The thought of how to plan your wedding budget can be quite overwhelming! Deciding to get married is extremely exciting! It means you’ve found your soul mate and you’re on your way to starting one of the best chapters of your life. But once the excitement of getting engaged has worn off a little bit, thoughts of your wedding planning start filling your mind. One of the most stressful parts of this process is the dreaded budget calculation.
It would be easier to just not think about the budget and head straight to the dress-fitting, right? However, determining and sticking to a solid budget plan is crucial for your future because going over budget can put you under severe financial strain!
Guidelines From Our Experts
Let’s dive straight into tips from our experts, on figuring out just how to plan your wedding budget.
Step 1: Decide Who is Contributing
Traditionally, brides’ parents paid for a great deal of the wedding process. However, with couples getting married later in life, or when they’re both earning an income, this arrangement is no longer a fixed rule.
Whatever your personal decision, the first step is always to determine who (if anyone else) will be contributing. This will clarify from the very start where you stand regarding available cash. This can also determine who has a say in spending.
Tip: Don’t come across as entitled. It’s important to approach these types of conversations respectfully to avoid any awkwardness between you and your loved ones!
Step 2: Decide on The Type of Wedding You Want
Before you can start calculating your various expenses, you need to know what type of wedding you want. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you perhaps want a garden wedding, the traditional indoor ceremony and a banquet hall?
- What season do you want to get married in?
- Do you want a huge, over-the-top wedding or a smaller ceremony with close friends and family?
- What is the ideal headcount as well as a revised count if you have to cut costs?
- How much are you prepared to spend per head?
- How many people would you like to include in your wedding party?
- Can you consider cost-effective options for items such as décor and floral arrangements?
Once you know what your dream wedding is, it will be easier to start managing costs in your budget. An innovative idea is to work on a “plan B” where cheaper options are also on the table.
Step 3: Identify the Non-Negotiables
Every bride-to-be has her own list of non-negotiables. For some, it’s the spectacular, designer wedding dress, shoes and jewellery to create the dream ensemble. Others prefer to splurge on the venue, décor and catering to create a romantic setting for their special day.
Once you’ve calculated the amount of money you can spend, the biggest percentage usually goes toward your non-negotiable items. To be fair, check with the groom if he has a non-negotiable that he’d like to include.
Step 4: Do a CRAZY Amount of Research
It’s crucial to set time aside for research. A CRAZY amount of research needs to be done to compare prices, venue availability and options. When you start contacting vendors, be sure to ask about all the fees concerned. Get prices for both Plan A and Plan B options.
Don’t be discouraged if you keep getting high quotes. Extensive research will make it easier to stumble across a few amazing specials! Ask vendors about package deals, discount offers, and possible promotions. Additionally, enquire about bridal expos in the area – you’ll be surprised at the discounts and ideas you can get there!
Step 5: Start Comparing Prices
Once you have an idea of what you want and an estimate of what costs are, you need to start doing your personal calculations. Create a spreadsheet of what you’d like and line up the reality of what you can afford next to it. This will help you determine where savings can be made. By now you’re well on your way to knowing how to plan your wedding budget!
When it comes to “finding” the money for your dream wedding, sit down with your fiancé and discuss how, as a couple, you can make it work. Can you take on a few extra hours or shifts at work? Perhaps you can cut on your current monthly expenses to place money in a savings account? Time to think creatively!
Step 6: Consider a Wedding Planner or Coordinator
While enlisting the services of a wedding planner or coordinator might seem like an extra expense, know that there are benefits as well, such as:
- Contacts with vendors that can give you better package deals
- Negotiating better quotes and checking for hidden costs
- Keeping track of all the arrangements, costs and budget balances
- Wedding planners take the stress off your shoulders by doing all the research and legwork
- Offer additional tips on how to plan your wedding budget
Step 7: Streamline Your Vendors
Having 20 people doing different things for your wedding will cost you a fortune at the end of the day! Opt for vendors that offer packages that cover various aspects of the wedding. For instance, instead of having a make-up artist AND a hairstylist, look for a vendor that can do both as a cheaper package deal!
Pro tip when considering how to plan your wedding budget: Never skimp on your wedding photographer! Your wedding photos will be around long after the floral arrangements have withered, and the décor has faded. Ideally, good photos should be one of your non-negotiables!
Remember the old expression, “Plan the work, work the plan?” Well, it’s truly relevant in figuring out how to plan your wedding budget. Once you have your plan worked out, and all your expenses estimated, motivate each other to not deviate from the plan. Managing finances is crucial in keeping your dream wedding on track! It also helps you learn the valuable skill of talking about money, even before you’re officially married.
Whether you have an over-the-top Kardashian-type wedding or a quaint garden wedding with a handful of guests, it’s important to remember that both options can be equally memorable!
As a start, look at our vendor page to get some quotes and talk to our team about finding your dream dress and accessories – even on a budget!