The wedding budget – from scrolling through Instagram feeds and countless Pinterest images, to food and dessert tastings, wedding planning can feel like all fun and games…until it’s time to talk the numbers game.
Creating a detailed wedding budget is one of the most important steps you can do when it comes to wedding planning, but starting the budget conversation isn’t always easy.
So, to make it a bit easier for you and your finacé read below to learn how to create a realistic wedding budget with these 6 simple tips that will keep your priorities (and wallet) in check every step of the way.
Creating a Wedding Budget? 6 tips you need to follow!
1. Have “The Talk”
Before you start reaching out to vendors or sign any contracts it’s imperative to schedule a sit-down with your fiancé, families, and any financially contributing parties to discuss how much you feel comfortable investing in your wedding.
Start by thinking big picture and consider:
- How many guests might be invited
- How formal or informal you envision it to be
- Where you’d like to have your wedding
Talking about money with your loved ones can be a tad awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s a crucial step to avoiding a potential budget crisis down the line. Having this talk will also help you set expectations with your families which will help mitigate any surprises or hurt feelings the further you get into planning your wedding.
2. Research, Research, Research!
Once everyone is on the same page about how much you’d like to spend, it’s time for some good old fashioned market research in your wedding area.
There are many resources (probably too many so don’t get overwhelmed or fixated on the first set of figures) out there to help navigate the numbers, but make sure you’re taking into account the specific region you’re getting married in, the guest count, and any big-ticket items you’re hoping to include.
I recommend scheduling calls or consults with local professionals. Be upfront with them that you’re trying to gather information, they’ll be appreciative that you don’t know what you don’t know. However, don’t immediately ask for a price. Try to get an idea of their availability and scope of their services before talking numbers –there’s nothing more off-putting than a price shopper.
Another great way to gather information is to ask friends who’ve recently gotten married in a similar area or venue style.
When putting together your wedding budget identify three or four of the most important elements; these will become your priority areas. Your priority areas should be aspects that you feel will help you remember your wedding day such as photography, videography, and attire. Or, they could be elements to heighten your guest’s experience, such as floral design or decor. Once you’ve determined your top priorities it’s imperative to remember to stay flexible in other categories to prevent expenses from spiraling out of control.
“When putting together your wedding budget identify three or four of the most important elements; these will become your priority areas. Your priority areas should be aspects that you feel will help you remember your wedding day.”
4. It’s all in the details
Make sure you’re dotting your “I’s” and crossing your “t’s” with your budget plan, outlining the percentage of your overall budget you’d like to spend in each category (this will be easy to do if you followed tip #2) of your wedding.
It’s better to list your figures in ranges rather than an exact number in each category as this allows for flexibility as you move forward in the planning process. No matter how you choose to distribute your percentages, make sure you’re both comfortable with the high amount as the absolute max you’re willing to spend.
5. Don’t forget the cushion!
When you’re budgeting, always be sure to add a “cushion” for any additional overages or expenditures that might arise. A larger, rather than smaller, cushion is better because let’s face it, there’s always something you probably didn’t account for, (dress alterations, postage, gratuities, etc.) and that’s ok! You’ve never planned a wedding before and that’s what the cushion is for. Ultimately you decide how you want to spend that cushion fund once you’re further along in the planning process.
6. Track it
The last tip and probably one of the most important is to make sure to keep track of your payments in one centralized spot. Whether that’s on a shared spreadsheet, in a notebook or working with a professional coordinator (I provide all of my couples access to tailored budgeting tools designed to keep tabs on your budget throughout the entire planning process.
Did you find these tips helpful? Do you want more helpful tips and assistance with coordinating your wedding? Then drop us a line, we’d love to help!