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What will your wedding cost? How to Budget with Studio Sorores
By Jessie Westwood

It's the first question I ask any couple who enquire about my services - what is your budget?

It's also the first question couples often ask me - how much will our wedding cost?

The truth is that no two weddings are the same, every client will have an overall budget that they perceive to be of value, a limit on what they are willing to spend, and a different set of priorities.

When I work with couples I don't, as some planners do, send a proposal including "average costs" at the outset. Why? Because it is misleading and the antithesis of how I work on bespoke projects and client led briefs. If the breakdown is not highly detailed and carefully considered then the risk of escalation as plans progress is extremely high. This in turn leads to frustration and is a barrier to trust and transparency - two things I pride myself on within my business. Always.

So, I always start out with a fact finding exercise once I have been booked. My fees are straightforward and I do not ever accept referral fees or additional commissions from vendors. After a consultation where we will have established the preferred maximum spend (and of course, it does not need to best in stone!) then I delve into real detail and provide an interactive spreadsheet where funds are allocated according to a clients wishes, based on my knowledge and experience, setting expectations early, and allowing us to track overages and savings live throughout the planning process.

To give you a practical example - it is impossible to define the "average" amount of money someone will spend on flowers for their wedding for 100 people. Some people will want large installations and more expensive varieties, some will be more minimalist, others will have multiple locations and larger spaces to cover or make impact within. What I do is take your overall preferred spend, ask the right questions to establish your personal priorities and expectations, and then set aside what I think will be required within the overall breakdown.

Why budget at all? Why not just add up as you go?

You can, if you like, but I wouldn't recommend it. I find you get a much better standard of proposal when you give a clear brief and budget to each individual supplier quoting. They come up with the absolute best ideas and concepts that you can afford, they don't fall into the trap of wildly over quoting because they misjudged your level of spending, and you don't spiral out of control as things add up.

It doesn't matter how large the budget or preferred spend is, I have yet to meet a client who does not want the absolute best service they can afford with the utmost value throughout. It's also extremely helpful for them to be able to see clearly where they decide to upgrade and spend more, how it impacts other elements or will require additional investment.

It's true however that if you are looking at hiring in a professional planner or designer then there is likely to be significantly higher budget than the average £35,000 often quoted in wedding/national media reports. Quite simply, it's a similar comparison to house renovations - hiring in a project manager, interior designer and senior architect is going to be more expensive than DIY or managing things yourself. More often than not it comes back to time available outside of work, friends and family - and your overall confidence in having the skills it takes to pull everything together at the level you wish to reach, with minimal stress. With a planner on board from start to finish it will be a significantly calmer and more fun experience.

I would always recommend spending 10-20% of your wedding budget on planning or design support where possible. For those interested in full planning from start to finish it is almost always a question of cost vs value. Typically a very straightforward wedding with a smaller guest list and without marquee production would use around 500 hours of my time over a period of 6-12 months. It is not unusual for me to supersede 2000 hours on a more complex event, which is why I only ever personally take on 5-10 weddings in any calendar year.

So the answer to your question "How much will my wedding cost?" will almost always be met with "Well how much do you want to spend?" when you work with Studio Sorores. Of course I can and will guide on base prices and expectations, but there is no magic formula. Your budget breakdown and spend on each element is as unique as you are. We have no cookie cutter weddings here. We never do the same thing twice. We are client led, always.

To enquire about wedding planning or budget management please email us at for more information and our latest brochure.


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