Diary Of A Real Dubai Bride: Getting Organised…And Money

Getting Organised…And Money

It’s time to talk finances with our real Dubai bride Maja Lunsjo. Whilst this can be a tricky and often frustrating aspect of wedding planning, it seems that Maja is determined to be open and honest with both her family, her fiancé, and herself now that she has decided upon her dream wedding venue.

In her latest post below, Maja has some excellent advice for fellow brides-to-be who are budgeting for their big day. We also just love how she has created a ‘wedding planning corner’ in her home! Read on to find out more…

Diary of Real Bride-Maja

When doing my day job I often find that having a dedicated workspace really helps me approach each task with the right mindset, and the same goes for wedding planning! Therefore, I wanted to create a wedding planning space in our apartment which would serve as a wedding planning home office. I purchased a new writing desk, some pretty stationery and even a real pinboard that I could stick fabric samples and inspirational photos on. Some scented candles, a photo from our engagement and my favourite wedding magazines completed the space.

I spend at least two hours here each weekend researching various aspects of the event, and each time a decision is made I print a photo of it and stick it to the board. I am loving watching our dream wedding slowly come together on the wall!


This leads me to one of the first points of getting organised; the oh so dull but oh so important part of wedding planning – setting a budget!

To start off, Chris and I, as I’m sure a lot of couples do, did a quick Google search of “average wedding cost” because we wanted a benchmark figure. This was not a good idea! The budget obviously varies drastically depending on the country, venue, guest list, etc, so taking a finger in the air number and expecting that to apply to us was never going to work. We needed to be smarter about it so we went through the following steps:

♡ We determined how much our families could contribute. This may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it is important that you know what help you can get to set a sensible budget and have a realistic expectation of what you will need to save yourselves.

♡ We then determined our own contribution. We divided our monthly salary into three buckets; fixed costs (bills, food, rent), disposable income (days out, brunches, etc) and savings. We multiplied the savings by how many months we had left until all the wedding related payments were due and used this to determine how much we could realistically save for the wedding.

♡ Finally, we combined our savings with our parents’ contribution, and then deducted 20%. The reason for deducting such a big chunk was partly because we were sure that we will have underestimated some of the wedding costs so we need to ensure that we can go slightly over budget if necessary, and also because we wanted to ensure we had a buffer left after the wedding so we didn’t completely empty our accounts. It is easy to get carried away and to want the best of everything, so by ensuring 20% of our savings would be put away for non-wedding related purposes makes us more comfortable when agreeing on the big ticket items.

After we had agreed on a budget, we made a list of every item which we would be expected to pay for, from the wedding venue to the suit and dress and even lunches for the bridal party on the wedding day. We agreed how much we would be willing to spend on each point, making sure we were staying within our agreed budget with the total sum.

Diary Of A Real Dubai Bride: Getting Organised...And Money

It was a long and tedious exercise, particularly for someone like me who would much rather spend the evening discussing the creative items like flowers or colour schemes, but putting in the groundwork has really helped us with the rest of the planning as we can go into each vendor meeting with a clear budget and make sure we are not overspending along the way.

This coming month I will be having my first vendor meetings with celebrants and photographers. I can’t wait!

xX Maja Xx

Don’t forget to log on next month to see Maja’s latest bridal diary post!

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