It happened! He bought a ring, got down on one knee, and you said yes. For every girl, this is a magical and stressful time. We dream about our weddings, where it will be, what colors we’ll use, we “pin” ideas, and discuss it with our girlfriends. And now, it’s happening. Once that initial shock wears off, only then do we go into panic mode. The budget! Who’s paying for what? How much will this cost? So many questions.
There is no doubt that you will need to come up with a budget for your wedding before you spend a penny. But before you can even think about the budget, you need to know what you’re working with. Here are some tips to start that budget and get an idea of what you’ll be spending on your wedding.
Talk to Your Families
Old tradition says that the bride’s family pays for the wedding, but that’s not really the case as much anymore. Instead, The Knot says that on average, according to their 2015 Real Weddings Study, the bride’s parents cover 44% of the wedding, the bride and groom cover 43% and the groom’s parents cover 12%. Knowing this, you need to sit down with each side of the family and have the talk. And do it with each side individually. Don’t put your parents on the spot by having a group conversation with the other side of the family.
Be sure to ask each side if there is a specific amount they can commit to. Or perhaps if they’re willing to commit to a specific need for the wedding like covering the entire cost for the wedding dress, the cake, flowers, or catering. This allows each side to provide as much support as they are comfortable with and lets you know where you will need to budget. Even if an item is being promised for the wedding, it’s one less thing you have to budget for.
Evaluate the Bride & Grooms Budget
Now that you have commitments from either side of the family, you need to know what you can add to your own wedding. Take a look at each person’s budget and see where corners can be cut. Perhaps we’ll eat out less, or skip the afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. Remember, making small sacrifices to your non-essentials will amount to a huge savings for your wedding — and it’s temporary! You won’t have to live without that afternoon rush forever.
Remember, it’s not enough to just say you’re not going to buy that extra cup of coffee. You need to actually save that money so be sure to transfer it to a savings account, CD, or money market account where you will save up your funds and leave them untouchable.
Put the Wedding In Perspective
Often times the bride and groom are looking to accomplish much more than just have a wonderful wedding. Are you planning on getting a new home? Do you have student loans to pay off? Have you recently purchased a car? Life keeps moving even though we’re planning for a big event. Consider everything that’s going when setting your date and planning your budget. You may find that pushing back your wedding date by 6 months can save you BIG!
Get Estimates – In Writing!
How much exactly is a cake going to cost for 100 guests? You need to know, have an estimate in writing, and budget accordingly. The same goes for your catering and how much it will cost per plate. Being aware of how much each item is going to cost you will ensure that money is not slipping through your fingers and each item is getting the space in your budget it deserves.
What other tips and tricks do you have for saving for a wedding? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Join us on Facebook and participate in the discussion.