Falling in love is easy, but planning a wedding budget – yikes! You’re not getting married to impress anyone. You’re getting married because you want to spend the rest of your life with the person you love.
Weddings aren’t about spending the most money or the least amount of money; they are about paying good money on essential elements for you and your significant other. So, who cares if you don’t serve the fanciest wine or have restaurant-style food; the day is yours, do what you can. However, if the thought of planning the perfect wedding budget is making you unconscious, settle down because we have you covered.
While there is no one-size-fits-all budget, there are some applicable guidelines to follow as you whip out your wedding itinerary. Here, we’ve come up with a five-step guide to working out a realistic budget that will help you plan a beautiful, elegant wedding that’s within your reach.
1. Who’s Paying For The Wedding?
The first step to planning an earth-shattering yet budget-friendly wedding is to determine who will be contributing. Those days are long gone when only the bride’s parents were responsible for the entire wedding. Today, the average wedding cost per year is 20,000. Therefore, it is best for both families to chip in, including the bride and groom. Once you have a list of all the parties contributing to your wedding, ask how much they’ll be giving so you can get to the bottom of it.
2. Figure Out How Much You Save
When planning wedding budgets, the bride and groom must start saving money as much as they can. Even if you haven’t set a deadline, knowing how much you can save each month without sacrificing your quality of life is a safe way to begin budgeting.
Note down how much you both earn every month and then make a list of all the bills, regular payments, and extra costs that you have to pay. Once done, see how much is left and add in any parental contributions. In addition to saving costs, figure out your outgoings and decide where you can rationally cut back without having to starve before the wedding.
3. Save The Dates
If you haven’t set a date already, now is the perfect time to put a tentative date for your wedding. If need be, you can base this on how much you can save vs. how much you’d like to spend.
Another vital aspect to consider is the season in which you’d like to have the biggest day of your life. It’s worth knowing that some contractors offer discounts on outdoor weddings during peak seasons, such as early autumn to spring. So if you don’t have your heart set on having a hot summer day wedding, a lovely autumnal celebration, or a beautiful winter wedding could be enough.
4. Choose A Venue
Raw spaces like lofts and barns seem like a bargain, but before you know, you’re spending hundreds of dollars trying to make the space look wedding-friendly. That’s no good.
You may have to bring in chairs, glassware, china, tables, kitchen equipment for the caterer, silverware, restrooms, and heater or AC. Of course, with all these costs, you’ll be bankrupt. That’s why it’s always a good idea to choose a wedding-specific site. Still, if you are considering a raw-venue wedding, prefer to compare the overall price of a wedding in that space vs. one with all the basics.
5. Be Aware Of Hidden Costs
Even the little things can add up – which is one good reason to keep a “sundry” fund around 6% of the overall budget. Some everyday items that couples might not consider ahead of time such as beauty treatments, marriage licenses, welcome bags, bachelorette parties, vendor meals, night-before hotel rooms, and overtime costs.
That’s not all; tips are one of the often-forgotten expenses, and while many freebies get built into vendor contracts, but some aren’t. Therefore, pay attention and be ready to tip everyone, from the hairstylists to the musicians. If your officiant rejects a tip, donate to her or his church instead. Still, officiants deserve a thank you gift as well, so make sure you have that part covered.
At this point, you may decide that there are some things that you want to stretch your budget for – that top-notch videographer your friends hired or a highly recommended DJ. Or your parents might conclude that they can’t bear to attend a wedding without an open bar and are willing to go the extra mile and pay for it. Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget those tiny additions that can quickly mess up your budget.
You see, planning the perfect wedding budget isn’t such a crux matter. We hope this guide was enough to let you know that a wedding doesn’t have to be expensive to be memorable. It’s more about how much joy and thought you put into planning something that’ll tie you and your significant other together for life. So go ahead, noodle the budget out with your partner, and prepare for the biggest day of your life.