As you begin planning your wedding, you will probably create a wedding budget to allocate funds for different areas of your ceremony. This is a great idea, but sometimes in the course of planning it can be easy to lose track or forget about that budget. By sticking with your budget, you can create a beautiful wedding without going into debt. Here are 5 budget no-no’s you should keep in mind.
1. Going over Budget
It’s extremely important that you don’t go over budget in one area of your wedding unless you can afford to take funds away from another area to replace it. For instance, let’s say you decide on a more expensive tuxedo for your groom-to-be, which will put you over budget. Before purchasing, determine where you can take the extra money from. If you had money left from another area of your budget or your décor, favors or something else ended up costing less than you had planned – then you might be able to get away with it.
2. Don’t Leave Yourself without a Cushion
As you allocate funds to different areas of your wedding, make sure you leave a little bit of cushion to pay for unexpected items. You may need to have your dress altered; you may end up paying setup and breakdown fees for the DJ or other unexpected costs may arise. Leaving a percentage of your budget for ‘cushion’ and anticipating these little surprises will help you stick to your budget amount.
3. Don’t Use Credit Cards to Pay
If possible, don’t use credit cards to pay for any part of your wedding purchases. As you’re planning and purchasing for your wedding, it can be easy to get suckered into using the plastic. By paying with checks or cash, you will save money on your wedding because you will not have to pay interest. Similarly, it can be easy to leave the balances on your credit cards and only pay the minimum amounts to free up cash. If you do this, you could end up paying thousands more dollars for your wedding than you had originally planned.
4. Don’t Under-Budget
One common mistake brides-to-be make is under-budgeting, especially when it comes to the food for the ceremony. Remember that your reception will probably use up about 40 to 50% of your entire wedding budget and you don’t want to be stuck without enough food for all of your guests. Be sure to allocate a proper amount of money to each category so you’re not left with a minor catastrophe.
5. Don’t Budget Above Your Means
In a perfect world, every woman would have unlimited funds to plan her wedding with. However, most of us don’t have that luxury. If you know the expensive crab and lobster hors d’oeuvres will put you over budget, purchase the smoked salmon and cream cheese hors d’oeuvres instead. Purchasing within your means may be difficult when all the wedding luxuries in the world are staring you in the face, but it will be well worth it when you come in under budget or right on target. If you want to splurge on certain items, purchase the less expensive items in another category.
The last thing you want to do is put yourself in debt for your wedding, so sticking to your budget and avoiding these budget no no’s will help you stay above water.