How To Make A Wedding Budget (And Stick To It)
Weddings can be expensive.Very expensive. They can cause a couple a lot of financial stress - which isn't exactly what you want to have to deal with during your honeymoon period. So what's the solution? Budgeting for your wedding is tricky, but it will definitely help you in the long run. After all, it's important to remember that your wedding is just a day. It's an important day. It's a day you'll remember forever! But, it's just one day. Here's how you can keep both your finances and your wedding in perspective when planning your big day by making with a tip top wedding budget.
Figure Out What You Want From Your Wedding
It's OK to fantasize about your wedding day. More than OK, in fact - when you're engaged, it's pretty much necessary. So decide what you want your wedding to look like, from the number of guests to your clothes to your venue. At this stage, you can be as extravagant as you like. If you want to stick to your budget, you'll probably have to sacrifice some of these ideas. But by creating a stringent money plan, you may be able to keep more than you think.
Figure Out What You Actually Want To Spend
Don't think about what you might end up spending, or what youcould spend if you get a second job and remortgage your house. Decide how much you actuallywant to spend. When you have a figure in mind, write it down so you don't forget.
Do Your Research
Now is the time to do some serious digging. You know what you want from your wedding and you know how much you have to spend. Now you can figure out how realistic your budget is for the day you have in mind. Email venues and vendors to find out what they charge. If you're like most couples, your dream wedding is probably more expensive than you'd like it to be. But now you know what you can afford, you can decide whether to expand your budget or reduce the scope of your wedding.
Be Romantic, But Be Strict
Decide what you can and can't compromise on. If you've dreamed of getting married in a castle in the Scottish Highlands ever since you were a child, maybe you can't compromise on your venue. And that's OK - just make sure you adjust your budget or your wedding agenda accordingly.
Google Sheets Is Your Friend
If you don't already know how to use them, get to grips with spreadsheets. They'll help you plan out your wedding budget and keep track of what you've spent. That way, you can stay on-budget throughout the wedding planning process. Just make sure to keep it regularly updated. Top tip: share Google Sheets with your partner, so they can keep track of your joint wedding spends, too.
Most wedding vendors charge a deposit to secure your wedding date. But they don't typically take the final payment until a few weeks before the wedding. That means you'll probably have a lot of outgoings all at once, which can be a bit of a shock to the system (and your bank account). However, if you budget and track your spending successfully, you can prepare yourself for these payments. It can help to have a separate savings account for your wedding fund, so you don't accidentally spend the cash before you need it.
Budget A Little Extra
If you can, give yourself some wiggle room. Budget an extra 10% of your total wedding budget for unexpected expenses, such as alterations and gifts (or that adorable cake topper you just can't turn down).
Resist The Urge To Borrow
It can be very, very tempting to buy the beautiful designer dress the shop assistant suggested you try on - but if it means getting into debt, don't do it. Keep looking until you find a beautiful dress that won't break the bank.
It's really important that you love your wedding - but it's also vital that you don't put too much financial pressure on yourself. Most people only plan to get married once, but that doesn't mean you need to spend a lot to make the day special. After all, it's not the designer suit or the expensive flowers that make your day. It's committing to each other in front of your favorite people. If you can keep that in mind, your day is sure to be one to remember, no matter how much you spend.