How to Keep Your Budget in Check – Wedding Budget Advice from a Bride
About a year and a half ago, I got engaged to the love of my life; six months later I started working at Southern Bride & Groom; about a month after that, I finally faced wedding planning; and last weekend, I BECAME A MRS! When it came to wedding planning, I quickly learned that budgeting is far from the fun part of engagement, especially if like us, you’re one of the many couples out there who are paying for their own wedding. My fiancé and I quickly realized that my nonchalant view on finances was not going to work in this situation; we had to make a spreadsheet and a game plan. Even as we mastered a detailed budget plan, things kept popping up to throw us off. So if you’re in the same boat – months into planning your dream day with line items on your excel spreadsheet expanding, it’s okay. Here is some wedding budget advice from my fiancé and I to help you cope.
1 – Wedding Budget Advice: Pad Your Budget
When it comes to wedding budget advice we like to start with the obvious that sometimes gets overlooked. Start with industry standard costs, and add just a little – especially for categories that are the most important to you. Even better, create a “just incase” fund. That way if you want to add something that you hadn’t initially planned for – which you will – there is some wiggle room. (Hello, $4,000 videography booking that I couldn’t imaging foregoing… and I didn’t have to, thanks to our budget).
2- Don’t Forget to Ask about Cash or Credit?
We were surprised to discover that some businesses require cash or check payment. This even went for some of the large scale items. Make this a question you ask during interviews and plan accordingly. On the other hand, if a business allows credit card payment, think about using a rewards card to rack up those miles for the honeymoon! If you know which bills are cash or credit from the beginning, it will lessen the stress from any “surprise” bills. Use this wedding budget advice wisely – you still don’t want to put too much on your credit card if you don’t have to!
3- Include a Payment Schedule in Your Wedding Budget
Some vendors require full payment at signing, some prefer small deposits followed by incremental paying, and others have their bills due on site the day of the wedding. Know how much is due to whom and when. It’s easy to add a line or two on your spreadsheet with dates things are due. You can even set a reminder on your calendar to give you an alert ahead of time!
4- When it Comes to Wedding Planning, Respect Your Own Financial Limits
If you have a hard line maximum wedding budget for your wedding day, commit to it. Know from the get-go if your families are chipping in anything and what you can realistically afford yourselves. If it comes down to affecting your day to day life after your special day, the stress of it won’t be worth it.
5- Find Fun and Creative Ways to Save Money When You’re Engaged
Saving doesn’t come naturally to me. I struggle with the contemplation of going out to eat versus eating what I already have nearly every day of my life. But with a wedding on the horizon I started to cut corners in creative ways. My fiance and I started using HelloFresh meals that you can cook together in order to save money on groceries. Plus- it also doubles as a fun, affordable date night together! Instead of my morning coffee run, I’d buy coffee beans in bulk and take my brew to go from home. I used to pamper myself by getting my nails done every other week, so instead I invested in an affordable at home gel manicure kit which has allowed some “me time” – painting my nails while watching Netflix. The little things you spend money on really add up in the year or so you will be engaged. Make a few changes and save the extra money for your wedding and honeymoon.
Gradually we came to realize the BEST wedding budget advice to give is simply, “roll with the punches!” Hope you can, too!
I hope you enjoyed these quick tips on how to stay on track with your wedding budget. In the end, following this wedding budget advice helped my (now HUSBAND) and I achieve our goals and we were able to enjoy our day knowing we did this together. And one bonus tip – if you have room in your wedding budget, I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner from the beginning of the planning process. Southern Bride & Groom has a list of vetted NC wedding planner professionals for you to check out.