Let’s face it! Sometimes it’s just really awkward to talk about money. This can especially be true with people you maybe don’t know all that well, like soon-to-be in-laws. I wanted to share a few tips that can help you get your wedding budget nailed down. I promise, once you’ve nailed this down, everything else will be so much less awkward!
- Make of list of those contributing to the wedding financially. Typically, that includes any parents of the bride and the groom, as well as the couple themselves. However, there are all kinds of variables that could make this list different for you. So, make a list of people who have mentioned that they would help foot some of the bill. Put your own names on the list as well. You want to make sure you know exactly who is in and for how much.
- Communicate! This is the key ingredient to the whole planning process, and it is especially true when it comes to the budget. You and your fiance’ should decide how best to approach this. I think it’s usually best to set up a time to sit down with each set of people separately. I recommend asking very specifically how much they will be willing to contribute. You need to get a grand total so that you can start realistically planning out your big day. Vague number ranges don’t really help and make further communication necessary. If you can nail down a concrete amount, you’ll be much better off.
- Determine how much the two of you will contribute and vow to stick to it. There’s nothing worse than coming home from your honeymoon to bills for thousands of dollars that you hadn’t planned on spending. Make a plan to save along the way, but stick to your budget.
- Prioritize! Decide now what big ticket items are most important to you as a couple. I think it’s helpful to actually write out a list with the key budget items in order of importance. If it’s important to you to have your wedding at a certain venue, put that at the top. If photography is most important, list that. This will help as you begin to put numbers to categories. You’ll be able to decide easier whether to save in one area or another based on your list. If you have to spend more to get your top priority, you will feel better about having to cut back elsewhere if you look at that list.
- Don’t forget the big things! There are tons of resources online, so definitely check those out. You’ll want to make sure you cover the reception in its entirety, photography/videography, stationary (and don’t forget postage!), flowers, attire, rings, music, entertainment, transportation, hotel, wedding party gifts, rehearsal dinner, and the honeymoon.
- Don’t forget the little things! Most budgeting sights suggest a miscellaneous category of around 5-10% of your budget. You will forget things, so this will help you stay on track when those things come up.
- Celebrate!! Setting the budget is one of the toughest jobs in the planning. You did it! Now you can move forward confidently in your planning. High fives!