How to Manage Your Wedding Budget
Paperia | February 2014
It’s no secret that weddings can be pricey affairs. From traditional soirees to casual backyard fetes, the way that you and your family choose to celebrate this joyous occasion is totally unique and personal. One component that all weddings share, however, is the mindfulness that goes into managing your budget.
Among the most important initial steps in your wedding planning will be the allocation and management of your budget. Planning will help you figure out the approximate cost of your wedding in sum, and will enable you and your partner to focus on how much you are willing and able to spend. By thinking about your wedding budget in advance, you will alleviate future stressors and ensure that your special day goes off without a hitch.
To begin the budgeting process, you and your partner should ask yourselves what kind of wedding you want:
- Do you want a small, intimate affair with family and close friends?
- Will the party be elaborate, or sans-frills?
- Are you a jet-setting couple? Perhaps you are dreaming of a destination wedding.
Once you have a general idea of the size and feel of your event, ask yourselves what you prefer to be the focal point of your wedding (and furthermore, your spending):
- The venue
- The food
- The decorations
- The entertainment (a band or DJ)
When you’ve made your choice, begin to budget towards that goal. Once you know the type of wedding you are planning, start your budget by making a list of your costs. No expense is too big or small to include on this list; try to make it as comprehensive as possible!
It’s helpful to organize the budget list into 3 phases: pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding:
The Pre-Wedding budget may include:
- Save-the-Date card
- Engagement Party
- Bachelorette and Bachelor parties
- Rehearsal Dinner (venue and food)
For the wedding day, items to budget for may include:
- The ceremony (the location where you will take your vows)
- The reception venue
- Food (this could be an outside caterer or sometimes is included with the reception venue)
- The wedding gown, tuxedoes, and bridesmaids’ dresses
- Decorations and favors
- Wedding rings
- Photographer and/or videographer
Finally, for the post-wedding, you should factor in:
- Thank you cards
- The after party!
Once you have your budgeted list roughly drawn out, you can begin to research the approximate cost of each item according to your taste. Be realistic and establish your required purchases first. Try to be frugal in the parts of your wedding that are less of a priority for you and your partner.
If budget is a concern, there are many creative ways to save: shop around for discounts when outfitting the wedding party; use a backyard for the reception; ask a talented family member to make your wedding cake or decorations, etc. If you are on a strict budget, finding creative ways to save money in all aspects of your planning can save you thousands of dollars.
Keeping an open mind will allow you to enjoy this process as you approach your big day!