Wedding Budget Worries
Step one in planning for a wedding is crafting a budget. The budget helps in determining what’s affordable for every wedding component. You’re essentially putting a ceiling on the entire expenditure costs. This way you’ll know what you can spare for expenses. For many, budget creation is the toughest task, not to be taken lightly. The perfect event won’t happen if you don’t know what’s okay to spend and what’s too much.
It used to be that the bride’s parents shouldered the wedding expenses. These days, the couple’s folks simply contribute toward the wedding funds, rather than pay for everything, a gift to the bride and groom. Parents stopped covering all wedding costs mainly because it has ceased to be affordable. This is okay since most of today’s couples prefer paying for the event themselves. Doing so gives them the freedom to do the wedding exactly how they want with nobody interfering. Usually, parents just spring for the honeymoon. Still, it’s important to create a budget. What if all the expenses are on you?
Today, four out of every five couples take care of wedding expenses themselves. It therefore helps to have an idea how the available funds will be distributed. Create a pie chart to make visualizing the budget distribution easier. A sample breakdown: bridal apparel – seven percent, reception – 37 percent, flowers – five percent, invitations – two percent, rings – 14 percent, music – five percent, videography/photography – 10 percent, honeymoon – 14 percent, Miscellaneous – eight percent.
The chart info can be used as a takeoff point for creating the actual wedding budget. Start with estimating the overall amount you’re comfortable spending. Take the initial amount then apply it toward a separate actual monetary amount. Different sites online offer cheap or even free wedding budget calculators that can take care of the number crunching for you. Simply provide the total budget amount and it will figure out how much you’ll need to be spent per wedding aspect.
With the dollar amount already computed, move on to the budget worksheet included in the planning toolkit. This will organize the list and help you stay within budget. You need to do this if you want to find out if your dream wedding is even possible within your fixed budget. If not, some adjustments might be in order: leave out some services, scrap extras like limousines, cut back on the guest list and reduce the wedding party.
The budget worksheet allows you to establish realistic wedding goals. It also tells you whether or not the budget realistically reflects the financial situation. If the two don’t match, some changes might have to be made. Once your mind is set on what are the absolute must-haves and the amount you can spare, proceed to the planning phase.
Wedding Funds Breakdown Pointers
• Any takers? – First off is finding out if anybody else will pitch in for the wedding expenses. The reception and ceremony traditionally were paid for by the bride’s folks. Nowadays, the groom’s side offers to split the costs, covering the expenses for things like rehearsal dinners and the bar. Be warned though, more individuals to foot the bill means more people feeling they have a right to meddle. Skirt such issues by saving up to pay for the whole event.
• Make a budget – The flowers, photography and music should eat up 10 percent apiece. Reception will likely comprise 50 percent. The 20 percent remaining goes toward covering the rest – invites, limo, tux, dress, hotel and others.
• Creative cutbacks – Think outside the box when deciding where to trim down expenses. Sort out the guest list – the children, single guests with plus ones and colleagues. Substitute inexpensive thermography for pricey engraved invitations. Inquire with nearby museums or clubs if they offer member discounts for receptions.
• Something borrowed, something rented – Consider renting or borrowing tuxedos and gowns.
• Set up checking accounts with interest solely for wedding costs. Put away whatever you can throughout the engagement period. Final bills are generally due the week of the actual wedding, but anticipate making down payments for the caterers, venue, band and shutterbugs. There’s also the tips to factor in.
Putting together a wedding budget might seem scary, but once it’s done, you’re left with the fun stuff – the cake sampling, picking flower arrangements and so on. You might wish for a fancy wedding, but that’s no excuse to go borrowing heavily to finance an event that is just too pricey. The main reason couples fight and split up is financial troubles. Don’t put yourself in such a situation. Keep to a small budget and marry within your personal means.