Tips to Actually Stick to Your Wedding Budget
Your story began when your fiancé asked…and you said yes! The next chapter is all the fun planning for your dream day. From spotlights that shine your new initials on the dance floor to teeny cocktail napkins with that really cute saying, you’ll find you want it all.
As your dream grows bigger, you’ll probably find the newest chapter is all about setting a budget for wedding plans and then sticking to it. That’s not easy when you pin your hopes on everything you find pinned about weddings.
Try these 10 tips for both sticking to and monitoring your first budget together:
1. Set a Realistic Budget
Settle on a total amount you can afford. You want to start off your new life on the right foot—and that means one that isn’t mired in debt.
2. Begin with a Guest List
The cost of many of your budget items, from per-person food costs to bridesmaid bouquets, is going to depend on how many people you expect to attend.
3. Put It in Writing
Create a budget in writing or through a digital service. Start by listing all the must-have items, from a marriage license to a venue for the event. Set up the budget so you both have access to it.
4. Create a Checking Account
Open a joint checking account to use just for the wedding, so you can keep your regular funds separated. This will help you keep track of how much money is left and what has been spent. It also prevents you from accidentally spending your car payment money as a down payment to the florist. After the wedding, you can use this joint account to merge your finances.
5. Budget with Gift Cards
Use some of your wedding funds to buy a gift card. The use of a gift card is a clever way of sticking to your budget. You can only use the funds allocated on the gift card, so you won’t be tempted by any add-ons. Another advantage to a gift card is you can give it to family members or wedding planners to use to run wedding errands for you without doling out a credit card or worrying about cash. Going the DIY route? Use a gift card to keep your budget in check for projects like building photobooths, creating centerpieces and crafting decorations.
6. Know What You Really Want—And Compromise on the Rest
It’s great to have at least some parts of your dream wedding. Start out by picking something really important to each of you. Aim to have that item, but then compromise on other things that aren’t as important to you.
7. Be Vigilant About Costs
Compare prices from several vendors before picking one. An area bridal show is a great place to catch several in one spot. Look out for coupons or sales wherever possible.
8. Put Extra Money Aside
During your engagement, save money in small ways, like taking your own lunch to work. Use the savings to add to the wedding fund to cover something you perhaps forgot to consider at the beginning.
9. Keep Your Options Open
Don’t get stuck on thinking you need a particular dress or set of invitations. Staying open-minded when it comes to choices will keep things upbeat.
10 Stay on the Same Page
Go over your wedding budget together each week or as big expenses come in. That way, you’ll both know how much money is being spent and what’s left.
One way to eliminate the stress that comes from trying to stick to your budget is to remind yourself that the ceremony and reception are both secondary—your marriage is what you’re celebrating! The communication, flexibility and shared goals you work on now can help set you up for long-term success.