Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and effort, and figuring out your wedding budget is also no easy feat. The fact is, breaking down your wedding budget is one of the trickiest wedding planning tasks and perhaps the most important one. This is because every single decision you make during the planning stage will be affected by your wedding budget. So, how do you create the ideal budget for the big day? The following steps should help you get started on your ideal budget.
Step #1: Figure Out Who’s Contributing
Of course, you and your fiancé would automatically be considered in the equation. However, friends and family members sometimes would want to chip in. Whatever the case may be, everyone who’s eager to contribute should be factored into your budget. Try to ascertain how much each party is willing to spend or what particular aspect of the wedding they’d like to take care of so you can start scratching off things on your list.
While money conversations can be awkward, especially with family members, it would be a huge advantage to know exactly how much they’re contributing so you can have accurate calculations for your budget.
Step #2: Crunch the Numbers
Once you know exactly what or how much the others are contributing, you can now focus on your own contribution. You need to estimate your personal wedding budget based on your answers to the following questions:
How much can you and your partner realistically and comfortably afford to spend, given all the real-life expenses you have to cover?
How much can you both reasonably save between now and the wedding, given your monthly income?
How much, if any, can you responsibly pull from an existing savings account?
Answering these questions will somehow give you a ballpark figure of your wedding budget. While there may still be adjustments as time goes on, you now have some idea of what range you’ll be working on in terms of your possible expenses for the wedding.
Step #3: Estimate Your Guest Count
One of the biggest drivers of a wedding budget is the number of guests you’ll be inviting. In fact, the entire ceremony will be pretty much based on the guest count as it will determine the size of the venue and how much food and drinks will be served.
To help put things in perspective, look at your wedding as a “per-person” expenditure. This will generate the right number of items you’ll need to pay for, from the invitations and the table and chair rentals to the food and wedding favors.
Step #4: Choose Your Non-Negotiables
You and your partner will probably have differing opinions as to which wedding items are worth splurging on. In any case, you both need to settle which wedding items need to be prioritized in terms of expenses. You can’t splurge on the dress/suit, the wedding favors, and the food at the same time. That would cost you a lot of money. Try to compromise on some of the items and just focus your budget on a few key elements of your wedding.
Step #5: Do the Math
Part of the planning process is doing research on possible wedding suppliers, including the venue and the caterer. But along with all that research and canvassing, you also need to crunch the numbers. This is perhaps the final reality check. Ask yourselves, does your budget breakdown match the actual cost of your ideal wedding?
Once you’ve determined that your ideal wedding and your actual budget is pretty close to each other, it’s time to bring out the spreadsheet and start crunching the numbers. By allotting certain dollar amounts to each item in your checklist. If you are going over the budget, consider trimming other expenses, or if you can afford it, take out a small personal loan to boost your budget just a bit more.
Organizing and planning a wedding isn’t exactly a walk in the park. The planning and budgeting alone can take months or even years of preparation. Whether you’re envisioning a casual party or a lavish big-budget production, it pays to know how to budget your wedding properly.
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