It’s easy to imagine yourself having the perfect wedding with all sorts of elaborate activities and luxuries there. However, you can’t forget about the budget for your wedding because the expenses for it can add up quickly. According to a 2016 study, the average American wedding had about $35,000 in expenses. Most Americans barely make that much money in a single year. More than likely, you won’t have $35,000 lying around to spend on a wedding.
Therefore, you need to set a budget for your wedding and plan your expenses carefully. It’s not hard to literally do, but it may be hard emotionally. No one likes to think about the budget because it feels like a limit on the amount of fun you can have. But if you budget carefully, you can find affordable ways to have just as much fun at your wedding.
Below are some tips which will help you figure out your budget more easily.
1) Who is Paying?
You should first consider who is putting up the money for your wedding expenses and how much are they putting up. If you and your bride do not have much money, perhaps you’ll want to start a Kickstarter campaign and raise money for your wedding. You’d be surprised at how many generous people are out there who would donate to this.
A wedding budget is no different than a business budget. Basically, there is a certain amount of money that you can spend, and you cannot go over that amount. If other people are helping to fund your wedding, you need to ask them which expenses they want their money to pay for. You may feel bad about accepting donations from relatives or other third parties, but it beats having to max out your credit cards. So, accept any help that you can.
Once you know who is giving you money and how much you’re getting, you can decide which wedding expenses to spend it on.
2) Categorize Your Expenses
There is no rule about how much money you must spend on certain wedding expenses. But you should do the wise thing and make a list of all your expenses on a piece of paper. Put the name of each expense into its own category and then write down how much that expense is. Add up the total amount of the expenses on the bottom. For example, you might have a catering category that is $6,000 and an event planning category that is $4,000. You may even have a separate category for the wedding cake, which usually runs about $400 to $600.
3) Spend Wisely
If money is an issue, then don’t spend it carelessly. Only spend money on things that are necessary and important. You could also reduce the expenses in one category and move them to another. For instance, if you and your wife want to have the best wedding photos ever and your wife doesn’t care about having an expensive wedding ring, then you could take 30% of the budget for the wedding ring and apply it to the photography budget instead. Then you could have some awesome photography like with a video drone or something. You could also cut corners in other ways by purchasing a cheaper cake that is not hundreds and hundreds of dollars. If there is a will to cut expenses, then there is a way!
4) Figure Out All the Details
There are a lot of mathematical details about weddings that often get overlooked during the planning stage. How many guests are coming to the wedding? How many seats are available at the wedding venue? Will your food budget accommodate all your guests? These are the details you need to figure out early so that you can plan your budget accordingly. In some cases, you might find that your budget for one particular expense is higher than it should be. What you could do then is cut down this budget and apply the extra money toward another expense that needs it more. When you plan out the details like this, you can make sure that enough money is going toward each expense and that you are not overbudgeting or underbudgeting on anything.
5) Remember the Honeymoon
With all the planning and budgeting that goes into the wedding, you cannot forget to plan and budget your honeymoon too. This is the best part about getting married because you get to spend some quality time in a beautiful setting with your new bride. Plan out the destination where you want to go and when you want to go.
For example, if you want to travel to New York City for your honeymoon, then you might want to go around New Year’s Eve. That way, you can witness the ball drop in Times Square and have an extra magical time as newlyweds. Just plan out the cost of everything for this trip, such as the airfare, hotel, food, transportation, and souvenirs.
Of course, you may prefer a honeymoon in a tropical paradise instead. In that case, you should plan to go during the off-season when there are fewer tourists. You can usually get a discount on the airfare and hotel rooms during this time because these companies want to attract customers. So, plan your honeymoon economically and you can travel somewhere exotic on a cheaper budget than you first thought.