The Local Savvy Bride - Budgeting
By Berger Publishing
Q: “We’re excited about planning our wedding, but how are we going to budget and pay for it?”
A: It can be overwhelming at first to think about how much a wedding will actually cost. With a little organization and careful planning, you’ll avoid surprises and have the “business” end of your wedding under control.
It’s easy to get caught up fantasizing about your dress, the venue, flowers, reception, honeymoon, etc. The list goes on and on! An important first step in planning a wedding is establishing a realistic budget.
Deciding Who Pays for What
Establish early on if your parents or other relatives are willing to help out financially, and what they’re contributing. Before meeting with them, create an estimate of what you and your fiancé will contribute. Your families will appreciate the effort to help pay, and it will be more meaningful knowing you’ve worked hard to add to the budget. Avoid pressuring anyone to spend more than they’d like to, be thankful for their offer and adjust accordingly.
Reduce Monthly Expenses
Create a special wedding account and think of ways to trim expenses to add to it. Is there a membership to a gym or online service you aren’t using that can be cancelled? Limit how often you eat out. Do you need a specialty coffee or cocktails as often as you are indulging? Small changes will be worth the sacrifice.
Gather Bids and Estimate Expenses
Prioritize three or four things most important to you and your fiancé and start gathering bids and prices. This will help you get an idea whether or not the dress, venue, or caterer of your dreams can become a reality. Estimating the costs of a few big ticket items is a great place to start preparing a budget.
Plan for Surprises
It’s easy to think of most of the traditional aspects of a wedding and plan for them, but it’s important to allow room in your budget for surprises. Did you budget for postage? Is there a fee for the officiant and vocalist? Have you set aside money for gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen? Preparing for unexpected expenses will alleviate stress later on.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that marrying your true love is what’s most important. Over-extending your budget trying to impress people will leave you with a stack of bills greeting you when you walk in the door from your honeymoon.
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