When you first get engaged, it’s all about the beautiful dress, the hunt for the perfect venue and deciding on your wedding party. The last thing you want to do is have to think about a budget but, unfortunately, it’s an important part of the wedding planning process.
We were fresh out of college and paying mostly for our own wedding. Although we wanted our dream wedding we had to realistic because everything added up quickly. The venue and the additional charges, the rings, the dress, the flower girl dresses and on and on… all those things added up. We knew we had to cut here and there like not having the top shelf liquor at open bar, a taco vendor for late night snacks and chair covers. Although they would be nice, it meant cutting people out of our guest list. We’ve put together some tips to help you plan out your budget for your wedding.
A wedding budget will ensure that you’re spending wisely and avoiding awkward conversations about money later on. Plus, the more you can save, the more money you’ll have for an amazing honeymoon.
Many brides also tend to think that creating a budget means you’re never going to be able to have the wedding of your dreams but in fact, having a budget forces you to think out the box, get more creative (maybe some DIY, that’s we what we did for giveaways and table numbers) and stay on track at the same time, something you’ll be thankful for after the big day.
- Talk about the details
Before you can start putting a budget together, you and your fiancé will need to chat about your vision for the day. Start making a note of all the expenses that you know you’ll need to factor in based on the type of wedding you’re looking to create. This includes everything from the cake and outfits to your transport and the venue.
Once you have everything in a spreadsheet you can start deciding who is going to pay for what. Remember to include any contributions that your parents might be making too. Now that you know what your budget is, tick off the items that are a priority and mark the items that might need to take a backseat or be removed completely. Make sure that you use this spreadsheet to keep track of all of your expenses so that you can stick to your budget.
- Speak up
As you start researching and inquiring with various venues and vendors, chat with them about your budget and what options they have that would fit in with what you can afford. Ask as many questions as you need to so that you’re not signing up for something that might come with added expenses later on.
- Work with a buffer
Working with a buffer is one of the best ways for you to stay on track. Try and work with a buffer of at least 5% so that you still have some budget leftover for any last minute expenses and splurges. For example, if your wedding budget is $50 000, work on a budget of $47 500.
- Pay sooner rather than later
The sooner you can start paying venues and vendors, the better. Knowing that expenses are already taken care of can really relieve some of the planning stress. Remember to use your spreadsheet to keep track of all payments that you’ve already made so that you know how much you’re still able to spend.
- Cash in on credit card rewards
Before you start making payments towards your wedding, try and find out about any credit card reward offers that you might be able to take advantage of. Many credit card companies offer clients points that can be exchanged for cash or vacation miles, something that will really come in handy when planning your honeymoon.
Bonus time!!! here are 3 Things That Could Affect Your Wedding Budget
- Where you get married.
Your wedding location will play a leading role in the creation of your budget. Venues that are in the city will generally charge more than smaller venues in the suburbs. Venues also have different packages and policies that you’ll need to consider. For example, some venues might require you to use their vendors, some of which might not fit in with your budget. A lot of venues also have minimum catering requirements that may go beyond your guest list. It’s important to look at average costs of areas and venues before you make a final decision on where you want to get married.
- Time of the year. Wedding seasons make a big difference to costs. Planning to get married on a Saturday in the summer? Chances are you’re going to end up paying a lot more for your wedding. Look at your budget and how it fits in with the venue and location you have in mind and whether you can move your wedding to another season or day of the week to save on costs. Vendors might also be able to offer you discounts for off-peak days and seasons.
- The number of guests. This is one area that can very easily get out of control. Your guests are going to take up a large portion of your budget so it pays to be sensible about who you’re inviting. Most venues will charge you for everything from drinks and food to the chair your guest will be sitting on. We made a rule that if you haven’t talked to this friend in over 1 year then they get put on the B list. It’s harsh but it has to happen to avoid an overwhelming list. Agree on how many guests you want to invite and stick to it.
Working with a wedding planner would be an added bonus as they can help you find better prices and keep you on track financially.
Hope these tips help and if you need any help we are just a click away :)