Guidelines to Creating a Wedding Budget

As weddings are beginning to become more extravagant and expensive it is becoming increasingly important for couples to establish a budget for their wedding and also to stick to this budget. There may sometimes be an occasion where an item goes over budge but this should be the exception instead of the rule. Furthermore when you do find yourself going over budget on a particular aspect of your wedding, it is important to re-evaluate your budget and determine if there is anywhere that you can redistribute your funds so that your total budget does not increase. This may sound excessive but if you do not maintain control of your budget you may find that things escalate to the point where you are going into significant debt to pay for your wedding.

One of the most important aspects of establishing a budget for your wedding is to have an open conversation regarding the budget with all the parties who will be involved with paying for the wedding. It is important that this conversation take place before the planning gets underway so that everyone involved has a chance to voice their opinion before purchases are made and binding contracts are signed. This step is also important because it makes everyone involved aware of the budgetary restraints so that they understand the ramifications of overspending on one aspect of the wedding.

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After the budget has been discussed there should be a consensus regarding the amount of money that will be available for the wedding planning. Once this overall number is established, it is wise to start assigning percentages to each portion of the wedding. This may include, but is not limited to, the food at the reception, the food at the cocktail hour, centerpieces at the reception and flowers the ceremony, transportation for the bridal party, the bride and grooms’ wedding attire, flowers for the bridal party, a photographer and a DJ or band. An example of setting percentages is that you may decide that you are going to spend 35% of your overall budget on the food for the reception and a much smaller percentage for the centerpieces at the reception.

When creating your budget it is important to prioritize the different elements of the budget to determine which items should receive the largest budgets. For example if the bride is adamant about having a very elegant and opulent dress for the wedding but is less concerned about the flowers that she and her bridesmaids carry, it might be advisable to allocate enough money for the dress she wants and plan on saving money by purchasing silk flowers or less expensive bouquets. Understanding the priorities of the couple will help everyone involved with the wedding planning to see which items they should plan on splurging on and which items they might want to really comparison shop for in order to find an inexpensive alternative.

Once a budget has been agreed upon, it is recommended that you set the budget aside for a few days and that begin shopping around but that you not start spending money just yet. After a few days have passed, everyone can meet again to review the budget. This gives everyone a few days to think about what they have decided and even start pricing a few items just to determine whether or not their budget is feasible. During this time you may realize that you have underestimated or overestimated one or more aspects of the wedding and that the budget needs to be re-evaluated.

The importance of establishing a budget for a wedding cannot be underestimated. If you fail to set a budget or do not adhere to your budget you may find yourself in serious financial trouble that results from your wedding.

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