Your wedding day is unique. I mean, what could be more fulfilling than walking down the aisle with your soulmate? It’s a moment most people are always eager to see. But preparing for your deal day can be financially stressful. And if you are not smart about it, you may be heavily indebted after the wedding. So, in this article, you will learn some of the strategic ways to budget for your wedding.
It’s not easy to come up with a detailed budget for your wedding. The first thing you should do is check your savings, create a spreadsheet, and make plans for unforeseen expenses.
It takes hard work and attention to detail to prepare a wedding budget that will not be financially nerve-wracking. I have read stories of couples who finished paying their wedding debts after 5 years.
Well, with the proper budget, you may not even need to take out a loan throughout the planning process.
So, here are the 5 strategic ways to budget for your wedding;
#1. Count Your Cash
Counting your cash is one of the best ways to budget for your wedding. Before planning the entire wedding, it’s important to determine how much money you have to spend.
And whatever you are spending on your wedding should be from the following sources;
Your and your partner’s individual savings
Wedding is not an individual’s responsibility, both of you should contribute towards it. So, I’m assuming that you and your partner each have an emergency fund set aside for the future.
Well, the future is here; you guys should withdraw from your emergency fund and put the money towards your wedding preparation. The money you and your potential spouse contribute will set the plan in motion.
The Amount You Set Aside from Your current Income
Outside your emergency fund, you still need to have personal savings. That is the amount you save from your income after paying your debts.
Whatever you set aside every month depends on your income and debts. But most times, it’s advisable to set aside up to 10 percent of your income as your savings.
And when you are preparing for your wedding, you can take out some money from whatever savings you have.
Contributions from Friends, Loved ones, and Parents
More often than not, your friends, relatives, loved ones, and parents may financially support you for your wedding.
However, it’s always advisable not to plan based on whatever money you are expecting from people. It may lead to disappointment—just budget for your wedding with whatever cash you have (not what you are expecting).
#2. Track Your Spending
The biggest mistakes couples make when preparing for their wedding is not tracking their spending. It could make you spend more than necessary. So, one of the ways to budget for your wedding is to track your spending.
As a rule, create a spreadsheet of all the expenses you incur during the wedding. The spreadsheet should have three expenses columns – Estimated, Modified, and Actual.
When you research the cost of a particular wedding item based on what’s obtainable in your area, such expenses should be recorded under Estimated.
However, the proposals from your chosen vendors should be recorded under the modified column. And whatever you finally pay goes to the Actual column.
When estimating the expenses for the wedding, you should start with the venue. It’s the most important aspect of your wedding party. And the size of the venue depends on the number of guests you are expecting.
If you think you can’t do it alone, set up a planning committee among your friends and loved ones. Ensure that everybody on that committee has experience with planning a wedding.
These guys will give you ideas that will make you spend less and get better results.
#3. Prepare for Surprises
One of the best ways to budget for your wedding is to prepare for surprises. And you can’t avoid them. You may be surprised how little expenses suddenly skyrocketed.
So, whenever you negotiate a contract with any vendor, try to pay attention to the terms and conditions.
For instance, if you are hiring an out town band or photographer, ask salient questions to know exactly what the contract covers. Otherwise, you may end up paying more than you budgeted.
In a nutshell, whatever you are doing with a vendor or planner, always ask questions to avoid surprises.
#4. Charge Responsibly
During the peak of your wedding planning, different unplanned expenses may come up. When it happens, you may be tempted to use your credit card to boost your cash flow.
If the unplanned expenses don’t disrupt the wedding, I strongly advise you not to take a credit card loan.
But if you decide to charge your credit card, charge what you can pay within 30 days. You will only end up in more debt if you go overboard about it.
#5. Find Ways to Save
One of the ways to budget for your wedding is to look for opportunities to save. After preparing your budget, you may feel that the cost of the wedding is too much.
If that is the case, there are several ways you can cut down costs and save more money.
Start with the venue; if you think it’s too expensive, you can look for a cheaper option. With enough research, you can get an excellent and more affordable option with all the facilities to keep your guests comfortable.
You can also edit the guest as a way of cutting costs. Every guest that comes to your wedding would have to take their meal, souvenir, slices of cake, and other gift items.
And the more guests you have on your list, the more expensive the wedding will become. You can discuss with your partner to reduce the guest list. It will go a long way to help you cut costs.
These are some of the strategic ways to budget for your wedding. If you implement them, you will be less prone to debt after your wedding.