Planning and executing your walk down the aisle (right down to the reception tablecloths, flower bouquet, and the limo ride to the church) require a carefully sorted wedding budget that allocates enough money for you to complete all the tasks that go into creating an unforgettable celebration. While the goal for engaged couples is to stick to the confines of an approved wedding budget and avoid debt, let's face it – this is pretty hard to accomplish. The best you can hope for is leaving a little breathing room for your wedding budget and maximizing every dollar you plan to spend.
Calculating Your Wedding Budget
One of the most dreaded parts of planning nuptials is sitting down to discuss and calculate the wedding budget. Prepare for making a lot of compromises and sacrifices. Relax and keep in mind that you can still pull off a wedding in style without digging a deep hole with credit card companies and taxing your life savings. However, don’t put off calculating your wedding budget, as it is important for you to know where to save much-needed bucks and when to spare no expense. This is your chance to make the smart decisions that will prevent mounting bills in the future.
Tips on calculating a wedding budget include:
1) Separate your future wedding expenses into specific categories, such as food, reception, ceremony, transportation, flowers, entertainment, wedding attendants, and so forth.
2) Jot down on a piece of paper all of the major and minor details that go into creating a wedding budget. Use your categories to brainstorm. Don’t forget items like reception centerpieces, postage for wedding invitations, hair and makeup, and obtaining a marriage license. A wedding planning book will certainly help remind you of any overlooked details.
3) Enlist the help of married friends who have already gone through the process of creating a wedding budget. Ask for tips and pointers, as well as whom they used and estimated costs.
4) Once you know what you're dealing with, you can begin to comparison shop and gather the prices of all the components that will go into your wedding.
5) Make a list of all the financial assistance you expect to help with your wedding budget. Don’t forget to include your current income, any savings in the bank, as well as contributions coming from family members.
Maximize Your Wedding Budget
Before you dive into the world of pricey ice sculptures and diamond studded cufflinks, consider cutting back the strain of a wedding budget by embracing the following money-saving tips:
• Spend Less on the Dress: Who remembers where the bridal gown came from? Custom-made or clearance rack – it's how you wear it!
• Music Cutback: Consider foregoing the DJ and 5-piece band – think iPod and computerized playlists.
• Avoid Floral Overload: Save money by eliminating bulky floral centerpieces for your reception. Substitute with items, like pretty candles.
• Stick with the Photos: If your wedding budget is tight, locate a solid photographer and leave the videography to family members with camcorders.