Tips For Creating A Wedding Budget
Your wedding is one of the most important events of your life. It is a day that you may think about, plan for, and visualize well before it is even a reality – sometimes well before you’ve found your partner!
We all have ideas of what we want and dream of for that special day – until we are faced with the reality of the finances. Weddings can truly be as thrifty or as expensive as you want, so it is important to really break things down.
Creating a wedding budget is key to planning your wedding. Granted, it takes a bit of the romance out of the notion, but it is hugely important not to put yourself into massive debt before you’ve even begun to start your lives together. Here are some tips for creating a wedding budget so that you can save money for other areas in your newly married life.
Create a Budget Template
Since no two weddings are exactly alike, you may want to pick up a wedding budget template from a reputable wedding planner or online. Something like this wedding worksheet from Real Simple is a great place to start, or you can create your own in Excel.
Wedding budget templates will list all of the typical expenses of a wedding and break them down into smaller details. If there are items that you plan to include that you don’t find on the template, be sure to add them. You want everything listed so that there are absolutely no financial surprises.
Having a template will help you designate specific percentages of funds to various areas of your wedding. For example, the wedding dress or the food may be what you decide to spend the most money on. Sit down as a couple and fill out or create your wedding budget template as accurately as possible.
Set Wedding Priorities
Not every item on your wedding budget can be a priority. You can absolutely have a dress and flowers and food, but you will have to make some decisions about where you plan to put more or less of your money.
Sit down with your partner and discuss what items are truly the most important to you. Do you want to have an absolutely killer dress that is several thousand dollars? Then you’ll have to decide what other area to pull from. Maybe instead of ordering centerpieces, you and your family can make them yourselves.
Is your main priority flowers? Think about how you might be able to save by choosing a food menu that serves chicken instead of surf and turf. There are all kinds of ways that you can give and take within your budget, but you’ll have to make sure that you figure out which items are a true priority and which ideas you can let go of.
Estimate Savings for Wedding
As a couple, you’ll need to estimate how much you can realistically save towards your wedding budget. How much of your savings can you contribute to the day? How much can you honestly save between now and your wedding date? Do you have any family members who have offered to help?
During this process, be absolutely sure to review monthly household expenses as well. You don’t want this very special day to take away from your current financial responsibilities.
Determine where you are going to put the wedding savings. If you need a new savings account specifically for this purpose, open one and don’t touch it other than to pay wedding vendors.
You will have to put down money during the course of wedding planning, so be sure to account for that. Your bills won’t all be due on the day of the wedding. You won’t have that entire time in order to save. Be reasonable with what you plan to spend and when you will have to spend it.
When it comes to creating a wedding budget, you will want to be open to consideration when things change. Planning a wedding is a big deal and an often expensive project – which means things may not always go as planned. Surprise expenses may arrive or alterations may need to happen. If you and your partner remain open to being adaptable, the stress levels will stay lower.
In making sure that you are covered when these things pop up, account for every dollar that you have across your budget expenses. Save a small reserve so that if you need an extra $75 for this or that, you aren’t pulling from your household finances.
Remember, your wedding should be fun and memorable, but is not worth the extra stress. If you asked the DJ not to play the chicken dance and they play it anyway (hopefully by accident), make the most of it. If the shoes you ordered don’t get in on time, go barefoot or wear some flip flops. Have fun and just roll with it. Some of these “accidents” make for the best memories.
Your wedding is one of the most exciting events that you’ll ever experience in your lifetime. It is important to make sure this day is special and unique for both you and your partner, so try to make sure that you have a plan. Sitting down to create a wedding budget will be your first step in learning how to communicate effectively and negotiate as a couple. Let this be the beginning of your fantastic new life together.
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