Wedding Budgeting 101 – Everything You Need to Know
Avoid Trying to Keep Up with Others when Wedding Budgeting
So your friends John and Sue blew 40 grand on their lush wedding? Who cares! For all you know, John’s well-off uncle gave them an advance wedding gift of 20 grand to cover costs. And maybe Sue’s parents chipped in another 10-20k.
Anyone in your life truly worth caring about will not care if YOUR wedding is as fancy as John and Sue’s. Now if you can afford a pricey wedding, then by all means, knock yourself out and enjoy it! But if you can’t, then just spend what you can afford and don’t second guess it!
How to Get Started with Wedding Budgeting
- First, add up all the money that you and your fiance have to put towards the wedding, rings, and honeymoon. That is the base from which the rest of your budget will sort itself out.
- Next, figure out how many people you want to invite to your wedding. Come up with a number for a conservative small guest list, then another number for the “in an ideal world if money was no object” guest list.
- Keeping the above number of potential guests in mind, start making phone calls to find out how much some of the bigger ticket costs will be.
- Begin with some of the venues that you’d like to use for your reception and find out what they charge. Is wedding decor included or will you shop for wedding reception decor yourself? Don’t overspend, but you’ll need special gifts for your wedding party and little helpers, too.
- Next, find out what you’ll have to fork out for feeding your guests – usually these prices will be quoted on a per guest basis.
- Each guest will give you a gift (right?). Consider the shop for wedding reception decor you’ll provide guests as a thank-you gift, and if you’ll give out favours per person or per couple.
- After that, figure out how much your honeymoon is going to cost you.
- And last, but not least, confirm the final cost of your wedding rings.
How to Finalize Your Wedding Budgeting Plan
Add up the above numbers and see how things shake out. If you have money left over, great! Start figuring out the cost of the details, such as flowers, your cake, invitations, your dress, and the like. Add up the numbers to see if you’re over or under budget. In all cases, shop around among wedding vendors to get quotes and the best value (not necessarily lowest price!).
Avoid Overspending – Trim Expenses Where Needed
You’ll quickly see that you can spend next to nothing on wedding invitations, or a small fortune. Ditto for flowers, the cake, and even your dress! (For example, maybe you can wear an heirloom dress that’s been passed down in your family and all you’ll need to pay for is a few alterations!)
Trim expenses as needed to avoid overspending.
What About Booze?
Booze is a tricky subject. Some people come from very traditional families that insist an open bar is the only way to go. Others choose to allow guests to pay for their own drinks. Or, you can land somewhere in the middle and hand out, say, 2 free drink tickets per guest, and anything beyond that guests will have to pay for themselves.
If you end up having an open bar, if the local customs permit, consider telling guests that “presentation” is an acceptable form of wedding gift (you can put this discreetly on the invitation.) Many brides find that as long as they don’t invite a ridiculous number of heavy drinkers to their wedding, the money gifted to them in the form of “presentation” more than covers not only the price of the open bar, but the cost of the entire wedding!
Wedding Budgeting – There’s No Time Like the Present to Start!
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