Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Setting Your Budget

When you think of your dream wedding do you know your colors? The theme? Locations? Bridesmaids? Number of guest? So why would you not think about your budget?

When you're thinking about your budget here are some ways to talk money and make sure you create a budget that works for you and those unexpected indulgences (you know you will make!)

1.Identify who is paying- Whether you and your fiancé are paying or your parents are covering the full bill or its being split between you and your fiancé, your parents and the grooms parents, know how much can be spent.

2. Prioritize your budget from important to not so important. If you love flowers and want to have gorgeous flowers at your wedding then this needs to be high on your priority list. If your fiancé says the music MUST be good then this too is a priority. Let's be honest, there are some areas where you don't need to completely indulge and knowing this at the beginning makes planning a lot easier.

3. Don't give yourself wiggle room just set a realistic budget- Whenever anyone sets a range for a wedding budget they'll always surpass their range. Why? The budget was never viewed as a firm budget from the beginning. Wiggle room allows everyone to believe that some extra spending can occur. If your budget range is $30K to $35K these loose numbers can leads you to spend $40k. Instead of setting a range set a realistic budget that will enable you to indulge in your desires. If you want a designer gown or a well-known photographer, factor these cost into your budget from the beginning, so you're not setting yourself up to overspend.

4. Don't bend on your budget because of all the pretty things you see-When you see the lovely bouquets, the gorgeous cakes, or beautiful photography it's easy to want to blow your budget. But here's a secret, vendors are trying to sell you on their business so their best will be placed before you. If you selected them as your vendor, you know their work is good, so in those initial meetings state your budget and don't break. If you know you'll be weak bring a friend or your fiancé who will not be swayed by the loveliness that the vendor wants to show both of you.

5. Keep track of your budget throughout the planning process. Don't set your budget and then never speak of it again until the end when final payments are due. If you do this four to five people may experience minor coronaries. So set up an excel spreadsheet and track your spending. Websites like Brides, The Knot and others will establish a way for you to track your budget and spending. Since it's so easy to do why not just keep track of where the money is going.

6. Factor in money for unexpected cost. By setting aside money for the unknown, it will help you keep your budget from going too far over. Unexpected cost can range from those things everyone just forgot to do to an unexpected increase in an item. So keep some extra cash handy in your budget for those cost that come out of nowhere.

All of these tips are easy to do and will make planning a wedding so much easier. We've all seen Bridezilla, Whose Wedding is it Anyways and watched brides blow their budgets and if you're like me you sit there in amazement at what they do in order to cover the cost. Here's a wedding tip: Don't start off your life as newlyweds paying for wedding debt. The best advice I ever received from a friend was to have the final vendor payments be the end of your wedding bills. Carrying those expenses into your new life together as husband and wife is just no fun and may lead you to hold back on doing other things you two planned to do once you were married. If you know that right now a Platinum Wedding is just not in your budget, you'd be surprised what you can do with the money you have available for your wedding. All you need is a little creativity--for help check out some of our wedding links.

Here's to Wedded Bliss!

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