Establishing and maintaining a budget for a wedding can be a difficult task. While you don’t need to be an accountant to manage your wedding budget, using good organizational skills will go a long way toward making this task easier.
It’s crucial to know what the most important things in your weddings are to you, because that’s where you will want to invest extra funds. For some people, it’s the perfect venue, for others, it’s the couture dress of your dreams or phenomenal catering. Try to make a top-five list of the most important priorities in your wedding to help you get started.
It’s impossible to make even an rough budget without knowing the general price for services in your area. Try to get estimates from three or four vendors- they don’t even necessarily need to be ones you’re considering- to create a basic range of costs in your local area. If the numbers you are getting seem too high for a certain service, such as bouquets, do a little research to find out what the cost would be to do it yourself.
Spreadsheets are Your Friend:
Once you start receiving estimates, build a simple spreadsheet or table that will add up each vendor’s total to give you a final budget number. Use your priority list to look for places to swap in cheaper alternatives in order to make the more expensive, more important services affordable. Using a spreadsheet can be preferable to do-it-yourself budget sheet, since spreadsheet programs will do calculations automatically, thus cutting down the chance of errors.
Include the Extras:
Add in the extra costs, such as tax, shipping, and vendor tips to make sure you are getting an accurate total. Without these important items, your budget could look up to 20% smaller than it really will be.
If there is a chance that parents or other relatives might be willing to chip in for the wedding, find a way to start this conversation early in the planning process. While it can be difficult to find the right way to bring this up, it’s important to know what outside resources you will have as early as possible.