Creating a wedding budget isn’t always easy. Money discussions can be tense, and it is often difficult for couples to move into this uncharted territory. While budget conversations often aren’t simple, you can put some practices in play to make the process of creating a wedding budget a bit smoother. These tips will help you create your wedding budget with confidence and ease, and will take some of the stress out of the equation.
Figure Out Your Money Sources
You are going to need to figure out where exactly your money is coming from for the wedding. Whether just you and your partner are footing the bill or you are getting help from your family, this information will make a huge difference in how much you can budget out. You’ll need to take a good look at your own finances—how much you have in savings and how much of your monthly income you can reasonably put aside for wedding purposes. Establish your wedding money sources ahead of time so that you know what you are able and willing to spend, then you can dive into creating your budget.
List Out Your Priorities
Every couple will have a different idea of what is important for the wedding. Some brides may have been dreaming of splurging on an extravagant dress their whole lives, while others may be happy with a beautiful thrifty find. Some couples may be hoping to lock down the best DJ in town, while others may put more importance on the food. Creating a list of your wedding priorities will help you decide where to put your money and where you can be a bit more frugal. Make sure each person gets a say in what is non-negotiable for them, and then create an agreed upon list from both of your ideas and expectations.
Expect to Adjust Your Budget
When you are first creating your budget, you might not be 100% accurate in what things will actually cost. Your initial estimates should be based off research on wedding averages for your area, but once you start actually reaching out to vendors, you might need to adjust accordingly. Know that you will likely need to modify actual expenses from your initial estimates, so don’t get too attached to those numbers. If you need to allow for more money for a certain expense, take some out of the budget for one of your lower priority categories. If a certain vendor ends up being cheaper than expected, you can also put that money towards another category (or just save it!). A spreadsheet will be incredibly helpful here, as it will allow you to see where you are moving around your money.
Find Ways to Cut Back on Costs
If you are finding that your initial overall budget is higher than what you want to spend, decide on a few easy ways to cut down on costs. This will depend on your personal priorities, but some easy wedding saving tips include:
- Whittle down the guest list. You can save on catering and possibly even go for a smaller and less expensive venue if you find ways to cut down your guest list. You could do this by limiting plus-ones, or deciding not to invite children.
- Pick a DJ over a live band. Live bands will typically cost more than a DJ, so look at the rates of your local music options and see what will be most cost-effective.
- Consider an off-peak wedding. Getting married in the off-season can save you some major cash. Look at when the peak marriage season is for your area, and consider planning your wedding for a less popular date.
- Repurpose flowers to cut down your floral budget. Bring some of the floral decorations from the ceremony into the reception space to cut back on costs. The bridesmaids’ bouquets or aisle decor can easily be repurposed as centerpieces.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with wedding professionals from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!