One of the biggest considerations couples need to keep in mind is how to figure out your wedding budget. Planning wedding costs isn't the most interesting part of the process, but it is necessary. Average costs of over $60,000 are typical but in some locations, a cost of that amount might account for only part of the total budget.
Creating a wedding budget is important, and involves some careful thought. You'll need to think about how to allocate the budget among the venue, food, flowers and decorations, and other expenses. There are a few helpful ideas to keep in mind as you make your plans. Here are a few guidelines that could help you as you make decisions:
Set an Overall Budget to Work With
Although there are traditional ideas about the bride's parents paying, it helps to remember this is not set in stone. It's not uncommon for both sets of parents to get involved or for the couple themselves to contribute. Establishing how much everyone will contribute will help you get started.
Figuring out your budget first will help you avoid making disastrous mistakes. If you already have a base budget figured out, you will find it easier to find vendors within the target price range. Having a wedding that doesn't completely break your budget will help you start off your marriage on the right foot.
Track All Your Expenses
If you're working on your budget for the wedding, consider having a spreadsheet where you can record your costs as you contact each vendor. Input your information each time you make a payment or get an estimate. Besides having easy access to this document yourself, make sure family members helping you with the costs, as well as your fiance, can access it easily.
Watch Out for Hidden Costs
Bachelor, bachelorette, and other pre-wedding parties can get more expensive than you may have expected, especially if using a high-demand venue. Before you plan your hens' party or bucks party, make sure you know how many people are coming. A private event for your wedding party can quickly turn chaotic without some control over the situation.
Some of the other expenses you may not have considered include spa and beauty treatments, tips for certain professionals, and other costs that you might not think of that readily. The tips are costs that you especially need to be aware of during your planning. A wedding professional with a generous tip is a happy professional.
Always make sure everyone is on the same page about how you'll handle anything unexpected, for a smoother process. Otherwise, you might have some pre-wedding drama that everyone can do better without. Everyone will be a lot calmer without nasty surprises awaiting.
Negotiate with Vendors If You Need to
When you talk to your wedding planner and other professionals, always remember that negotiation is possible and often encouraged. Most people in the wedding business are flexible and will appreciate your being honest about what you can afford. Sometimes the key to getting everything to fall within your budget is fewer hours or fewer people involved with everything.
Flexibility will help put the right options within reach for all your needs. A positive attitude about everything also helps and will make vendors more willing to meet your needs. Another thing that helps is offering upfront, full payment.
Break Everything Down by Percentage
Creating a wedding budget is easiest when you allocate a certain percentage of your budget to each expense. Always remember that, even without hard rules being involved, there are general guidelines to bear in mind, such as not budgeting more money for a band than you do for the food. Venue-related expenses are likely to account for almost as much of your budget as catering.
The typical wedding budget breakdown is easy enough for you to figure out with a bit of diligence. Good planning is key to making sure everything is hassle-free.