Whether you are paying for the wedding yourselves or your parents are contributing, you will need to calculate how much money you have to spend. Once you have this figure, immediately set aside 5-10% of that for contingency.
Establishing and sticking to your budget is the best gift you can give yourself as a couple. In order to do this, you have to ensure that all your planning is documented. But before you start crunching numbers, think about the overall feeling you want your wedding to have as this will affect how you spend within your budget.
Do your research on vendors and get estimates on how much each thing will cost. This will include everything from venue to flowers to the dress and so on. Then get quotes from vendors and write it all down next to estimated costs.
Now that you know what kind of wedding you would like to have and how much money you have to spend, put together a rough guest list. The number of guests determines your venue, food and alcohol.
These are generally the largest expenses and a wise rule to follow is to allocate 40% of your budget to these three things.
It is time to discuss your non-negotiables with your partner (try to keep it down to three). These are things that you have always dreamed of having at your wedding and are willing to spend the money needed in order to achieve them. Research vendors and get quotes so that you can allocate it to the budget and then see how much is left to spend on the rest of the wedding. If you are already over budget based on your list, or close to the end of your budget, have a look at your priorities again and see what you can reduce.
Now that you’ve got all your quotes and guest list numbers, you can create the spreadsheet. You can get a template online or create your own but try to keep it as simple as possible. Put your overall sum in the top corner somewhere and then create these tabs: estimated, modified and actual.
Your estimated tab will be amounts that you have found based on research.
Modified will have real quotes from vendors.
Actual will be the final amount that you end up paying.
Time for a reality check – does your budget allow you to achieve what you want? If not, you may have to adjust your budget if that is an option or adjust your expectations.
Steps to take in order to ensure you stick to your budget:
- Figure out how much you have to spend.
- Research vendors and get quotes before settling on your budget.
- Write a list including all researched costs and quotes from vendors.
- Write down your proposed guest list
- Create the spreadsheet and input all the relevant information.