Many couples think that creating a wedding budget means you’re never going to be able to have the wedding of your dreams, but in reality, having a budget forces you to think outside the box, get more creative, and stay on track at the same time. Though they’re hard work upfront, budgets are something that couples are thankful for after their big day.
When you first get engaged, it’s all pretty overwhelming. You’ve got visions of that beautiful dress, the perfect location, and all your besties next to you as you marry the love of your life. The last thing you want to do is have to think about money, but, unfortunately, it’s a crucial part of wedding planning. A wedding budget ensures that you’re spending wisely and that the wedding of your dreams doesn’t land you in the financial troubles of your nightmares.
Here are a few tips that to help you stay on track financially as you create the budget for your wedding.
• Chat 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. Consider all of the components of a wedding day and identify the three that are the most important to both of you. These are the areas where you can splurge. Some things to consider: an amazing, picturesque venue; over-the-top florals; a five-course meal; an elaborate, show-stopping cake; a live band or well-known dj; or a huge guest list.
Next, start the conversation about who is going to pay for what. Remember to include any contributions that your parents might be making, too. And then compile a wedding spreadsheet. Local wedding site QC Wed Me has a great starter version available for free.
• 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 within your budget. Ask as many questions as you need to so that you’re not signing up for hidden expenses.
• 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 10% so that you still have some budget leftover for any last minute expenses and splurges. If you know you have $27,000 in money for your big day, keep your spending under $24,300 so you have that $2700 cushion for unexpected expenses.
• Pay sooner rather than later
Don’t wait to pay off venues and vendors. Knowing that expenses are already taken care of can really relieve some of the planning pressure. Keep track of all payments that you’ve already made in your wedding spreadsheet so that you know how much you’re still able to spend. Bonus- You may find that you have extra money to spend, so allow yourself that time to add that album to your package or book a few more hours of photography coverage.
• Hire a wedding planner
I know, it seems kind of contradictory. Spend more money to save money? But wedding planners have so much to offer.
– construct and monitor your budget
– recommending the right vendors for your budget
– access to potential vendor discounts
– navigating contractual waters to save you from hidden expenses, post-wedding legal action, etc.
– freeing up your schedule (time is money, right?)