Weddings can be expensive. However, there are plenty of ways that you can cut costs when it comes to your big day. You should be able to say your I Dos with the peace of mind of knowing that you have achieved this wonderful day without overspending. It may seem impossible, but it can be done.
Here are 5 steps to help you create a wedding budget and stick to it.
- How much money do you have?
When working out your budget, you need to take into account the amounts you have from three sources – you, your fiancé and any money that may come in from family and loved ones who want to contribute towards your wedding.
- Have that ‘who’s paying for what’ awkward conversation
Know upfront who is responsible for what expense. It’s awkward to talk to your families about who wants to pay for what, but it has to happen. The key is never to assume they can or want to contribute, but if they want to help out, then you need to know this when putting together your wedding budget planner. Bring up the conversation separately with each family for a more honest and open discussion.
- Track every cent
Start with a spreadsheet with three columns – estimated, quote and actual. The amount under ‘estimated’ will be what you think it will cost, and will help build an idea of your initial budget. Research the cost of flowers in your area, for example, and place that under the ‘estimate’ column. Once you have contacted the vendor and have a rough costing, place that amount under ‘quote’ and then the final amount you end up paying under ‘actual’.
A good tip is to start with the venue because this will most likely be the biggest expense. Once this is secured and you know how much it’s going to cost, you can work out how much is left for everything else.
It’s a good idea to put away about 15% of your budget for ‘extras’. This is a cushion for things that you may forget, or that may end up costing more. And if you don’t use it, you’ll have a little money saved for your future together.
- Budget for the unexpected
There are always those unplanned costs that can’t be avoided. Read the fine print before signing any dotted line to stay on top of overall costs. For example, some stationers will charge extra to put the invites into envelopes, so rather DIY with friends and family. If you’re hiring a band or DJ from out of town, you may be responsible for petrol, their overnight costs or any breakdown fees that may occur. Venue staff will charge extra for overtime, so make sure that you stick to the times agreed upfront. Never assume that the overall cost is final – always ask if there are any hidden costs over and above the quote provided.
- Always look out for ways to save
Is the venue considerably cheaper if you have it mid-week rather than over the weekend? Do you really have to invite all those extended family members you haven’t seen or spoken to in years? Trimming down the guest list is hard, but it’s a great way to cut costs. What about doing a lot of the work yourself or looking for a second-hand wedding dress? There are lots of ways to save if you really try.
The information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.
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