Deciding your wedding budget and how to adjust for new items
Congratulations on your engagement! Deciding your wedding budget is one of the first decisions you should make after telling the most important people in your life that you are engaged. If you work through it and make some tough decisions in the beginning, then making decisions along the way will become more rational and less emotional. Whether it is just you and your fiance, or a third party added to the mix, it’s important to establish the ground rules from the start. Consider this practice for your marriage! My husband and I have budget meetings every 2 weeks and it has transformed how we speak and think about our money.
Who is contributing to your wedding budget?
If someone else (like a parent) is contributing to your wedding financially, it would be beneficial they can give you details of the offer. Details how much? Lump sum or installments? Will they give you the money or will they pay directly?
Who will be responsible for the decisions?
Will it be 50/50 between the two of you on everything? Will you have more input in design choices and your fiance on the menu? Let your experience and your expertise guide you here. For example, if you are naturally good at numbers, offer to keep an eye on the budget. It would be a nice gesture to ask any third parties contributing to the budget if they would like input on any decisions. They can also be the tie-breaker in case you two can’t agree on something. (Just make sure they are really able to make a neutral decision!)
What is important to you?
When you decide your budget, you should also rank the budget items in order of which are most important to you. This will help you make decisions if you need to adjust the budget as you start spending. Let’s imagine you’ve budgeted $4000 for your wedding dress, but the dress you fall in love with is $7000. The only wiggle room in your budget is to pull funds from catering. If you’ve ranked these things in order of importance from the beginning, you should have no problem making the decision whether to buy the dress or not!
Include some padding.
There is always something unexpected that comes up with a big project like planning a wedding. A budget item might be a lot more than you expected or you see a new fabulous idea for your reception and just have to include it! My suggestion is to include 5-10% of your budget as a buffer or padding. The larger your initial budget is, the higher the percentage should be. This padding will make those unexpected items much less stressful! And, if you don’t need it, then, yay you for coming in under budget!
Hire someone to help.
Of course, the easiest thing to do is hire a wedding planner that will help you determine your budget and allocate those funds. A wedding planner can also help you make decisions and be a neutral tie-breaker. With Christa Graham Weddings & Events, you have full control of your money paid to vendors. You never have to worry about handing over your entire budget to me. But, I will help you make decisions and remind you when vendor payments are due!
For a price list and more wedding planning and budgeting tips, click here!