We get it—no one likes to talk about money. But your wedding budget has a huge impact on every detail of your wedding planning. Whether you’re trying to stick to a specific number or you have some breathing room, it’s important to build out a wedding budget and determine what parts of your big day are most important to you and your partner.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve put together a few tips for building a wedding budget that works for you.
Do your research
Sit down with your partner and list out everything you need for your wedding: venue, catering, live band or DJ, flowers, etc. Once you have a complete list, start researching vendors in your area and figure out what each item costs on average in your region. While there are plenty of lists online that can give you an estimated cost, vendor prices vary by location, so it’s smarter planning to get pricing from local vendors.
Settle on a number
With all your research out of the way, you now have a clearer idea of what the different vendors for your wedding may cost. Now it’s time to total up all those numbers for the grand total. If that number is higher than the amount you want to spend, look a little more closely at your list and see what items you can either DIY or cut out entirely. And don’t forget that there are ways to save on many wedding items. For example, a lot of your décor can be borrowed or thrifted.
Determine who’s paying what
Next, decide who’s footing the bill. Maybe you and your partner are handling the costs all on your own, or maybe you both have family members who have offered to help out. If you’re handling the costs yourselves, be realistic and practical. After all, the last thing you want is to start your marriage in debt because you overspent on your wedding day.
If you have family members who want to contribute to your wedding budget, talk to them about how much they want to offer and ask if there are specific items they want to help out with. Your parents may want to cover everything, or they may just want to handle the catering or the dress. Regardless of where your funds are coming from, it’s essential to know how much money you have before you start selecting vendors.
Break out the binders
When it comes to wedding planning, organization is key. Whether you keep everything digital on a spreadsheet or you prefer a physical wedding binder, just make sure all your information is in one place. Go through each item and list out estimated costs and actual costs so you can keep track of where and how much you’re spending. And don’t forget to account for the small details, like postage and accessories. They may not seem expensive on their own, but these items can quickly add up and throw your budget off-track.
Have a contingency budget
Even the best-laid plans don’t always work out completely. You may end up with some unexpected expenses that you just can’t work around. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a contingency budget: an amount over your budgeted amount for each vendor that you can spend if you really have to.
No matter what your wedding budget is, you can have a gorgeous wedding that you and your partner will never forget. As you plan, look for additional ways to save money and talk to friends and family about how they can help you out and ease your spending load.