Setting (and sticking to) your wedding budget is one of the trickiest aspects of wedding planning. But it doesn’t have to be! Even with spending at an all time high, brides are finding creative ways to trim their budgets and still pull off the wedding of their dreams. Struggling with your own wedding budget? Check out our handy guide below for tips on how to stay on track, hold yourself accountable, and avoid overspending.
Wedding Budget 101 – Tips and Tricks to Stay on Target
We know it’s hard, but step one of planning your wedding budget is actually talking about it. Sit down with your groom-to-be and figure out exactly how much money you want to allocate to your wedding. Starting this process on the same page will help both of you stick to an agreed upon amount. Not to mention avoid miscommunication down the road.
Pro Tip: While it’s becoming more common for the bride and groom to cover the bulk of the finances themselves, don’t forget to factor in any outside assistance. (i.e. from parents, etc.)
Create a Wedding Specific Savings Account
Keep all of your designated wedding funds in one savings account. That way you always know exactly how much you have and how much you’re taking out. This will help you avoid the temptation of dipping into your regular accounts.
Keep Your Budget in Sight – Literally
Print out your budget and put it somewhere you will see everyday, like your fridge. This little reminder will keep your wedding budget on the front of your mind. If you’re always aware of what you’d like to spend, it’s a lot easier to avoid impulse wedding purchases you didn’t account for.
Expect the Unexpected
Always include an “emergency fund” when you’re planning out your wedding budget. Because no matter how well you plan, there will always be something unexpected. Most planners recommend putting aside an additional 5% of the total. And if you’re lucky and everything goes according to plan, great! Take the extra savings on your honeymoon!
“Buy” Yourself Time
It goes without saying that the longer your engagement, the more time you have to save. So you don’t have to rush to the altar. Take some time to enjoy being engaged and give yourself the space to plan and save. Because what’s a few extra months when you’ll be together forever?
Figure out what you absolutely must have at your wedding. Is it a great local band? A gorgeous venue? Once you know what you aren’t willing to compromise on, figure out the rest of your budget from there. Having your dream dress might mean you opt for a variety of local pastries instead of a fancy wedding cake. As long as you’re able to be flexible elsewhere there is no reason why you can’t splurge on a few dream items.
Embrace the Off Season
Avoid peak wedding season to get the best rates on venues, photographers, and caterers. Or if you’re dead set on a June wedding, consider having it on a weekday instead of the weekend. Little things like this can make a big impact on your wedding budget. That venue you love but just can’t afford might be totally within reach on a Wednesday.
Track Your Spending
Keep all of your receipts and write down everything. You’ll never have that moment of panic when you check your bank account and see a much lower number than anticipated. We know its not as fun to watch every penny but it helps. And it will give you just a second longer to decide if you really need that fourth entree option.
Checks and Balances
Is your maid of honor a financial wizard? Enlist her as your wedding budget guru! Having somebody help keep you accountable will do just that. And its never a bad idea to have another pair of eyes when it comes to numbers. She may catch something you missed – or know somebody who could make your cake at half the cost!
If you’re no stranger to a hot glue gun or a whisk, consider taking some of the decor or food preparation into your own hands. But be careful. Only DIY things that you feel confident you will achieve decent results with. Otherwise this can turn out to be a costly adventure too, when you end up paying a pro even more to fix your failed attempts.
Simplify your Day to Day
Are you a sucker for your daily latte? Not while you’re planning a wedding! Treat yourself to your favorite beans and a new french press, because coffee at home tastes just as good at a fraction of the cost. Eliminating frivolous impulse purchases (takeout, movies, etc) will save you a lot more than you think. So take the cash you would normally spend at Starbucks and put it directly into a wedding fund jar. You might even have fun watching it grow!
Budgeting for a wedding is a ton of work, but as long as you set clear goals and guidelines early on there is no reason why you can’t have the day you’ve always dreamed of. And don’t forget to include wedding day stationery from Marrygrams when you’re planning! Our paper goods fit every style and budget and we can’t wait to work with you!