The marriage between you and your spouse-to-be is by far the most important aspect of your wedding, but the matrimonial budget comes in at a close second! Once you’ve thoroughly celebrated your engagement, it’s time to sit down and create a flawless financial plan for the big day! Your wedding day will likely be one of the biggest and most expensive parties you’ve ever hosted. So here are five steps to set a flawless wedding budget for the dream wedding you can afford!
1. Determine Who’s Paying for the Wedding
Will it just be you and your fiancé? Are your parents or other family members willing to contribute? Whatever your situation may be, it’s super important to figure this out before you sit down and calculate your overall wedding budget. Try to confirm how much each party is willing to spend or what part of the wedding they would like to contribute to. Whether it be throwing a bridal shower or chipping in on your wedding dress, any little bit can help. And we know money conversations can be awkward but they are crucial in determining your overall budget. However you decide to approach the matter, be sure to do it in a respectful way.
2. Plan Your Guest List
Your guest count will 100% impact the amount of money you’ll be spending. The number of people you can expect to attend will not only determine the venue size, but also the amount of food and alcohol you need to supply (which are two major costs). Breaking down the cost into a per person expenditure can help put things into perspective. Each guest ends up costing more than their meal when you factor in invitations, gift bags, and a slice of cake. So when planning your guest list, invite the people you want to be at your wedding and try not to invite guests because you feel obligated.
3.Create Your Budget
Once you have the above figured out, it’s time to actually create your wedding budget! As you start assigning funds to different categories, you'll need to determine which items on your list are a priority. Maybe your partner wants an open bar, and you want an amazing video, but neither of you want a sit down meal. Your priorities as a couple will influence where you put more or less money. Also, it can be helpful to set the total cost, then allocate specific percentages to each aspect of the wedding. For example, the reception, food, and drink costs will be around 50% of the total amount you’ve set. **Take advantage of the free spreadsheets online to keep your organized**
4. Expect the Unexpected
Once the contracts have been drafted, it’s crucial to read through them and ask questions in spots where you’re confused. Make sure the prices your vendors have quoted you on is the correct amount that includes taxes and gratuity where necessary. Some of those small expenses may seem trivial now, but they add up quickly. It’s a good idea to allocate about 5% of your budget for unexpected costs. If that 5% isn’t enough to cover some of the unknowns, there are other options available.
If you have good credit, you might qualify for a 0% APR credit card which allows you to have no interest on your balance for 12-18 months. After the introductory period is over, the interest rate switches back to the regular purchase APR, so make sure you know you can pay your balance off in the allotted time frame. Another option would be to get a low-interest personal loan. The interest rates are fixed and you only apply for the amount you need so the temptation to overspend is eliminated. Couples tend to be more diligent about what they spend when they take out a loan. Once you see the total amount of all of your expenses, make sure it fits into the overall budget you set. And if it doesn’t, it’s time to reevaluate and cut back on some costs (keep reading if you need tips).
5. Find Ways to Save
This probably goes without saying, but our dresses are always marked 30-80% below the retail cost. So we've got you coved on saving money on the dress! And we've already mentioned the guest list, but to put it in perspective, you can save almost $2,000 just by trimming it down 10-20 people. Plus, there are over 15 Smart Ways to Save Money On Your Wedding in another one of our blog posts.
At the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your finacé. Don’t start your marriage off by going into debt because the focus shouldn't be about how much money you spend for the big day. It's about the commitment you're about to make to your soon-to-be spouse.
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