Wedding Budget Planner

Creating a wedding budget planner is a great way to stay on task and keep your wedding from emptying your bank account. To create a planner, you should:

  • Set your overall budget
  • Choose two or three priorities (for example, photography, music, etc.) and budget generously for these
  • Look for discounts or do-it-yourself opportunities for the less important components
  • Stick to your budget

Getting married is one of the most significant moments in a person's life, so it's no surprise that the bride and groom want to do everything possible to make the day go perfectly. Unfortunately, not everyone has an unlimited budget, and if you don't pay attention, it's all too easy to spend more than you planned. This is where a wedding budget planner can help.

The first step, of course, is to figure out an overall budget for your wedding. Whether you're spending $1,000 or $10,000, you need to know how much money you're working with before you get started. This way you can figure out just how much you have available to allocate to each of the components of your wedding.

Once you've come up with an overall figure, sit down and think about where you can cut costs. Likewise, think about what's most important? What are some things that you just don't feel you can cut corners with? For example, you might forgo a swanky and expensive reception, but you may splurge on a videographer so you'll have a quality keepsake memento of your special day that you can watch in the years to come. This is just an example of the process; you'll need to evaluate your budget based on your own priorities.

Now that you have a good overview of your budget and your priorities, you can begin to piece together the specifics. Start your wedding budget planner by writing in the fixed amounts that you know you will need to pay. For example, the minister, the wedding venue, reception hall, and so on.

Next, think about how you can save on your wedding budget. Are you having your ceremony and reception at the same location? If so, you can discount travel expenses. Is your wedding small enough that you can cater it yourself or have family pitch in? Do you already have a date set, or can you have your wedding during an off peak time when you will be able to save on certain services? Consider talking to other newlywed couples who have been through the process to see how much they spent on the various components of their weddings. This can give you a starting point for how much to budget for these services.

Creating a wedding budget planner isn't difficult. It should include a checklist of the various components that you will need to budget for. These include the officiant, the venue, music (for the wedding and the reception), reception hall rental, food, cake, flowers, attire (bride, groom, wedding party), decorations, transportation, photography, and videography. If you are planning a rehearsal dinner, you will also need to include this in your budget.

The most important thing to remember when creating a wedding budget planner is to stick to your guns. Splurge on what's most important to you, and find ways to do things yourself to save money. Create your own inexpensive wedding decorations and party favors; stick to an intimate guest list of family and friends and opt for dinner at a fine restaurant instead of a reception. The possibilities are endless. The main thing is to determine your own priorities, and stick to your budget.

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