Planning a wedding is hard and talking through money and budgeting can be tough. I’ve included these go-to steps I took while planning my own wedding, to ensure you can stay within your planned wedding budget.
Talk over your budget
Talk over your budget with your fiance and see how much you two can afford to spend towards your wedding. This is VERY important, as wedding costs can add up very quickly and you want to make sure you’re both on the same page!
Things to discuss:
- How much can you both contribute towards the wedding budget?
- Are your parents willing to help pay for certain wedding vendors or willing to give a set dollar amount?
- Will you take out of your saving or choose to get a part-time job to bring in additional income to pay for the wedding?
Budget talks can be a tough step in the process, but it is what needs to happen before any planning gets done.
Write it out
Write a list of every payment you’ll need to make for your wedding day and all events leading up to it.
Start with the different categories of a wedding: wedding attire, reception, flowers, etc. Next, break it down a little further: wedding attire would include bridal dress, veil, accessories, shoes, groom’s suit, wedding rings, dress alterations. Reception might include food, beverage, wedding cake, table decor rentals, taxes, tips, and gratuities.
Be sure to include all of the small detailed expenses, because these are unfortunately notorious for eating up extra funds at the end of the planning process.
Throw it in a spread sheet
One of the easiest ways I was able to keep track of my numbers was to have it in an Excel sheet! Personally, I used Google Sheets, because they’ve got an app for iPhone and Android, so my husband and I could both access the spreadsheet anytime we wanted.
We also had additional columns on the spreadsheet that allowed us to go more in-depth.
We wrote out our estimated budget for a particular vendor, how much that vendor actually was going to cost us, the difference in those numbers, and a notes section too.
Below is an example what our spreadsheet looked like.
Reach out to vendors
Reach out to your friends and family for vendor recommendations. Do you have a photographer who you’ve worked with in the past or just love the work they post on social media?
Reach out to them to see what their pricing is and determine if it aligns with your wedding budget. If their prices are a little higher than your budget, DON’T COUNT THEM OUT JUST YET!
You can still have the photographer that you LOVE whose pricing are a little above your original price range. This just means you might have to decrease the budget for something else on your wedding day.
PRO TIP: Book the photographer who is going to give you the exact look of what you want for your images. Remember, other than your memory and a few pixelated cell phone pictures your friends take on their phone, the photos your wedding photographer takes will be the only thing to remember your wedding day.
Begin booking and buying, but also save a little
Book your vendors and you can begin buying everything for your big day! Your dress, jewelry, ceremony decor, etc.
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to buy everything, but can rent decorations from vendors too! This can be easier than buying, because most of the time the decor vendor will take care of set up/tear down and you don’t have to worry about selling it after the wedding.
Last, but most definitely not least, SAVE A LITTLE BIT!! You’ll end up needing to buy a few things along the way that you might not have originally budgeted or planned for. Keep a few thousand dollars saved up to spend of things that come up last minute.