When starting to plan your wedding it can almost feel like you need a college class to get through everything – Wedding Budget 101 we’ll call it. Determining what to spend on your big day can definitely be a big stress to document. You will need to involve all of your key financial contributors to the discussions. This could include your fiance, parents of both, possibly step-parents, guardians, or anyone else who will play a big part in the funding.
Here’s some steps to follow as you begin to start your budgeting:
- Begin with a guest list, it doesn’t need to be exact, but you should have a relatively rough idea of how many people you will need to invite to the ceremony and reception.
- Determine the time of year you want to have your wedding
- Find a budget template and determine what services you will need for the day – this will include everything from apparel and hair/make-up, ceremony fees and rentals, reception food and all vendors that you will require for the event.
- Once you have determined what services you will need begin discussing with all parties who will be paying for what services for the wedding and if anyone is splitting costs determine the percentage of the service that they are committing to paying for you.
- As you determine what services you will need, next determine their priority in your big day — what do you want to focus the majority of your spending on? Is the food and dj most important, or maybe the dress is a big part of what will be a focus for the day. Try to rate your top items of priority so you know where to focus the budget on to make your day special.
- I know it will be hard, but try to think of all the incidentals that you will want for the day – things like programs, favors, tips and bridal party gifts. There is typically always something that will be forgotten and then need to be budgeted into the funds.
- As you go through the different parties, begin discussing what they are able to contribute to the services and if for any reason the required service would be less or more in price, how they want to deal with that. As an example, if you have budgeted $1,800 for your dj and you find your perfect dj for $1,500, can you allocate the additional $300 that was not used to another area of the wedding. This is a great exercise to go through will all parties.
- Once you have this outlined, it is a great idea to have it in a speadsheet, notebook, or whatever what you will be tracking.
- Additionally, if you haven’t already done so, make sure to talk through how you will be handling your honeymoon. Are you taking one immediately or waiting for a period after the wedding. How will you fund the trip, are you relying on wedding gifts, are you paying ahead of time or are you thinking of setting up a honeymoon fund that friends and family can go and contribute to along the way. This works great – especially if there are holidays and birthdays coming around and the honeymoon is where you would like friends and family to spend their money for you.
In the end, you will end up making changes along the way to your budget, allocation of funds can change, level of importance can change as you find out more about planning and funding can always change as well.
It is best to be prepared as you can for the planning process. Make sure once you have the budget knocked out to stay very organized with all the details, vendor contracts, payments, and contact information. One slip of misplacing an item can cause complete chaos and stress.
Make sure to keep calm in the planning process, it should be a pleasant experience. There are plenty of professionals out there that can help along the way. They can be some of your best teachers in learning Wedding Budget 101.