WEDDING PLANNING: THE BUDGET
The budget is probably one of the keys points of wedding planning. The most essential aspect of this step is the communication between the couple and their wedding planner.
Wedding costs can be shocking. A standard wedding can cost around USD $40.000. Even the smallest, simplest wedding requires planning and expenditure. There are many wedding ideas to consider, including the planning and organization, and most importantly, who will pay for what.
First of all, you and your fiancé should look realistically at your resources and set a workable budget - not a number set in stone - it has to be flexible. But, the more defined they are your priorities are, the less you will vary from your set budget. Ask yourselves what your priorities are, for example, do you prefer to serve a fine menu, or to invite more people, to hold the reception in a traditional club, or to do it outdoors? Remember if you prefer outdoors, you need to consider the weather conditions. You need to cover all your bases.
So discuss which aspects of this multi-faceted event carry the most meaning for you, and which ones you can do without, if it’s financially necessary. Throughout your wedding planning, be sure to discuss your wants with both sets of parents, especially if they will be footing the majority of the bill.
This early communication sets the stage for everything else and, hopefully, avoids pain and misunderstanding. Keep in mind, a well planned budget will also help quell any unexpected surprises and the better you communicate, the more likely you are to have the wedding of your dreams.
Your wedding planner will be able to connect you with the best options. She/he will show you different alternatives of services and suppliers according your budget.
See below some tips to stay on track with your wedding budget and avoid surprises:
1) Take a look at your finances:
Starting a marriage in debt isn't a wise decision! If you and your fiancé are handling the bulk of the wedding costs, figure out how you can each comfortably contribute to the budget without going in the red.
2) Ask for a hand from your parents:
Verify if your family plans to contribute to your wedding expenses. If you’re uncomfortable asking your parents for cash, ask them to purchase certain items like the wedding cake, the party favors, the dinner, etc. Whether your family pays a portion of your wedding costs or foots the entire bill, having others contribute to your wedding budget will certainly relieve the stress of limited cash flow.
3) Make a spreadsheet:
This tool will help you follow where the money is going and will also make it easier to control spending.
Remember to get copies of all receipts and contracts. You might need them in the future and, in the case of service providers, it's always nice to keep all documents available.
5) Be selective with the guest list:
How many people will you want to invite to your wedding? The guest list dictates the amount of space you’ll need to accommodate your well-wishers, the number of plates to prepare, how many party favors, invitations, seats, center pieces and other key budgetary considerations.
6) Always negotiate:
Never be afraid to do it—many wedding suppliers are willing to work around your budget.
7) Keep your feet on the ground:
This is a very difficult task - I know it, I’ve been there! There are so many temptations. It’s easy to get swept up in all the opulence when dreaming of your wedding day. You want everything to be perfect. But not for a small fortune. You should still remember to impart good judgment when spending. And, know that regardless of how well it has been planned, there will always be some insatiable soul searching for imperfections. But don’t worry, this is your day.
Following these steps, knowing exactly what you can (and can’t) do and setting a budget will help you achieve the wedding of your dreams!