Money, money, money! Thoughts of finances can cause us to stress out and lose sleep Investing such large amounts of money, as with a wedding, can cause even more distress. But the time leading up to your wedding is supposed to be fun and exciting, and not stressful, right? Follow these tips so that wedding budgeting is not a chore, but will help you stay focused on your goal….starting your marriage with little or no wedding debt!
Take time and develop a budget before doing any other planning
Before you go dress shopping or honeymoon planning, sit down with your fiancé and determine how much you want to, and are able to, spend. Be honest with yourself…..do you have other debts (such as student loans) you are trying to pay off? Do you want to buy a house after you get married, or will you need a new car soon? All of your financial obligations must be taken into consideration when you plan your wedding budget.
Include all elements of your wedding
Don’t forget to include such smaller things as gifts for your bridal party and extra trips to the hair salon for your trial runs. These items may seem insignificant, but they can add up and possibly blow your budget if you’re not careful.
Determine if family members will contribute to your overall budget
Find out from family members if they are planning to contribute to your wedding budget, as early in the process as you can. If someone is not able to give you a significant amount of money, they may be able to take care of your cake or favors (for example). Every little bit can help!
Keep your budget in mind when visiting vendors
Now that you’ve taken the time to develop a budget, use it! As you visit vendors and shop for attire, remember what you agreed to spend on a particular item. If the two of you agree to go over your budget on one item, you should make adjustments with another item, so your bottom-line figure remains about the same. Also, adjusting a budget line item should be a joint decision, not one made by just the bride or just the groom!
Don’t make rash purchases
The local craft store is having a great sale on wedding items….do you rush over and buy everything you see? Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s a wise purchase for you. Again, keep your budget in mind and don’t rush into a purchase. If you remember our budget, you may find yourself with lots of purple ribbon and no use for it!
Use tools to help you
There are many free tools available to assist with budgeting. One I like to suggest is http://costofwedding.com. This is a site that will give you, based on your zip code, average wedding costs in your area. This can help provide a frame of reference for you. Also, a great tool for calculating your individual budget is http://www.weddingplanningonabudget.com/my-wedding-budget.php. Just enter your estimated overall budget, and the spreadsheet will suggest how much you can spend on each category. You can adjust the percentages assigned to each category based on your own preferences.
Your Planning Assignment
Make the time to develop your wedding budget. Block time on your calendars if necessary, but do whatever it takes to get this done. This task is too important to be ignored or rushed through. Happy Planning!