Weddings can be incredibly overwhelming. There's figuring out a date that works, making sure everyone is on the same page, and, of course, putting together a budget. Before you sit down to hammer out the numbers, though, you should have an idea of the type of wedding you would like to have and the amount of money you would like to spend. Then you can come up with the ultimate budgeting plan for your upcoming wedding expenses.
Know What Expenses are Most Important to You
Every couple is going to be different, so it is important to know what elements you really want. Some people are willing to pay a lot of money for a good photographer, but the cost of the invitations might be less important to them. Similarly, some brides want a more expensive dress but do not mind DIY bouquets from the grocery store. Figure out the three categories of the wedding that are most important to you, and spend your money there.
Look for Deals
In many cases you can expect to pay more if you mention the word "wedding," but you may also be able to find some deals. For example, if your fiancé(e) is military, you may be able to get a discount on the venue or the photographer. Similarly, you can save a lot of money by purchasing your wedding dress online instead of in a bridal store. Finally, invitations can be a great place to save. Just watch for deals and coupon codes to order them through a website like Zazzle. You may be able to save up to 40%.
Keep Track of Your Spending
In order to stay within your budget, you will need to keep track of where your money is going. An Excel spreadsheet is going to be your best friend. You can have a column for how much you expect to spend and how much you actually spent. This will help make sure you know if you need to cut more or if you are on track.
I am convinced that any couple can figure out how to get the wedding of their dreams for the budget they have in mind. If you want a $5,000 wedding, it is possible. You may need to have a smaller lunch reception and whittle down the guest list, but you can design a wedding within that budget. On the other hand, if you want to spend as little as possible you can go the minimalist route and spend next to nothing (relatively speaking anyway). Just be creative in figuring out solutions that will help you make your budget.
While planning a wedding can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, it is also a very exciting time. You are about to begin your life with the person of your dreams! Don't let the finances get you down. Take these tips and make that perfect wedding you've always dreamed of a reality.