There are a lot of ups and downs when it comes to planning a wedding. You start excited, scrolling away endlessly on Pinterest. Then, you realize how much a wedding costs and begin to rethink all your Pinterest dreams, which often makes you feel disappointed. But then, the excitement and joy set in again as your wedding date gets closer!
It’s okay to go on an emotional rollercoaster while planning a wedding, but let’s pump the brakes a bit. There are plenty of ways to stay on track while planning your big day without having to sacrifice your Pinterest-board dreams. Here are four strategies to help you stay on budget while planning your wedding.
Create a Budget System That Works
One of the biggest budgeting mistakes couples make is creating a budgeting system that doesn’t work for them. When creating a budget, you and your partner should build your budget from scratch. Then, adjust your budget according to where you live, when and where you’re having your wedding, and how many people are invited.
In your budget system, you should think of the following:
- Wedding venue
- Officiant’s fees
- Marriage license
- Rental fees (tables and chairs)
- Catering + alcohol
- Wedding cake
- Wedding party gifts
- Pre-wedding events
- Music + entertainment
- Wedding attire
- Hair + makeup
- Wedding rings
Whether your wedding budget includes all those things or just some, you should consider what you can afford and how to incorporate it into your budget. Set a spending limit and break your budget down into percentages to help keep track of your money and to have a better scope of where the money is going.
Prepare Yourself for Hidden Expenses
Preparing for hidden fees, extras, and taxes will keep you ahead of the game. The most common hidden costs are the ones no one thinks about, like the stamps on the invitations, wedding favors, or the taxes for the catering service. But did you know you also have to pay for the pre-wedding trials? When you’re shopping around for florists, wedding hair and makeup artists, or a bakery for your cake, and they offer a test trial, you’ll most likely be charged.
You should also budget for tipping the people who’ve helped create the best wedding day possible, like your hotel concierge or cocktail hour servers.
Keep Track of Your Wedding-Related Spending
The best way to stay on budget when planning your wedding is to keep track of your spending. Create a checklist of things you’ve already bought or need to buy for the wedding. On this list, you should keep your budget breakdown so you’re not overwhelmed by the number.
You should put your wedding money into a separate account so it’s much easier to track your withdrawals and deposits without them meshing with your personal funds. Also, you should keep track of any wedding-related purchases made by family members or friends so you don’t make the mistake of purchasing the same thing twice.
Have a Plan in Case You Go Over Budget
When planning a wedding, you must expect the unexpected and prepare for unforeseen expenses. There are many reasons you could go over your wedding budget, from decorations to catering to hidden expenses—there’s a chance you may spend more than you were anticipating. You should add a couple more dollars toward a “just in case” budget. This budget will be for weather-related expenses, accidents, overtime fees, or other unforeseen events.
Planning a wedding can be an emotional roller coaster, but financial concerns shouldn’t overshadow marrying the love of your life. By carefully planning your budget using a system that works best for you, you can prepare yourself for any expenses that come your way. Think of the wedding planning process as a way to develop skills in discussing important money decisions with your partner. That will be a part of your future together.