Photo by Arshad Pooloo on Unsplash
The very first step in wedding planning, or any event planning really, should be creating a budget. Your wedding will likely be the biggest and most expensive event you ever host, so unless you have an unlimited supply of money (don’t we all wish?”), creating a wedding budget is an essential step.
Whether you’ve got $1,000 or a $100,000 to work with, creating a wedding budget you can stick to is a challenge, so check out these five tips to make it easier.
Find Out Who’s Contributing
Who pays for what is different with every wedding. The tradition of the family picking up the entire tab isn’t always the case anymore. Today, many couples foot the whole bill on their own. Whether it’s just you and your fiance, or you have family or friends who are willing to pitch in, the first step in determining your wedding budget is finding out all the potential contributors.
This conversation can be an awkward one, but you have to power through it to get your budget started. It’s helpful to keep the conversations with family and friends separate, so no one feels pressured or uncomfortable. Talk to your potential contributors and see if they can pitch in, and then have them commit to a dollar amount. Or if it’s easier, you can ask them to cover one aspect of the wedding like the live band or DJ, catering, or photographer and videographer, etc.).
Pick Your Priorities
Once you know who’s contributing to your wedding budget, you have to figure out how much you and your fiance need to start saving. In order to do that, you have to decide on the type of wedding you want. You don’t need to go into great detail right now, but so many factors make a difference in your wedding budget.
Do you want an intimate gathering with only your nearest and dearest, or a huge party with all your friends and family? Do you want a lavish venue or a low key beach wedding? Would you prefer a live band or DJ? Is there an exact date and time you won’t negotiate on (some seasons and days are more expensive for weddings)?
The answers to these questions will make a big impact on the wedding budget you need, and some factors will make a bigger difference than others. For example, developing a good estimate of your guest list is essential because it impacts so many other wedding components from venue to food. So estimate your guest count and pick your non-negotiables to determine how much money you need to make it happen.
Once you know who’s contributing and how much the wedding you want will cost, it’s time to figure out how to close the gap. To figure out how much you can come up with for your wedding spending, you should consider how much you can:
Save From Income/Paychecks:
It’s important to decide on a realistic and reasonable amount to save from your monthly income. Ideally, you want to be able to live comfortably while covering your necessary expenses. Instead of trying to save more than you comfortably can cut in small ways that add up.
Watch a movie at home instead of heading to the theatre, make your own coffee, have some date nights where you cook together, or cancel your gym memberships and opt for working out in nature. Cutting these expenses won’t lower the quality of your life, and they’ll add up over time.
Dip Into Savings:
If you and your fiance already have a savings account, it’s time to figure out how much you can reasonably dip into it. You don’t want to drain your savings account entirely, so consider how much you need to set aside for your “emergency fund” and how much that leaves you to work with.
Count on From Contributions:
This is where you’ll want to get real about the contributions covered in tip number one. Only include contributions you are confident in your wedding budget calculation.
With these three amounts, you’ve got yourself an estimated wedding budget to work with, well done! But there’s still more involved in a successful wedding budget.
Track Your Spending
So many couples go over budget, and that can lead to disaster. Really, there’s no point in setting a wedding budget if you don’t stick to it. An essential step in sticking to your wedding budget is tracking your spending.
Make a spreadsheet to account for all the money coming in and going out, or if you can look online for a wedding budget calculator to help keep track of things.
Prepare for Unplanned Expenses
No matter how much you plan, every wedding can have unexpected expenses. From missing the fine print or needing more flowers to weather-related costs or small incidents, it’s always best to put a little extra money aside for the surprise costs.
Before signing contracts or picking vendors, avoid unplanned expenses by keeping an eye out for fees for vendor transportation, cake cutting, set-up and breakdown, digital photo access, and more.
While you’re putting away extra money for surprise expenses, it’s also a good idea to put aside money for tips too. The Church sexton, hotel staff, vendors, and more will all be expecting tips, and even small tips can add up to hundreds of dollars.
Your wedding band or DJ will only take up a small portion of your wedding spending, but the right music entertainment can make or break a wedding reception. For the music entertainment that will make your wedding unforgettable, contact SPN Events today!