Planning a wedding is stressful, expensive, time-consuming and did I mention EXPENSIVE?! Once you’ve said YES, it’s easy to let the excitement of planning your special day take over and spend without thinking. So here are my top 10 ways to help you make AND STICK to a wedding budget.
1. Make a plan.
This is a critical step and the very first thing you should. Super simple, yet critical. Make a plan by sitting down with your spouse-to-be to discuss your finances and decide on a practical and realistic wedding budget. If any family is generous enough to pitch in for the big day, this should be decided at this time so that you can make your plan accordingly.
2. Be Realistic
I said it once, I’ll say it again. Be Realistic! Start your marriage off on the right foot by planning a wedding that doesn't put you thousands of dollars into debt. A lavish wedding is lovely, but it’s even better to start your married life with a healthy savings account.
3. Set your priorities
Decide on one or two of the most important wedding categories that you’d like to splurge on, and balance that with areas where you are willing to cut back. Assigning budget percentages to each category will help stay in check.
4. Don't forget to comparison shop
Bridal shows are a good place to check out different vendors in one place and these vendors will also offer specials deals at these shows to get your business. Always look for coupons and sales before making your final decision. Also don't be afraid to negotiate with vendors. It never hurts to ask for a discount. As I always say, never pay full price!
5. Be open minded
Don't become obsessed with a wedding dress that is over your budget, or the extreme party bus that you just “have to have.” Keep looking and you will probably find something similar or even better at a better price that will fit your budget.
6. Beware of "miscellaneous" expenses
Don't forget to add costs for expenses such as vendor tips, marriage license, beauty treatments, postage, night before hotel room, and meals for the vendors.
7. Save on alcohol
Couples can save money by offering beer, wine and signature cocktails rather than a full open bar with top-shelf alcohol.
8. Narrow down your guest list
- Here are a few people you may want to cross off your list...
- Relatives you haven't spoken to in years
- Friends you haven't heard from in years
- People from work that you aren't close to.
- Friends that would be an unruly wedding guests
- Kids. (make your wedding an adult only event)
- Plus-ones you have never met
- Parent's and In-Law's friends that you have never met
9. Track your expenses
You can find free wedding budget planners offered on wedding sites such as The Knot, Weddingwire and brideside.com that you can use to keep track of all your expenses so you won't lose track of your budget. If you'd rather write things down, you can try one of these super cute Wedding Planner Organizer.
10. Get married on any day but Saturday
Saturday is the "traditional day for weddings,” but having your wedding on Friday, Sunday or even during the week isn’t unheard of and will always save you money.