Congratulations you’re engaged! Now what?
Well first things first, you have to have the money talk with your fiancé and BOTH of your families. Ugh, I know. Soooo awkward but believe me, it’s necessary.
Nowadays the financial burden is no longer shoved on the bride’s family. However that doesn’t mean it no longer happens but help from both families is even better. Weddings are expensive. Another strong possibility is that the bride and groom-to-be are handling the bills, either partial or in full. This has become somewhat of the “norm”, my fiancé and myself fall into this category.
Whatever your financial situation is, find out who is contributing what amount. If you two love birds are putting money in, look at your financials and figure out how much you are able to save and can afford. The absolute worst thing you could do is plan a wedding that puts you in debt at the beginning of your marriage. Yes, it’s fun to dream of all the things you could do for your special day but come back down to reality. You do not want to put financial stress on the beginning of your life together. So, make sure you two sit down together and discuss what you BOTH want the most and what you BOTH could live without. ::Emphasis on ‘both’::
Once that’s all figured out… How much money should be allocated to what part of the wedding? Well, don’t worry. I put together a handy Wedding Budget Guide just for you! This guide is based off of a few sources; Pinterest has a lot of these and my handy-dandy Knot Wedding Planner has oodles of information on this topic. Each chart varies slightly but looks very similar to my pie chart to the right.
Now, don’t feel like you HAVE to follow this 100%. It’s a guideline that is meant to help but can definitely be altered to fit your wedding needs. For instance, my fiancé and I are lucky enough to not have a ceremony rental or an officiant charge (thank you MOG ?). Plus, I’ll be saving money (but not time) by making my own wedding dress, AHH (Read about my Kleinfeld experience here)! The money saved will be allocated into the reception budget to accommodate our ever-growing guest list ?.
Here are some other tips to save and or allocate your wedding budget:
- Shop around smartly for vendors. There are tons of wedding professionals out there that are high quality AND affordable. Usually these are the vendors that will be new-er to the industry or they are small local businesses. Don’t discredit these vendors, just make sure to do your research! Wedding Wire and The Knot are great places to start looking, not to mention references from previous brides and grooms. I suggest you do this for all of your vendors, big and small.
- Discuss all the possibilities with your vendors. Vendors should be able to give you different price point options and explain exactly what that entails. They also should be able to show you ways to save with substitutions; IE. a florist will know different flowers that may look like what you want but are way less expensive.
- Be OPEN and flexible to what is available for use. When you won’t budge on the table setting color or shape, then you’ll have to special order/rent them which adds up quickly.
There are a few things that you MUST remember to include: taxes and gratuities. Taxes are usually included in the bill and some vendors (like caterers) will include a set gratuity in their bill. However, if they don’t that means it’s up to you to include it in your final payment. Even though it’s your wedding, these people are busting their butts to make this day everything you want. So make sure to thank them verbally and tip them, well. Here’s a breakdown of who to tip, how much, and when you should.
Also, don’t forget to factor in potential overage charges and miscellaneous expenses. Some vendors will specify these charges in their contracts but if they don’t it’s safer to leave some room for overages. Better to be safe than sorry!
Happy planning! xoxo