Whether you like it or not, weddings cost money, and while it is possible to spend only the minimum for the marriage license, many brides and grooms are looking for something more. Weddings are a celebration of the union of two people, and many couples want to share their special day with friends and family. The first step to wedding planning is deciding when and where the ceremony and reception will take place.
Once that important detail has been decided, the wedding budget comes next. If there’s anything that all married couples have in common, it is the knowledge that setting a wedding budget is easy–but sticking to it without overspending is much more difficult!
So how much should you spend, what can you forgo, and what should you splurge on for your wedding? Read on to find out some tips on how to stick to your wedding budget.
Make a Wedding Planning Checklist
First and foremost, you can’t stick to your wedding budget if you don’t have one. If you and your soon-to-be spouse are okay with saving up for a few months or years, then it would be good idea to start planning early so you know how much money you should be saving.
Make a checklist and do your research on the costs of products and services. Do your best to make a realistic guesstimate of how much budget you will need for each one. If you need more help, hiring a wedding planner who can assist with informing you on the costs of vendors and services in your area can be extremely helpful—and he or she will also help keep you on task when your heartstrings tell you to splurge!
Since there is technology available, it would be a good idea to go digital so you and your partner can keep track of costs, estimates, and other pertinent information. Furthermore, you can link your checklist to other online accounts so you can access it anytime whenever you need to record all your expenses.
Be More Organized
Planning a wedding can be hectic, confusing, and stressful; that is why it helps to be organized. You can choose to buy a wedding-planner book or use a spreadsheet on your mobile phone to keep track of things (or hire a professional!). It is important to find a system that works for you so you know how much budget remains after each item is checked off the list. Being organized also allows you to avoid overspending on little things like extra bridesmaid shoes because you aren’t sure how big their feet are or how many bridesmaids you will be having.
Buy Affordable but Unique Entourage Gifts
If you have an entourage, chances are, they already know that they have some responsibilities in making sure the wedding goes smoothly. They voluntarily give their time, effort, and maybe spend some of their hard-earned money in order to give the fullest support they can on your big day. To appreciate them, the least you can do is to give them tokens of your appreciation.
There are so many choices for entourage gifts for bridesmaids, so that part is a no-brainer. Groomsmen are a little harder to find gifts for because these gifts should be sentimental but not cheesy, memorable but also useful. Consider getting the boys some cool groomsmen gifts to help commemorate the special day in style and/or in fun, depending on what kind of gifts you have chosen.
Prioritize and Trim
This part is important to talk about with your partner. Both parties should have an equal say on what they want for their wedding day. If you have your heart set on a gorgeous designer wedding dress and it takes a huge chunk of the budget, compromise on other areas that may be less important. Find something you both agree on to prioritize, and trim on parts you find unnecessary so you will still be within your budget.
Go DIY or Thrift
Wedding decorations can be expensive, but they are an integral part of the venue or reception because they set the tone for the celebration. If you find yourself unable to stretch your budget to accommodate venue styling, consider going DIY or thrifting. There are a lot of good-quality craft materials you can find online that are less expensive when you buy them in bulk. Just make sure you have plenty of eager helpers to assist with setup, or set aside enough money to hire a setup and strike team so that you don’t have to stress about it on wedding day—and your bridesmaids don’t show up to the ceremony flustered from spending hours setting up the decorations at your venue.
Another DIY project you is making your own wedding invitations. Buy paper in bulk along with some little decals for detailing. It really sets a personalized tone when your guests receive a hand-made invitation to your wedding day.
Make sure that, when you go DIY, you set aside plenty of time to work on it–and don’t do it alone! You have bridesmaids who are excited to help make your wedding day exactly what you hoped it would be. It helps to select projects that can be made ahead of time and are simple to execute.
If you don’t have much budget allocated for the wedding rings, worry not. There are numerous budget-friendly engagement rings online that are less expensive than most.
These certified diamonds come from a direct source so you don’t have to pay for a middleman. There is no need to break the bank on wedding rings–the most important parts of the wedding are your vows and marriage to each other.
It is something that many people expect to do after a wedding, but you don’t have to adhere to those expectations especially if you want to save money for your wedding. If you have set your heart on a dream honeymoon destination, you can always do it once the bills are paid and your savings account has rebounded.
As an added bonus, you will have more energy to enjoy the vacation instead of catching up on sleep in a foreign land because you were too tired from the celebration. After all, the wedding is for your family and friends. You have the rest of your life to spend with your spouse, so make it extra special by saving more for it.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
A word to the wise: don’t be afraid to negotiate. Many vendors, especially those in the wedding business, can be negotiated with so you can have a custom package that suits your budget.
It helps to be honest with what you want, and it never hurts to ask! Just remember to make your expectations realistic.
Beware of Hidden Wedding Costs
Hidden wedding costs are things that couples may not know to consider ahead of time. Remember to keep a miscellaneous fund for such occasions so you don’t have to keep adjusting your budget over and over in order to accommodate the sudden expenditure. Always remember that small expenses will add quickly whenever you find yourself wanting to add something other than the agreed purchase.
Do you have tips on how to stick to a wedding budget?.
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