When it comes to wedding planning there are many moving parts. There are vendors to be hired, dresses to be selected, and seating charts to be designed. All of those tasks are important but I would argue that the most important task that must be tackled before anything else is the budget. Setting a wedding budget is a smart way to stay on track with spending during your planning. Here is a practical step-by-step guide to help things move smoothly for you.
Step 1: Take a Realistic Look at Your Finances
If you and your Fiancé are covering the majority or all of the wedding costs, decide how you can each comfortably contribute to the budget without going into debt. Conversations about money for most is not romantic but being honest and upfront about how much you have to spend will help lay the foundation for a healthy relationship and will eliminate unnecessary stress.
Step 2: Be Selective With The Guest List
An important step in setting your budget is to determine how many guests you want to invite to your ceremony and reception. The guest list dictates the amount of space you will need for your venue, the amount of food your caterer will need to prepare, and other key considerations. Seems obvious but the less people you invite, the less you will need to spend. Need help trimming your guest list? I’ve got your covered here.
Step 3: Verify If Others Plan To Contribute To Your Wedding Expenses
This is the part that everybody dreads but this is a conversation that you MUST have in order to determine who will be contributing to your wedding. Will it just be you and your fiancé? Just your parents? Or maybe a combination of you and your fiancé and both sets of parents.
Every family is different so don’t feel like you have to do anything a particular way or what tradition dictates. If you are uncomfortable asking your parents for cash, how about asking them to purchase certain items like the flowers, or let them pick up the tab for the catering. Whether your family pays a portion of the wedding costs or pays for the entire bill, having others contribute to your wedding budget will relieve the stress of limited cash flow.
Step 4: Track Your Spending
Once you have pulled your funds together you will want to place them into a bank account solely devoted to paying wedding expenses. This way you won’t mix everyday funds with your wedding money. I love spreadsheets so we kept track of our budget and expenses on a Google spreadsheet that way it kept us from going wild with a credit card.
Step 5: Decide What Is Most/Least Important To Spend Your Budget On
Choose your top three priorities and allocate a little extra money for them (i.e., gown, catering, and DJ). Next pick the three things that come lowest on your priority list (maybe flowers, cake, invitations), and budget accordingly. There are some wedding essentials that come with a high price tag but knowing where to spend the big bucks and where to cut costs can make all the difference in your planning. No matter where you choose to save or spend, it should be something you can both agree on.
Step 6: Resist The Urge To Overspend
It can be so easy to get carried away when dreaming of your wedding day. I know you want everything to be perfect but not at the expense of a small fortune. It is okay to pay a little more for the big ticket items especially the ones that are important to you but you want to remember to use good judgement when spending.
Setting a wedding budget is the best way to manage spending as you plan your wedding. Knowing exactly what you can and cannot afford will help you better communicate with vendors, and each other, as you prepare for your wedding day.
What has worked for you when it comes to creating a wedding budget? Have you found any resources which have helped? I’d love to know. Please share your comments below!
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