Tip #4: Set your budget.
Setting your wedding budget can be a daunting task, but if you put some thought into it during the early stages of your planning you will save yourselves from experiencing budget blues down the road. Here are some key considerations:
- Determine where the funds are coming from. Are you and your fiancé footing the entire bill, or are your families contributing? Financial involvement usually means input and opinions from the source(s) of the funds. It is your wedding, but if you aren’t paying for it be prepared to make compromises.
- Discuss your resources. Are you working with a maximum figure that cannot be exceeded, or do you have a more flexible budget range? It’s important to know what you can spend, but you and your fiancé should also discuss and agree upon what you are comfortable spending. Money matters can be a huge source of tension and conflict between couples and stressing over wedding expenses is no way to begin a marriage.
- Do your research. You’ve likely never planned a wedding before and you may not have the faintest idea how much things like photography, flowers and limos cost. If you don’t know what wedding vendors charge this is a great time to consult a wedding planner. Most planners offer hourly consultations and a variety of planning packages, so it’s a great idea to meet with one soon after you get engaged to see how s/he can help.
- Bring it all together. Now that you have determined what you’re working with, it’s time to revisit the kind of wedding you want, your wedding priorities and the guest list. If your budget and wedding vision don’t jive, something has to give. Above all, be realistic!
When you’re ready to put pen to paper, remember these helpful pointers:
- As a rule of thumb, expect to allocate about 50% of your budget to the reception costs (food, alcohol and room rental). This does not include any other expenses related to the reception, such as flowers, décor, entertainment, etc.
- Decide if your budget will include costs associated with the wedding such as your honeymoon or wedding bands. These costs can add up to thousands of dollars so if they are coming out of your budget you need to allocate accordingly.
- Don’t forget to account for tips and taxes!
- Add a buffer to your budget for unexpected or miscellaneous costs (approximately 5-10% of the total).
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Have you heard about our lucky + in love contest? We are giving away FREE planning consultations to three couples! The contest entry form will be available on January 21st after all 9 planning tips have been posted. Click here for all the details and stay tuned for more helpful wedding planning tips.