How to create a Wedding Budget

Your wedding is perhaps one of the most important days of your life. On your special day,  you wish all things go as per plan. For this to happen, you have to plan everything well in advance, including the wedding budget.

Figuring out your wedding budget is no easy task. Your wedding will likely be the biggest party you’ve ever hosted and the priciest. To make a budget, you’ll need to tally up your savings, maintain a detailed spreadsheet so you don’t go over budget during the planning process, prepare for unexpected costs, as well as make meaningful cuts if you do exceed your total budget. 

Yes we know it’s not an easy task so here are a few ways to prepare a wedding budget that you can stick to. 

1 . Count your cash

First and foremost step in preparing a wedding budget is counting the cash you got. How much you have to spend on the wedding is directly proportional to three sources of money: You and your fiancé’s individual savings, the amount you can set aside from your current income, any contributions from parents or loved ones. 

If you count everything and get a definite number, you can have an idea of where and how much you can spend. By doing this, you can avoid going over budget and can also save a part of the sum.

2. Track Your Spending 

Create a spreadsheet with three expense columns: Estimated, Modified, and Actual. Amounts under Estimated will be driven by researching costs in your area. Proposals from the vendors you choose will go in Modified, and the final amount you pay them will go in Actual. Add a line item called Extras that equals 15 percent of your total budget to cushion for things you’ll likely forget or won’t anticipate in advance. Never spend this money upfront, you might need it throughout the planning process as incidentals arise. 

3 . Prepare for Surprises

Before you sign a contract with a vendor or start buying gift bag items, read the terms and conditions, because expenses that may seem small early on, could add up quickly. If the total of the item isn’t in your overall budget, cut it. 

This is very common where some vendors hide their original costs behind the T&Cs and can fool you. You have to go through everything thoroughly, clear all your doubts and questions, ask everything in detail and then make your decision. 

4. Charge responsibly 

In the first step, where you have calculated your cash in hand, you may know how much to spend where. But in case you’re tempted to spend more than you have, don’t.  “Never charge anything that you can’t pay off in 30 days,” says financial expert Farnoosh Torabi. That is unless you qualify for a card with a zero percent purchase APR, which lets you skirt interest payments as long as you pay your entire balance within a certain time frame (usually 12 to 15 months).

Torabi advises mapping out a plan for how you intend to do that before swiping. For example, register for cash gifts that you can put toward a portion of the wedding and create a savings plan to cover the rest. If you do use a credit card, choose one with a generous cashback program. 

5. Look for ways to save 

Start by looking through the budget and crossing off anything that you don’t need. For example, if you’re having both -the ceremony and the reception at one location, you might not need to include transportation. It is definitely possible to have a beautiful wedding on a budget. Use your contacts. Don’t be afraid to ask recently married friends who they used and what they paid. Ask friends in the wedding industry to help you out, and give you a discount if possible. If the numbers still aren’t working out, ask yourself what’s really important to you.

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