5 Easy Steps to Creating a Wedding Budget
Creating (and sticking to) a wedding budget is one of the less fun—but totally necessary—aspects of planning your wedding. Budgeting for an event like a wedding may sound intimidating if you’re not a financial wizard, but here are five easy steps to help you get started:
1. Determine who will pay for what
Discussing finances is always uncomfortable—especially with future in-laws—but this is your first step to creating your wedding budget. Rather than making assumptions, communicate with your respective families and ask what they feel comfortable paying for (and commit them to a dollar amount). Or, if it’s easier, you can ask them to pay for specific items (i.e., the rehearsal dinner or honeymoon).
2. Find out how much you can (realistically) pay for
The average cost of a wedding is just over $35,000 (not including the honeymoon), and everything that can’t be covered by family or friends is your responsibility. To find out how much you’ll be able to contribute, consider your savings and income, expenses and how long you have until your wedding date. Ideally, you don’t want to start your new life as a married couple with wedding debt, so whatever you can realistically save during your engagement (plus what others will cover) is your budget total.
3. List the “must haves” vs. “nice to haves”
Create a list of wedding budget items and make note of what you’re willing to pay more for, and what you’re willing to skimp on (or cut out if necessary). Then, allocate a certain percentage or dollar amount of your budget to each of those items based on their importance AND the average price of those items in your geographic area based on pricing quotes. Keep in mind that your reception will be likely half of your budget, and other big ticket items are usually flowers, honeymoon, wedding photography, entertainment and your wedding dress.
4. Add 5% for miscellaneous expenses
Barely able to squeeze everything into your projected budget goal? Now, add 5 percent for the unexpected—this will come in handy when you go over budget or have expenses pop up that you didn’t anticipate.
5. Create a wedding expenses spreadsheet
Now that you have your wedding budget items and projected costs, create a spreadsheet to help you keep track of expenses. Include columns for your projected cost, actual cost, and what has been paid thus far. Be sure to keep your spreadsheet updated as you book vendors, and that you keep a running tally of how much you’ve paid of your total budget.
with love & style from: Sandy D. (bridal blogger extraordinaire)
(photos from Pexels)