#WeddingWednesday: The Budget
#WeddingWednesday is back and this week we have some tips that every bride who needs a budget should know. The first thing you need to do when planning your wedding is decide how you want to allocate your budget. Weddings can become dreadfully expensive and a proper budget is needed so that they can control their spending.
When creating a budget, you and your fiancé should sit down and find out what you want your wedding to be. Is there a theme that comes to mind when you think of your wedding? Do you see your wedding in a certain style that invokes certain emotions? After you decide what you want for your wedding you need to decide how much you can and are willing to spend. By being able to sit down and talk about money prior to getting married you will then be able to have these conversations later on. Start putting away a percentage of each of your paychecks so that you can save up for the wedding.
Change up your lifestyle ever so slightly so that you can save the money to pay for your wedding. Make dinner at home instead of going out or rent a movie instead of going to the movies. You should put the money aside in a separate bank account so that your personal funds do not get mixed in with your wedding funds. Make sure that you track everything that you spend by keeping all receipts so that you can better maintain the budget. Also, keep all vendor quotes so that you have them for reference.
Find out if either of your families will be able to contribute to the wedding. If they are able to contribute, ask if they would like to contribute a dollar amount to the budget itself or if they would like to pay a certain amount for a particular portion of the wedding. Do not spend any money until you have an established budget. If you purchase something prior to creating the budget then you may find that you spent all of the money that you can afford on the dress and will not be able to pay for the rest of the wedding.
After determining the budget you must then decide how many guests that you would like to have at your wedding. This will help you to decide the amount of space you need and what you will need in terms of food; your caterer will need to know this number so that they can make enough food and have enough staff on hand to handle the event. Then you and your partner should each list your top three priorities for the wedding day. Combine the two lists to discover what your three top priorities are. Look up other weddings with similar budgets to get an idea of what they did and what is possible for your wedding.
One way to completely lower the cost of your wedding is to have it anytime between January and April. This period is when everything costs less as it is a less popular time for weddings. Just try not to plan your wedding for your area’s season of brutal weather; no one wants to have to cancel their wedding for a blizzard if it could have been avoided.
If your ideas and the budget do not match up, re-evaluate your wedding plans. Decide if you can put more money towards the wedding or if you can change your wedding to fit the budget. You can remove some things or create the decorations to save money. You could also look in the dollar store for different decorations that are inexpensive and could also be the show stopper. Everyone will think that your wedding cost a fortune!
Another option to help lower the cost of your wedding is to have your wedding in someone’s backyard or in a friend’s restaurant. You could even exchange your skills in order to lower the cost of your venue. Brides: you can still find the dress of your dreams within your low budget. Find a dress that is hanging on the rack that fits you and offer a cash payment to lower the cost even more. Food trucks are a great way to lower any budget. They churn out foods for your guests quickly and add an exciting element to the wedding. You could also use your own IPod and speakers for the music, saving a great deal of money. Also, you could cut the number of tables that you have at your wedding. You will need less centerpieces with less tables.
If you are not interested in the household items that typically go on a wedding registry then fear not! You can instead use a website such as honeymoon wishes so that your guests can make a contribution to your honeymoon. You will have an enjoyable and romantic relaxing vacation period without having to worry about adding it to the budget.
You should also keep an eye on final-payment due dates. Make the RSVP date be at least two weeks before the due dates so that you will have an accurate head count and will be able to adjust the numbers before you make that final payment.
According to costofawedding.com the average cost of a wedding is about $26,444 in the United States. A breakdown of what you can expect to pay is (not including the honeymoon):
Reception – 43% – $11,370.92
Ceremony – 2% – $528.88
Attire – 8% – $2,115.52
Flowers – 8% – $2,115.52
Entertainment/Music – 8% – $2,115.52
Photography/Videography – 10% – $2,644.40
Stationary – 2% – $528.88
Wedding Rings – 2% – $528.88
Parking/Transportation – 2% – $528.88
Gifts – 2% – $528.88
Miscellaneous- 8% – $2,115.52
Just-In-Case Fund – 5% – $1,322.20
Everyone’s budget will be different but this is a great point to jump off of and adjust as needed. There may be things that you want to put more money towards. There may also be things that are not on this list that you may want for your wedding. You need to be able to say no to things that you cannot afford. The last thing that you want is to be in the red when your marriage begins as that will start it off on a bad foot.
Making and maintaining a budget is no easy task but having the ability to make some concessions and manipulate your ideas will create your dream wedding in a price range that you can afford.
Check out our DIY Wedding Pinterest board for some great ideas for weddings with a strict budget!
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