The ‘B’ in wedding is ‘Budget’
Whether you are working with a few hundred dollars or thousands, your budget is arguably the most important part of planning a wedding.
It may not seem quite so overwhelming if you break it down into steps.
- Identify who is contributing. Is it the couple paying for the wedding themselves, or are parents or other family members chipping in? Find out how those people want to contribute? Perhaps a grandmother has her heart set on buying the wedding dress. It may seem awkward to have those money conversations, but it is important to figure out what is your bottom line.
- Crunch those numbers. Once you have any idea of how much financial assistance you have, you can focus on what is left. How much can you realistically and comfortably afford to spend? Based on your monthly income, and how much time you have before the wedding, how much can you save? Do you have a savings account that you can pull from? Estimate your budget based on answers to those questions.
- Estimate your guest count. The cost of a wedding is closely tied to how many guests you are having. It determines the size of your venue, how much food and possibly alcohol you will need, invitations, rentals, cake… Separate your list into ‘A-list’ (the absolutely-must-invite), and your ‘B-list’, which could be your co-workers, distant relatives and friends you love, but don’t hang out with.
- Choose your ‘Non-Negotiables’. What item is at the very top of your priority list? Is it the meal; perhaps an open bar; or maybe it is a favourite local band? Figure it out, and this will solidify how much you have left in your budget for the other items on your list, like centerpieces or wedding favours.
- Research. There are lots of costs, and some of those costs aren’t as obvious. Check with the venue and confirm what the rental fee includes. Do you have to tip your vendors? Maybe your dream venue is less expensive slightly ‘out-of-season’. Be honest about whether you can afford the type of wedding you want when you want it.
- Do the math. Do a final reality check. Create a spreadsheet and allot a dollar amount to each aspect of the event. Google sheets allow you to share the information with people who are contributing or can help you stay on budget.
Don’t drown in debt to say ‘I do’.
If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it! You can have the wedding of your dreams on a budget you can afford. Get creative and talk to possible vendors about your vision. Always keep each other in the loop. You don’t want to drop any surprises as your wedding day approaches.
Remember… a wedding is much more than the price tag of the event.