7 Things To Remember When Creating Your Wedding Budget
Whether you’re having an extravagant wedding at a top hotel for 300 guests, or an intimate celebration of your nuptials with a whimsical theme, the first step for planning your big day is getting your budget right. Setting a wedding budget, and sticking with it, can cause tension between couples and even the extended families, which is why we’ve put together this quick read of seven things to remember when creating your wedding budget:
1. Don’t Beat Around The Bush
Finances are often a tricky subject to talk about, but when it comes to setting a wedding budget it’s best to ensure communication is open and honest. Who is contributing to the wedding budget, and by how much? Are contributions monetary, or are certain aspects of the wedding being covered by different people, such as the catering, music, venue, etc.?
2. Set A Baseline
Once you have an idea of what contributions you are receiving from friends and family, if any, you will then need to work out how much you and your partner can reasonably save in the run-up to the big day. You may already have savings that you want to use for the wedding, but you will likely want to continue adding to this amount in the months before the celebrations. From these figures, you will be able to determine roughly how much your wedding budget will be, which will in turn determine what kind of wedding you will be able to have.
3. The Guests
While it would be great to invite everyone you know to the big day, it’s important to remember that weddings are expensive, and you are usually charged per head for the number of guests you have. Keep your budget in mind when trying to figure out who to invite to the full day, and who to invite to the evening reception only. For weddings on a budget, a good rule of thumb is – family and close friends to the full day (think immediate family, aunts and uncles, and grandparents), and everyone else to the reception only (extended family, cousins, work colleagues, etc.).
4. Meet Halfway
You and your partner will likely have different opinions when it comes to the things you absolutely need to have for the big day. It helps to remember that compromise will be necessary, especially if you are working with a restricted budget. You might want a cocktail reception for your guests, while your partner might prefer to spend more of the budget on fancier cars to transport the wedding party from the ceremony to the venue for the evening celebrations. Decide what both of your must-haves are, and see if your budget will accommodate them all. If not, you’ll both have to start cutting back.
5. Prepare For Surprises
Costs for products and services can fluctuate, and it’s likely that you’ll have forgotten a couple of things when putting together your budget. You should aim to have a 10% contingency allowance to cover anything that comes up. This will help to ensure your budget stays on track, and help reduce unnecessary stress for you and your partner.
6. Do Your Homework
Research your wedding venue well in advance, and factor in things such as the season you are getting married in and the weather at that time of year. This can affect the clothes budget if shawls or light jackets need to be provided for the bridal party, as well as elements of the decor that will need to be factored in, such as a gazebo or outdoor shelter if the weather looks set to rain.
7. Summing It Up
Finally, sit down and check if your budget is enough to cover the costs of the wedding you truly wish to have. This could influence your decision to postpone the big day until you can afford the wedding of your dreams, or you may decide you want to get married on a tighter budget and opt out of fancy extras. Whatever you decide, it’s a great idea to keep a spreadsheet to track all expenditure and maintain transparency with all parties involved.