If you are planning a wedding, then there is no hiding from the fact that weddings are expensive. Every little detail adds up, even if you are being frugal or plan a wedding right at home. However, if you plan ahead then you can avoid most of the financial stress. Know ahead of time what you’re willing to spend good money and, what you will do yourself, and where you will cut costs.
Know your wedding size and plan accordingly
If you already know that you both have large families and you want everyone there, simply accept that you’re going to have to pay for a venue, seating, and food to accommodate your guest count. Know your budget and come up with a limit and stick to it. If you cannot afford to have 200 guests, then you simply cannot have 200 guests. Make your guest list first thing.
Know the cost
Research the cost of each wedding expense to help you decide what you are willing to spend and what you have to spend to get reliable service.
Plan your budget
Once you know how many people have to be there and the costs of wedding necessities, you can determine the venue size and how much you are willing to spend on food. Extensively research prices for catering, seating rentals (if the venue does not provide them), a tent, and anything else you will need to accommodate all of your guests. At this point, you may have to remove people from your list. This is tough, but necessary.
List your top three priorities (Your splurge list)
For some people it is the catering, for others it is all about the venue, the music, the flowers, or the photography. List your top three important wedding items for your wish list. These are the three items where you will spend the amount you feel is necessary to have what you want. Know how much you are willing to spend for each of these three priorities. How much will it cost? This will help you decide how much is left over for everything else you need. If this will create financial stress, cut it back to two priorities, or just one.
Accept where you need to cut costs
If you plan on splurging somewhere, then expect to cut corners somewhere else. Make a list of items that aren’t that important to spend extra money on. It is easy to slide into over-spending when you are given so many options to choose from. Knowing your limits ahead of time helps you stick to them. Commit to your budget and promise yourself to go simple in these areas.
What can you do yourself?
Sometimes it is not worth the stress of doing things yourself, but a few small tasks can be scheduled into your plan. Perhaps you need help with the invites, but you can easily order some affordable save-the-date cards yourself. Or maybe you ordered flowers, but instead of paying $40 bucks for petals for the flower girls to throw you can purchase a few roses and pluck them yourself. If you do decide to do it yourself, make sure your expectations and time management is doable. Perhaps relatives or people in your bridal party are willing to step in and help with some small tasks. The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is run around setting up when you should be getting dressed and having fun.
What can you skip?
Just because your cousin had a photo booth does not mean that you need to have one. If you’re not feeling the need for flowers on the tables, an open bar, or party favors, you can skip the wedding expenses that don’t ring true for you. Weddings are not about out-doing your friends or keeping up with the Jones’s. If you don’t need or want it, then don’t include it. This is your day.
Create a savings plan
Now that you know your budget and the costs, it is time to save up. How long will it take you and your fiance to save up the funds for this wedding by your chosen date? How much do you need to save every week? Month? Create a savings plan and stick to it. Break down payments and pay them as you go to keep the bills from piling up at the very end.
When it comes to wedding spending, splurging can be so much easier than saving. Know yourself, know your guest count, and know your budget so that you can splurge where it counts and save where you need to.
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