tips on setting a wedding budget

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The second you say “Yes!” to your significant other-turned-fiancee, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of your wedding day. Many brides want to jump into planning the very next day, but it’s actually recommended to hold off for a few reasons. First of all, savor the moment! You’re engaged to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and that’s something to really enjoy. Stare away at the diamond ring, giggle with friends over his wonderful proposal, and take a couple weeks to bask in the glow you’re bound to have after becoming engaged. Then you can get started on planning your wedding and the most important thing to do would be to set your wedding budget. Here are a few tips to help keep you on the budget-friendly aisle.

 

1. Be Realistic on Wants and Needs.
Now that you and your fiancee have decided to marry, it’s time to sit down and get serious, and we don’t just mean about what flavor cake you want. Money can be a touchy subject, but it’s something you and your future husband need to discuss. Even if you don’t plan to combine your bank accounts, you’ll still need to be realistic about setting your budget for your wedding wants and needs. You may have always dreamt about a horse-drawn carriage, but the price on that Cinderella story might be way out of your limit. If you know you can only spend, say, $10,000 on the whole thing, it’s best to stick with that number and be firm on how you’re spending.

2. Make a “Wedding Account”
Now that you’re serious about your budget, you might want to consider opening a new account within your bank using funds specifically allocated for anything-wedding. It’s strictly wedding money, which will prevent you from accidentally spending your rent/car loan money on those gorgeous must-have shoes.

3. Consider outside resources
Are your parents or his planning to help out with funds? Sit down with them and discuss your budget and what they want to contribute – if they’ve offered, of course! Make sure they know you’re considering all the options and are open to suggestions on how best to spend your money. Another good idea is to take stock of talented friends and family – got an aunt who bakes the best cupcakes in town or a longtime college friend who loves doing hair and makeup? Consider approaching them about helping out with your day. You’ll probably still have to pay for their services or at the very least materials, but they might give you a mean discount.

4. Making the Guest List
This might not be the fun part of wedding planning if you’re afraid of any hurt feelings, but it’s truly something that must be done. My guest list rule? If we haven’t spoken in over a year, they don’t know my fiancee’s name, or my mom never really cared for them, they’re off the list. Of course, that might still leave you with a list longer than Santa’s, so you’ll have to sit down with the Mr. and consider who makes the cut. The guest list decides how much space you’ll need for their dancing shoes, the amount of food caterers need to make and other big decisions. This process might make you feel like the Queen of Mean, but remember – this is YOUR day! You want to be surrounded by close friends and family on both sides – the smaller and more tight-knit the group, the less money you’ll spend and the more special the day.

5. Consider timing of the wedding day
Saturdays are the most popular day to get married. Period. That means that you’re fighting with other brides for venues, caterers, and the like. A new trend that’s been popping up is for couples to get married on Fridays or Sundays. You’d be surprised at how much money you’ll save with just a one day difference! Vendors want to give you the day you deserve and if that means a Friday afternoon, they’ll make it happen (they might even prefer it since it gives them a little breathing room!) May and June are popular months to marry, but November and January are less popular, meaning the prices go down a bit. The same goes with seasons – Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day are huge wedding holidays, which means prices go way, way up. If the time of year isn’t terribly important to you, think about getting married in the off-season, such as late fall or winter – just think of the amazing color in the photos!