Everyone wants their wedding to be perfect, but it’s important to keep in mind that every detail has a price tag attached to it—and if you go over budget, you could end up feeling the pinch long after your big day has come and gone. That’s why planning your wedding properly requires careful consideration of not only what you want and need, but also how much those things will cost you. Here are some tips on how to budget for your wedding the right way so that you can enjoy your time with family and friends without stressing about money after the big day has passed.
Wedding Day Breakdown
Regardless of your budget, having a vision in mind of what you want your wedding day to look like will help you allocate your budget properly. Once you have an idea of what kind of wedding you want, it’s time to set your guest list and break down your wedding into smaller costs: venue, food, drinks, décor, dress and more. Organize your list with the most important things to you at the top and things that you would like but are willing to compromise on towards the end of the list. For example, if food and décor are important to you, make sure they are at the top of your list. If live entertainment is something that you would like but are willing to compromise on based on what numbers are adding up to, then you can list it towards the bottom. You don’t need to worry about all these details at once but having an organized list in place gives you something to come back to when finalizing your wedding details. Even if you end up changing small things along the way, having something written down helps keep everything organized as well as keeping you on track!
Figure Out What You Can Afford
Once you have your list of things you want for your wedding day, you will need to know how much things actually cost. Is the modern farmhouse venue you’ve been dreaming about $10,000 or $2000, the live band that you enjoyed at your friend’s wedding, are they affordable or does a DJ make more sense. Whether you do the research on your own or hire a professional planner to help you determine costs, it’s important to know what is within budget so that you can be realistic from the beginning and stay on top of expenses.
Keep Track of All Expenses
Having a small budget doesn’t necessarily mean you will go over budget and having a large budget doesn’t ensure a budget surplus at the end of the day. It all depends on how well you manage your expenses. To make sure you don’t go over budget, track all your expenses and take notes about everything that needs to be paid for. Keep track of how much money is coming in, where it’s going out, and how much you have left. Once you’ve determined what size wedding you can afford and how much money you will need to pay for each item on your list, you can organize your expenses by creating sub-categories titled Wedding Account I (e.g., reception dinner), Wedding Account II (e.g., bridal bouquet), etc., so each item has its own line item on your spending report. The smaller these categories are, the easier it will be to monitor and control your spending. Always stay on top of your expense report and refer back to it when making large financial decisions to help keep you on track.
Stop Wasting Money On Things That Don’t Matter
Most people’s wedding day list will be comprised of things that are fun but not necessarily vital in order to have the wedding they’ve always dreamed of. Spending wisely on your wedding doesn’t mean spending less; it means spending smartly. As with most budgets, if everything isn’t absolutely essential in it, even if it seems like it should be, start crossing items off until you have what matters most. And then see how much wedding planning happiness and peace it brings into your life when you cut back on the extras!