You finally got to say “yes” to the love of your life and announce your engagement to the world! It’s exciting to celebrate with family and friends, but it’s even more special to start thinking about your wedding. You might daydream about the style of your dress or the flavor of your wedding cake, but you’ll need a budget to make any of that happen.
Bridal budgets come in all sizes. You could want a small ceremony that’s as budget-friendly as possible or maybe you dream about hosting an elaborate wedding. A budget will help you stay on track so you don’t have bills left over after you head back home with your new spouse. How do you know where to start when it’s time to build your budget?
Read about these five crazy easy steps to creating your wedding budget so you can figure out the right financial guide for your wedding. With a little extra thought in the months ahead of your ceremony, you’ll piece everything together at prices that won’t stress you out.
1. Consider Your Current Budget
The best place to start when you’re thinking about your wedding is your current budget. What kind of income do you have and how much money do you usually save from your paychecks? Brides who can only put away two or three hundred dollars each month won’t be able to afford a £50,000 ceremony in six months without going into debt or working extra jobs.
Approach your current budget realistically to figure out how much you can put away in savings before your wedding. Once you do that math, you’ll have a more realistic idea of how much you’ll be able to save before relying on potential donations from your family.
2. Think About What You Want
Your budget will make your dream wedding come true, but do you know what that will look like? Think about the kind of ceremony and reception that would make your wedding perfect. You might picture an expensive gown and faux flower decor or a professional catering company and plastic reception tables.
Figure out what you’re willing to invest money in and where you can compromise to prioritize your wedding needs. Afterwards, you can structure your budget around what your heart desires.
3. Talk With Your Planner
You can feel like you’ve prepared for your wedding down to the last detail, but there are always a few unknown tips a wedding planner can help with. Talk with your planner or read advice from the pros to think about future expenses.
Little details like stamps for your invitations and a sign on your wedding cake will add up quickly if you don’t budget for them ahead of time. Your planner will also keep up with future bills that you might forget about on your own, saving you from potential financial stress.
4. Draft Your Guest List
Another great way to budget for your wedding is to draft your guest list early. Make a big list of everyone you think could come and would like to come. Add a few dream guests, then tally up the final total. You’ll know the highest number of guests that could come and reasonably plan for a few less than that, as not every guest always makes it.
5. Expect a Few Surprises
During the last few weeks before your wedding, you’ll find a few surprises that cause you to spend more money. It happens to every bride, so leave a bit of a cushion in your budget. You’ll have to pay for your marriage license, extra hairspray and tips for your vendors, among other expenses that easily slip the mind.
Plan What You Can
You’re about to spend tons of time comparing types of flowers and shades of colors, so spend the same time thinking about your finances, too. Plan for expenses like your venue and caterer, plus all the little fees that will pull your wedding together. A budget that leaves room for unexpected expenses, along with a long guest list, will help cover all the bases so you’re ready when your wedding day arrives.