31 Jan Ways to Create a Wedding Budget
Your wedding will probably be the biggest celebration you plan for in your life, so it comes as no surprise that planning a wedding is entailed and expensive. According to data from Brides in 2021, the average wedding costs $28,964, which is a lot of money for many. It can be easy to get ahead of yourself when planning for a wedding, and costs can add up quickly, so you must set a wedding budget before planning your wedding day. You want to start your marriage on a solid financial footing, not one that begins in debt.
It is essential to set a wedding budget so you don’t go into debt, but doing so can be challenging. Luckily, these helpful tips can help you save money while planning the wedding of your dreams.
How to Set a Wedding Budget
1. First, you need to figure out how much money you have to spend. You need to budget within your funds and what you want to spend. Figure out what money you have saved (make sure you leave some aside for a rainy day since life happens and don’t use all of your savings) and what will be contributed (money from parents, grandparents, etc.). If you don’t already have money saved up for a wedding, then you need to figure out what you can realistically save back each month. Just make sure you consider your bills, living expenses, and having some extra “just in case” money.
2. If you have family and friends willing to contribute to your wedding, figuring out who will pay for what and what they are willing to spend is important. You need this information to have an accurate budget, and you want to avoid discussing it down the road, especially since you have to know what you are working with regarding money and resources ahead of time. If someone seems unsure or doesn’t give you a straight answer, don’t count that towards your budget. This way, you aren’t hurting for it later in case it doesn’t pan out, but it can leave you with some extra money if they do happen to contribute down the line.
3. Knowing what influences the total wedding cost is necessary to stay within your budget. Where you live can dictate average wedding costs if you are looking to remain local, and if you are planning on a destination wedding, those costs will vary depending on where you want to go. Also, if you plan on having a destination wedding, there are other additional fees that you need to account for. If you want a small or large wedding is another factor that will affect cost. If you don’t have an enormous wedding budget, it might not be wise to have a large wedding with many guests. For instance, food and drinks are among the most significant expenses, so if you don’t have much to work with, you don’t want too many mouths to feed.
4. After you know how much you can spend, it is wise to break down everything you need into “needs “and “wants.” List the things you absolutely need (i.e., food, marriage license, venue, seating, etc.) and what you can live without. This is especially important if you have a relatively small budget. Also, set aside an emergency fund for those extras you may not account for initially. From there, it is vital to do your research and figure out estimated costs so you can plan out how you will spend it. You can research average costs online, but make sure you also research costs from local vendors by calling them or emailing for quotes. Do your research and find out prices before you settle and pay for something that you may not need, or you can find cheaper elsewhere. Just make sure you also take into consideration hidden fees, taxes, and gratuity tips.