Getting married is a major milestone and a very exciting time in one’s life. I recently got engaged this past summer and since then have realized there are many important steps to take and things to thing about as you approach your wedding date pertaining to finances. First being your wedding budget. According to Knot, the average cost of a wedding is around $34,000. This is a large sum of money and if not budgeting for, can cause couple to go into debt.
The first thing I did was put together a preliminary budget, breaking it down into each of the categories and goal spend in that category. It is important to prioritize which of the categories are most important to you and your significant other. To some venue might be at the top of the list and to others it could be 300 people attending or top-notch décor. Whatever it may be, it is helpful to keep note of these aspects then giving flexibility to other categories. The number of people attending affects the budget the most, so this is important to discuss at the beginning of planning. Usually, venues can give you an estimate of food and beverage cost per person, this is a good question to ask.
After that or even before, start reaching out to vendors. This step took me a lot of time, doing research and submitting questionnaires to vendors. One of my top priorities was booking a photographer, and as I researched, many did not show prices on their website. I submitted my date and requested price info from a lot of photographers, keeping a running list. A good way to save a little bit is to book the associate photographer and that is what we did since we also wanted a videographer (booked associate for that also).
As you begin to book vendors, most have non-refundable deposits. Keep track of the money paid and the total payment due at the end. The closer you get to your wedding date, the more narrowed down this will get. I have attached a wedding budgeting template below. When starting to put together your goal budget, start with the main categories, throughout time you can breakdown the costs in each one. Utilizing the tracking sheet will help you stay within budget, and ultimately ease stress throughout the planning process.
The most important thing to remember in the planning process is to make it what you and your significant other want it to be!