How to Set Your Wedding Budget
Get started with these three steps to setting your wedding budget.
The numbers are in, and they aren’t pretty. With the average wedding cost at over $28,000, it’s no wonder tackling the budget is one of the most overwhelming tasks on your to-do list. We’ve sorted the figures to help you put it all in perspective and build a plan of attack.
Step 1: Talk to all contributing parties
As the cost of weddings increase, so does the number of people paying for them (good news for the bride’s parents, who no longer need to take out a second mortgage to fund their daughter’s nuptials). You’ll need to sit down with everyone who is going to contribute to the wedding-day piggy bank and discuss how to logically divide the tab and arrive at a total number.
The old-school rules dictating who pays for what are meant to be broken, but you can definitely use these wedding etiquette guidelines on who pays for what as a starting point for your budget discussion.
Step 2: Allocate totals for each service accordingly
Now that you’ve arrived at a reasonable total budget, you’ll need to determine where that money is going to go. Come up with a list of items/vendors/details you’ll need, and how much you’ll allocate to each. Then you can customize each amount based on your style and priorities. For instance, if a fabulous wedding gown is particularly important to you, you may splurge in that area, and make up for it by cutting back on your floral arrangements.
Step 3: Get a system and start saving
You’ll need to establish a reliable method to keep track of all savings and expenditures. There are endless ways to save and track your finances, from sophisticated software to old-fashioned spreadsheets. You can download easy-to-use budgeting software at My Wedding Organizer, Five Star Software or Elm Software for $29.95.
If you’ve already got a hefty seed to put down for your affair, talk with your financial institution about the best way to accrue interest leading up to your big day. A seemingly nominal interest rate can mean the difference between Vera Wang and hand-me-downs. Just be sure to open an account separate from your personal savings so that you won’t be tempted to dip into the funds and ultimately find yourself in the hole.
If you are starting from zero with your wedding-day savings, consider paying for as many of your expenses as possible on a credit card that amasses benefits like frequent flier miles, rewards, or cash back that can go toward your honeymoon travel.