Creating a wedding budget is probably one of the most avoided tasks in wedding planning. First off it’s difficult to know how much to allocate if you do not know how much things cost. The good news is that you don’t have to figure this out yourself. This post isn’t a “hire a wedding planner” plug its a darn good reason why you should. A well seasoned wedding planner such as myself will work with you to create a plan and budget based on your expectations. However for those who are going in the DIY direction I have listed below 10 steps and online resources to help ease the pain of dealing with the “b” word.
Step 1: Discuss with your fiance the type of wedding you want to have. Discuss time of year, location, catering, decor, attire, photography, etc.
Step 2: Discuss with your fiance how much money you are willing to allocate to wedding expenses and if you are covering certain costs for your bridal party. (example: attire, hair & makeup, shoes, accessories.)
Step 3: Discuss with parents if they plan on contributing financially and if they have specific areas of the wedding they want to contribute to.
Step 4: Create a guest list draft. You need to know how many people are expected to attend the wedding. Remember your reception costs (venue, food & beverage) can take anywhere from 50% to 60% of your overall budget!
Step 5: Create a master spreadsheet listing all of your wedding expenses in priority sequence OR get online and sign up for free planning tools. Weddingbells.ca has great planning tools for Canadian brides and for US brides TheKnot.com is fantastic!
Step 6: Revisit your master spreadsheet again to make sure that every wedding related expense is listed. There is no point on having a budget that is 1. unrealistic and 2. untrue.
Step 7: In your spreadsheet you should have the following columns… If you’re good with formula’s add them & password lock the cell -just in case!
Item Description | Estimate | Actual | Deposit 1 | Deposit 2 | Deposit 3 | Bal
Photography $8000 $7000
Step 8: Meet and ask suppliers you are seriously considering to provide a comprehensive quote. You want to make sure that all fees associated with hiring this vendor is presented to you up front prior to you signing a contract.
Step 9: Track all of your payments on your master spreadsheet so you know at all times where you stand financially.
Step 10: Stick to your budget! Unless you have an endless supply of cash its important to stick to your budget.
All the best & good luck!