Creating a Wedding Budget
How to Make Your Wedding Budget
Creating a wedding budget not only helps the couple determine how much they can afford to spend on their wedding, but also keeps the costs under control. On average, a 200-guest wedding costs $17,000 - an incredible amount!
The first step for the couple is to sit down with their families to determine how much they are willing to contribute. As men and women getting married later in life the couple may decide to foot the entire bill themselves.
The next step involves taking a realistic look at wedding style and wedding size you want. Keep in mind the bigger and more elaborate the wedding the higher it costs. Compare this with the available funds. Is it possible to get the wedding you want with the money you have? If not, look for more cost-effective alternatives in the style or size of the wedding. Controlling the size is a littler easier. Simply try to limit the number of guests when creating a guest list (granted, this is easier said than done). As for the style finding compromises may require more imagination. Do you have your heart set on a Renaissance themed wedding in an English castle? The costs would be enormous! However, having your wedding at a local Renaissance fair or theatre would provide the same look and feel at a much lower cost.
Once you have a firm idea of the total amount you can spend the next step is to divide that number among the various wedding parts. For example, how much do you plan to budget for the wedding dress, the reception hall, the invitations and the honeymoon? Do some research and estimate the costs. List all the items and their estimates on a sheet of paper. Do the math. Does it all add up to your total budget? If not, play with the numbers until everything balances. Compromise is very important during this step. You'll both have different ideas of what you're willing to spend on a given item. Once a decision has been reached stick with it. Constantly altering the numbers will make it impossible to maintain and balance your budget. Like your wedding checklist carry your wedding budget with you when you go shopping. It will keep you organized and help you stick to the costs.
If you don't have the funds already saved the next step involves creating a savings plan. On average the couple should try to save 20% of their income a month. Although it seems a lot, that amount can be reached by cutting costs in other areas in you life. For example, bringing your lunch to work rather than going out to a restaurant can save you $15 - $20 a week. That's an annual saving of $1040. You'd be surprised at how those little changes can save you a lot in the end.