How to Construct Your Wedding Budget
When brides envision their weddings as little girls, it’s doubtful the cost of the beautiful setting, stunning flowers and dream dress ever enter those fantasies.
After you’ve made your requisite phone calls to all of your friends and family spreading the news of your engagement, start saving money for the big day now! The average wedding costs $25,000. Experts recommend saving 20% of your monthly income, which means drastically cutting corners. Your weekly mani-pedi, daily Starbucks run and weekend movie nights may have to go. For a more detailed look at your budget, use Monthly’s Wedding Budget Planner to help you lay out all of the financial details.
Here are some tips to help you have the wedding you’ve always wanted without breaking the bank:
- Put all of your wedding money in one separate account, so you won’t be tempted to dip into it as you begin to feel your budget crunch. But instead of saving money in a low-interest savings account, look into purchasing a CD or opening a money-market account. The interest rate can double that of a savings account, according to The Knot.
- Come up with an accounting system to track all of the money coming in and out. Find a computer program (a simple spreadsheet will suffice) that will show you the payments and their due dates.
- Now, for the tough talk with parents. Find out who is going to pay for what and how much. Then, configure those amounts into your budget.
- Figure out what your priorities are. If you want the flowers to be the center of attention, don’t set aside money for them without determining other financial factors, including rings, officiant, music and more. Pick you trop three priorities and save money accordingly. Next, pick the top three lowest priorities and budget accordingly.
- When an hour has passed your allotted reception time and the party is still hopping, don’t forget that the vendors are still on the clock. Configure at least an hour of overtime in your budget. Plan to go over 5% of your budget with unforeseen costs.
- Factor in tips for all vendors. According to The Knot, even conservative tipping can add hundreds to your wedding cost.
- Trials aren’t always free. The trial hairstyle will cost an average of $50.
- Have you started sweating the small stuff? Thank-you cards, RSVP cards, ribbons, favors and marriage license fees can all add up. Look into cheaper substitutions.
- After all the saving and budgeting, you may still have to make some cuts. First, look at the menu. Try trimming a couple courses from your five-course menu. Offering a fully stocked bar? Many couples are opting for a signature cocktail.
- If your wedding budget is still stretching the seams of your pocket book, look at creative ways to cut back. Ask your experts to stay within a budget. The florist may be able to use flowers that are in season while still using the same pallet of colors of the more expensive floral selection you wanted. The baker may be able to create a smaller version of your dream cake. Wedding invitations can always be done without elite paper imported from Japan and an expensive design.