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So you’re getting married. Congratulations! While you’re still on cloud nine, it’s easy to overlook the fact that you’ll need to get started on planning the wedding.
But before getting into the specifics, there’s one important question to ask yourself: How much are you willing to spend to tie the knot?
Whether or not you’re going all-out on your wedding, creating a wedding budget beforehand is a crucial first step. It keeps you on track when looking for wedding suppliers and gathering the essentials.
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. These top tips will help you stay on top of your finances when planning for the big day.
Top 5 Tips to Creating a Wedding Budget That Works for You
- Count your money.
Figuring out how much you have to spend is the initial step to creating a wedding budget. There’s more to count than just you and your fiancé’s individual savings. Once you’ve set aside three months’ worth of emergency funds, subtract it from your total bank account money, and that’s what you can spend on your wedding.
There’s also the option of saving a portion of your monthly income. Ten percent of your salary should be enough to add to the wedding budget. And if possible, ask your parents and other family members if they’re willing to contribute to the wedding cost. Some will be more than willing to, but don’t depend too much on donations.
- Create a system.
Creating an organized system for your wedding expenses helps keep spending on course. Expenses should be categorized into three: Estimated, modified, and actual.
Estimated expenses are the average costs of wedding suppliers and vendors you’ve researched in your area. Modified are the proposals from vendors you’ve decided on. The actual expenses are the final amount you have to pay.
This spreadsheet will not only make it easier to track spending but also makes you wiser in your budgeting efforts.
Set aside another column called Extras. This should cover up 15 percent of your total wedding budget. Save this money to make up for surprise costs, which will be discussed below.
- Set aside surprise funds.
There will always be the little things you’ll likely forget—vendor transportation, invitation postage, corkage fees, the list goes on! If you’ve created a strict budget, you’ll likely go overboard when these little things add up.
No matter how small an expense is, it’s best to prepare for them beforehand.
Some of the things you might need to take a second look into include suppliers’ transportation allowances, setup and cleanup fees, custom cocktails, digital access for photos, and so much more.
- Swipe responsibly.
Never charge anything you won’t be able to pay in thirty days. It’s easy to be tempted to boost cash flow by swiping the plastic, but experts advise against doing so. If you do need to use a credit card, plan out a strategy beforehand.
For instance, you may register for cash gifts and let your savings plan cover the rest of the expenses.
When using a credit card, opt for one with a generous cash-back scheme. Make use of the rewards you earn to pay off your honeymoon or the remainder of your wedding expenses.
- Find ways to cut costs.
You may have a fairly big amount to spend on your wedding, but that doesn’t mean you should skip saving where possible.
There are many ways you can slash on spending without sacrificing the quality of your ideal wedding.
- Cut the guest list. The reception holds the biggest piece of the pie on wedding costs. If you want to reduce it significantly, you’ll have to slash some guests off your list.
- Look for affordable suppliers. You don’t have to choose ones that your favorite celebrity recommends. There will always be vendors that can accommodate your budget—from budget-friendly engagement rings to salon beauty services. You just have to look closely!
Your wedding budget will serve as a spending guide, but don’t panic just yet if you’re going off track. If you’ve followed these tips accordingly, you’ll always find room for adjustments. Don’t be afraid to tweak it here and there. The most important thing is to spend according to your priorities.