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How To Set Up A Wedding Budget

Creating a realistic budget is an essential first step in the wedding planning process. Having your budget set before you really jump into planning will give you a guide to follow throughout the entire process. A budget will also be helpful to keep you from going into debt before your lives really begin.

Ok, so you have to set a budget. How do you even begin to do that? Well, you are going to need to do some thinking about what is and isn’t important to you when it comes to your wedding. Then you will need to do research on each of the aspects of the wedding to better familiarize yourself with what the going rates are.

Let’s start by making a list of priorities. Write down which aspects of the wedding are most important to you and which aren’t important and you can do without. For example, if you are set on having a designer wedding gown, you will want to note that so you can be sure to allocate appropriately once you have determined your budget. Also, if you know you will be making your own invitations, you won’t have to allocate as much to that.

One of the most organized ways to track your budget is by creating a spreadsheet. Start by listing out all aspects of your wedding including ceremony and reception venues, caterer, photographer, DJ/entertainment, invitations, and so on. Next to each aspect have a space for allocated budget and a space for actual cost.

Now you will need to start doing some research. Familiarize yourself with the current going rates for different aspects of your wedding. Most wedding vendors will offer free consultations where you can sit down and get information and ask questions. There are also tons of wedding magazines and websites where you can learn about the different costs for things. Make sure you take your time and know exactly what is and isn’t included.

Once you have finished all your research you can sit down with all others that would be contributing to the wedding expenses, including your parents and your future in-laws. All parties can discuss how much they can afford to contribute based on current earnings and savings. Knowing the going rates will be particularly helpful in this step since your parents might not know how much things cost these days. For example, if they agree to pay for the caterer thinking it will be around $2,000 and then find out when they get the bill it is $8,000, there could be some issues.

Once you have your total budget amount determined based on what all parties are contributing and your research is done, you can start allocating to each aspect accordingly. Don’t forget to incorporate in your list of priorities. It is helpful to create a system for denoting where each item stands on that list. Also, don’t forget to figure in taxes and tips when you are allocating funds.

Working together with all parties involved will help you create a smart and flexible wedding budget. Being organized is important when it comes to spending less. When you are in control of the plans and expenses, you will eliminate many fears that typically cause stress and arguments. Remember to work with what you have, be grateful for what others give to you, and enjoy the importance of your special day.