Friday Tips and Tricks: Budgeting

Happy Friday Birdies!

IMG_5384I hope everyone had a productive week and looking forward to the weekend. Today I wanted to touch on budgeting. Disclaimer: This is in no way financial advising. I want to share with  you all my personal experiencing having to budget for the big day. As I’ve mentioned previously, my husband and I are in the process of planning our vow renewal to celebrate our anniversary next year. The process has been pretty smooth so far, as I locked down most of the major pieces early on. But now we’ve hit the point where my husband brings me back down to planet earth and asks me, “How’s the budget looking?”. Thankfully we’re in pretty good shape, but establishing a budget and sticking to it is always stressful on some level. So below is my tips and tricks on budgeting for your big day!

  • Establish a budget
    • Have a budget. You need one. And if you don’t, it very well my come back to bite you in the butt later. This may be a two-part process for some people. If this is your first rodeo, you may want start out by doing some research about how much an average wedding costs. Please keep in mind that this will vary based on how many people you’re planning to invite and the city that you live in. And look at multiple sources to get a realistic idea (not one glance at Wikipedia). If you already know how much you want to spend, then I suppose you can skip this step. If you’re getting outside financial assistance, that’s wonderful. If you’re not sure if you are getting help from parents or other family members, plan your budget as if you’re paying out-of-pocket, because the last thing you want is to budget and end up having less to work with than you originally planned.
  • Prioritize
    • Once you’ve got your budget, it’s time to prioritize. This is where you decide which area of your wedding are the most important to you. If you care more about the venue and food than flowers, than those things will probably be budgeted higher. Sometimes (like me right now) you’ll find your self at a point where you have to cut costs. For example, in our budget venue and food is the largest area. We don’t want to touch the photographer, and we’re already getting a wonderful deal with or DJ. So we’re compromising with the flowers, by either reducing our budget, or possibly doing our own flowers (which would actually be fun for me). If you’re hiring a planner, they can help you prioritize and stick to your budget.
  • Stay organized
    • It always helps to have a visual aide to keep you on track with where you’re at with your budget. The Knot  has a very helpful budget calculator. You can also find an excel template for a wedding budget sheet. Whatever is easier for you, this will definitely be a useful planning tool.
  • Compare costs
    • When looking at vendors for your weeding, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Even if you have your heart set one certain vendors, look around and compare costs to see what’s out there. But do this with decisiveness. Don’t get overwhelmed looking 20 different florists. Select from a small pool of realistic contenders, so you don’t end up going nuts. When I was looking for my photographer, I looked at five ranging in budgets, then narrowed it down to three. I ended up going with the most expensive one because I loved her work so much and was willing to cut elsewhere.
  • Stick to it!
    • As you start booking vendors, and looking at all the things you’ll need, stick to your budget! If you know you only have $3000 for a wedding dress, DO NOT pick up, or try on a dress that’s $10,000. You’ll just make your planning more difficult. You’ll have to decide if going over is worth having to rearrange your entire budget for your wedding. Keep in mind, you can find things to fit within your budget if you look in the right places. The Overwhelmed Bride is another wonderful resource that I stumbled upon during my planning. There’s a great blog post about budgeting that I found very helpful.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy planning!

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