an extensive guest list close to their heart, when creating the guest list, keep in mind extra catering and bigger venues can eat away at your budget,’ Kindar adds.

A flower being pinned to a suit

Understand Who Is Contributing

‘It may be the case that your nearest and dearest would like to offer a helping hand and contribute financially to your wedding,’ Kindar says. ‘With these friends and relatives, it’s important not to shy away from discussing the logistics and the best way for all to approach such contributions.

‘Currently, gifts received from an individual within seven years of them passing away may be subject to inheritance tax (IHT),’ Kindar points out. ‘However, gifts made in consideration of marriage or a civil partnership up to certain amounts are free from IHT. For example, if it is given to a child, it has to be worth £5,000 or less; to a grandchild or great-grandchild, £2,500 or less; or if it is for another relative or friend, it must be worth £1000 or less. Additionally, a £3,000 annual gift exemption is available to everyone and can be used in conjunction with the marriage gift exemptions to immediately reduce your IHT bill.’

Remember Your Future

‘While it’s easy to focus your attention solely on the short term, it’s important to keep in mind the reality that once you say your vows and swap rings, you and your partner have a whole future ahead of you,’ Kindar says. ‘When planning your wedding, try not to shoot your future selves in the foot by overlooking the need to financially plan and prioritise your post-wedding lives. Once the decorations are down and the honeymoon is over, you don’t want the start of your new life together to be characterised by financial stress and regret. In addition to all of your planning and discussion around wedding finances, it would be a good idea to also think about your long-term financial goals and how you plan on achieving these together.’

Find Out More

Rathbones is one of the UK’s leading providers of investment management services for individuals, charities and professional advisers. Find out more and get in touch at rathbones.com