Learn to Say, "I Do!"
You’re ENGAGED!!! Congratulations! How did he pop the question? Let me see the ring! Can I come to the wedding? What’s the date? First of all, breathe. Soak this moment in. Enjoy one of the most exciting times in your lives! Once you’ve caught your breath, it’s time to get down to the details. It seems like the minute you’re engaged, everyone wants to hear about all the details (and if they’ll be invited to the wedding), but they leave out one major detail: The budget.
For many couples, setting the budget is one of the hardest things to do, because it involves the sensitive subject of money. How much to spend, where to get it, how to ask for it, how to save for it, and how to stick to a budget. I’ve seen many couples lock heated glances with each other over items when one is passionate about a purchase while the other just does not see the point. So… how do you set a wedding budget and manage to stay engaged in the process?
Here are some things to keep in mind when setting a basic wedding budget:
- What is the dream guest list? Guest lists are the biggest constraint on what you can do with all the details of your wedding. More guests equal more tables, more centerpieces, more linens… You get the idea. Don’t invite the friends from Facebook that you haven’t seen in 5 years. Limit coworkers to those you spend a great deal of time with outside of work.
- Figure out how you’ll obtain the money to pay for everything. If your parents have offered money, ask them how much and how they want to handle payments. Will they pay the vendor directly and keep a running tab of what they’ve spent, or will they give it to you in payments or a lump sum to spend as you wish? If you’re paying for it yourselves, is it really worth pushing off paying student loans or pushing yourself into debt to pay for the wedding (nope)?
- Manage your expectations. Do you know the average cost of weddings in your area? It’s a good idea to talk with potential vendors about your initial ideas to see if what you’re hoping to pay is realistic compared with what your ideas cost.
- Find a reasonable budget breakdown and make adjustments to match your budget. Sometimes you want to splurge on photography and cut back on stationary. Once your budget breakdown is complete, you’re ready to start meeting with vendors and planning your hearts out!
That is my initial advice to all my couples seeking basic wedding budget advice. It’s not always as simple as setting a dollar amount and sticking to it. Budgets can get wildly out of control if your dollar limit didn’t match your expectations.
Get the tough questions out of the way and you’re already in the right direction to enjoying the planning process and preparation for your marriage.
Written by Kirsten Fischer
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).
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