Figuring out your wedding budget can be stressful, but don't worry, whether you're dreaming of a lavish hotel affair or a more intimate venue, answering these questions will help you figure out what you need to spend to make it happen.
Talk with both your families about who will pay for what: Some brides' families still pick up the entire tab, but more and more groom's families are participating too. How do you bring up the conversation? For many couples, talking to each family separately is the best way to have a truly open discussion where they can be honest and don’t feel under pressure to offer a higher sum than they can actually afford. When you do talk, here are some suggestions for determining your initial budget.
• Ask both of your families to commit to a specific amount, and then add up all the contributions to create your budget.
• Alternatively, it may be easier to ask each set of parents to finance a particular aspect of the wedding (such as the ceremony, honeymoon, or catering) instead of just committing to a specific amount.
• Decide how much you two can contribute between now and the wedding.
How Much Do You Actually Need?
Sit down with your fiancé(e) and make a list of want you want for your wedding & work out a realistic figure as to what your dream wedding is going to cost.
Here is a basic breakdown of items that you need to cost: -
• Reception/ Venue: €
• Ceremony: € Fee for priest/chaplin
• Wedding Gown:
• Suits: €
• Flowers: €
• Entertainment/Music: €
• Stationery: €
• Wedding Rings:
• Wedding Cars:
• Miscellaneous: €
• To avoid stress, allocate@ 5% of your budget for a 'just-in-case' fund.
• Remember, if you're paying for your honeymoon yourselves to include it in your budget.
How Much Can You Really Save?
As soon as you're engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving, if possible, up to 20% of your monthly income would be a great start & would also take the sting out of the financial tail at the end of your Wedding. It’s never a good idea to start married life with a significant debt around your neck because of your Wedding. Remember, the longer your engagement, the more you'll be able to save away. Now that you've established your budget, you'll spend the next few months keeping track and allocating your funds. Follow these four points to make sure your spending is where it should be.
Step 1: Have A System!
Use the purpose built SimplyWeddings.com “My Wedding “ Section & remember to get a true figure you have to put in EVERYTHING, no matter how insignificant it may be!
Step 2: Explore Hidden Costs and Extras
Knowing all the costs up front will guarantee that your budget can actually cover it all.
• Factor in tips. Most couples forget this but it all adds up! From the chaplin who cleans the church to your hotel concierge, even conservative tipping can add hundreds to your wedding cost. Make sure to account for these costs in your initial budget.
• Remember trials aren't always free. Budget your trial hair style into your overall hair budget. & likewise with your makeup trial (s) & CLARIFY if bridesmaids are paying for their own…..
• Don't forget the little things. Stamps for the RSVP cards, favors, and marriage license fees seem so small that you can shrug them off, but like any costs, they all add up. Going 'slightly over budget' in a couple of different areas with a vague plan of making it up somewhere else could push you past your intended limit.
Step 3: Plan to Go Over!
If you use your budget tracker there’s no reason why you should go over budget but there’s nearly always last minute splurges, especially if you’ve been saving for what feels like “forever”. Try to earmark 5% of your budget for unforeseen costs.
Here are some areas where you might go over:
• Flowers: At the last minute you feel the church needs flowers as the altar is too bare. Buy them from a flower market or if in Dublin, Grafton Street!
• Weather-related expenses: Living in Ireland that would have to be umbrellas for those rainy days….
• Small accidents: Your wedding gown needs last-minute adjustments (normally to be taken in & should be professionally done!)
• Gift: For your new hubbie !
Step 4: Be Smart!
Take advantage of budgeting and money management tricks along the way.
• Put all your wedding money in one separate account, so you can easily track additions and withdrawals without getting it confused with the rest of your day-to-day funds.
• Pay for as many of your suppliers as possible on a credit card so if their business goes bust before your wedding you won’t be out of pocket. Not a nice thought I know, but, better safe than sorry….