The budget...can you make it work, or is trying to set a wedding budget just a mean joke? As you set out to start planning your big day, you may be overwhelmed by how much everything CAN cost (but really doesn't have to). As you start to book vendors, get the venue, find your dress, it can feel like your budget is getting further and further away from you....and there is still so much more to book and buy.
While it's tempting to just blow the budget, please don't give into your every whim putting yourself (or someone you really love) into debt over this one day. The weight of those emotional choices will still be there long after the wedding is over. So....what are you supposed to do??? It helps to get a big picture of all of the areas/items you will need to consider when figuring out what to do with the money you have to work with.
1. Figure out how much money you actually have to spend. This will involve taking a close look at your accounts and savings and a few awkward conversations with family. Awkward, but a necessity. You are anxious to start planning, so the sooner you can get some numbers nailed down, the better....for everyone!
2. Start looking at the expenses. First, I would strongly encourage you to go through this list of items with your fiance. Make sure you are both on the same page and comfortable with the expenses. While you may think a spa day the week of your wedding is an absolute necessity, at $300, your fiance may not feel the same way. This is a great opportunity to set the tone for how you will work together as partners on the same team. Your wedding is not a one man show. Please take your fiance's wishes into consideration and respect their opinion. You are in this together!
Ok, now for the overwhelming part - looking at everything you could possibly spend money on...and figure out how much you are willing to spend on every category. Here are a lot (every wedding is different, absolutely not all) of expenses to consider:
Ceremony: As you set out to plan and spend just remember - your ceremony is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE DAY. You are getting married, remember?? That's the reason for the DJ, cake, dinner, etc. And it happens to be one of the simplest, most inexpensive parts of the day. So, if you start to feel overwhelmed by all of the details that go into the reception, remember that the ceremony is absolutely going to happen. At the end of all of this, you will be married. Yahoo!
Reception: This is where we can all get a little carried away. If you have a budget, be realistic with yourself and be willing to do some extra leg work and get creative to make your vision come to life. NOTE: There are other categories related to the reception, these are just a few items specific to the reception. Please continue reading below
Attire: It's more than just the dress. If you aren't careful, the extras can add up QUICK
Gifts for the Bridal Party and Family
Remember that you will want to tip some of your vendors - caterer, hair stylist, makeup, limo driver... anyone that you would normally tip in everyday life, you may want to tip at your wedding. other vendors do not require a tip, but if you are very happy with their service, by all means feel free!!
Phew, I think we covered most all of the bases. Again - this is not every possible expense. But at the same time - all of these expenses are NOT necessary. If you have a limited budget, you don't need to utilize a limo service, absolutely not a necessity. Take a look at the list with your fiancé and figure out which factors are a must to make your day all your own.