If you're like most brides-to-be today, you have a wedding budget.
You want to have the day of your dreams, but you can't spend a fortune to get it.
Before you give up thinking that you can't have a gorgeous wedding on a budget, you need to learn how to set up your budget so that you have enough money to go around.
The steps for setting up a budget for your wedding are a bit different from the steps for setting up a household budget. Here are the steps you need to take to have a workable budget for your big day.
Make a list
It's important that you first make a list of all the things that need to go in your wedding budget. This includes big items like your venue and caterer, and it also includes smaller things like your shoes and makeup.
Mentally run through your wedding day, and write down every single thing that you might spend money on, from the wine to the rose petals.
Why not use our wedding budget worksheet wedding to get you started?
Make another list
This second list is your guest list.
You want to make your guest list very carefully, since the number of guests you invite to your wedding can significantly impact your costs. You may want to start out by writing down the names of every single person you, your fiancé, and your families might want to invite. Then, use your preferences and your spending goals to whittle that list down to a manageable number. This number will help you get quotes for services for your wedding.
Get quotes from suppliers
Before you can figure out what things are going to cost, you need to get quotes and do some research. For things like bridesmaid dresses and shoes, this could just mean shopping around or getting example prices from the internet.
When it comes to big ticket items like your venue, wedding marquee, and wedding gown, though, you need to call at least three suppliers and get some quotes. Make sure you give all the suppliers the same information about your wedding, and get quotes.
Write out your budget
Once you know about what everything is going to cost for your wedding, you can write out your budget. You'll basically need to write down all of your major costs and minor costs in columns so that you can also track your actual spending on each item. Then, add an extra 10% to your budget for contingency. This is just in case you forget something or underestimated a cost.
Check that you can afford this
Writing a wedding budget is all about making your wedding affordable for you. When you factor in all your costs, is the budget within your means? If not, you need to figure out how to do things differently. You could go with cheaper suppliers, change the type of meal you're serving, or do more of the things yourself, like make your own invitations. Another option is to find friends who are good at baking, working with flowers, or taking pictures and ask them to do different pieces of your wedding as their gift to you.
Use your budget
When you have your wedding budget set and within your means, you need to track every single bit of your spending. Every time you pay for something fill in your wedding spreadsheet. Check your budget once a week leading up to your big day so that you know you're on track. If not you can still make changes elsewhere that can help you meet your budget. Having a great budget will give you the day of your dreams without giving you tons of debt! It's a little work, but it's definitely worthwhile.