Advice on Wedding Budget Planning

Wedding Budget & Financial StressYou’re newly engaged, checking out wedding sites and looking to start planning your ‘Dream’ wedding. Want to get some great knowledge on budgeting and finance for the ‘big day’ that might just save your shorts? Or at least an argument or three with your fiance.

This article is filled with great budget tips for couples…every young couple planning their first wedding needs this advice now, don’t skip it!

Read On and Learn Grasshopper…

Cool Tool… Nice!

Also, don’t forget to use the Wedding Budget Calculator, it’s a very handy tool. Just plunk-in your total estimated wedding budget and this handy tool breaks-out the average/typical budget amount for all your wedding vendors and professional services, how cool is that?

Budget Wedding Tips Infographic

While the infographic below includes advice from other wedding professionals and bloggers it also includes many great tips and ideas that can help turn your wedding from “up-tight and intense to peaceful, inclusive and within budget.”

Parts of this article were reprinted with not only the consent, but the urging of it’s writer, Jenny Creno from www.creditcardinsider.com. Thank you Jenny and I hope that all of these wedding budget tips, advice and more will help our readers.

Wedding budget, financial advice, infographic

Weddings are generally one of the first big expenses in a couples’ financial life together. Knowing they can be pricey, we wanted to compile tips and advice from across our community that can be beneficial to newly engaged couples.

Those redundant words, ‘your wedding day is just one day,’ may very well be the truth. But society has given us Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress!, and all the jazz to keep us wanting that one big day, to be one very big day. Don’t get caught up in all the fuss, listen to the tips & advice from the people who have been through this process before.

Check out the wedding budget calculator we put together based on all the the information given to us.

“Keep in mind that your wedding is just one (very special) day. You don’t want to make financial decisions for one day that will impact you for many years to come, so don’t go overboard!” — Dustin Richemann from Engaged Marriage

“Don’t begin your marriage thousands of dollars in debt because you went over budget hosting an extravagant wedding. Remember, a wedding lasts just one day, but a marriage is for the rest of your life.” — Christi Corbett

“Etsy and local shops. I have used Etsy for so much. A few things that I’ve gotten on Etsy so far are: my bridesmaids gifts (custom clutches and custom rose petal earrings), various buntings, my wedding ring, the grooms and groomsmen ties, and a few other things that I am probably forgetting!” — Dena Botbyl from Live, Love, Simple

Budgeting might sound like the scariest nine letter word you’ve ever heard, especially during wedding planning, but the best part about it is that it is possible to do.

“Some guests won’t RSVP until the last minute (if at all, those inconsiderate sons of…). Maybe your venue will change. Maybe a good photographer will be way more expensive than you ever dreamed possible. My point is you need an accurate, up-to-the-minute account of the numbers you’re dealing with or you can’t really even begin to plan your wedding.” — Oh God, My Wife is German Blog

“Staying within budget is a hard thing for couples to accomplish. Essentially, it all comes down to the couple’s priorities. Of course, every little girl dreams of her big, lavish wedding, but the reality is, very few can actually have that. So if brides are having to pick and choose where they splurge and where they save, they NEED to stick to a priority list.” — Evelynn Korszyk from Events by Evelynn

“Create a separate checking account for the purpose of paying for all wedding expenses. You can fund this account by scheduling automatic deposits from your paycheck or other personal accounts on a regular basis. This way, household expense funds don’t get mixed with wedding expense funds.” — Courtney Fontenot from Alpha Prosperity

“We had a spreadsheet to keep track of everything we purchased and how much it was so we knew how much we were spending.” — Alexis Tanner from We Like to Learn as We Go Blog

“The engagement period leading up to your wedding can be a highly stressful time. You are embarking upon this journey together, planning the start, planning the start of your ‘happily ever after’ and on top of that there’s money being spent in every which direction. So keep track of your spending. Many couples choose to open a special bank account used just for the wedding purchases, and when the money’s gone they are forced to stop spending.” — Shelby Ferguson from Events By The Days Design

“If you’re on a budget find yourself a good wedding planning app, or create a spreadsheet, so you can keep track of payments and the budget. I’ve also created a physical folder to store all of our invoices and receipts – this is handy for keeping a record of everything.” — Hannah from Make Do and Push

“Look at the big picture. Everyone deserves their dream wedding, but figure out a way to look at the grand scheme of things in life. In five years, is it really going to matter if the hors d’oeuvres at your wedding were served by a tuxedo-clad butler on a silver platter? No. It will not. It won’t even matter in one year after your wedding. Having a nice wedding is not equivalent to spending an ungodly amount of money to impress your guests. Your wedding is a celebration of you and your commitment to one another; it isn’t meant to be something you play for everyone else.” — Shaylee Southerland from Two Birds One Stone Wedding Blog

“Actually have a budget, not a vague idea of how much you have available. Put this amount in a separate account and pay all of your bills from it so you can easily see how much you have at all times. Track expenses in a notebook, wedding app or use the budget worksheets that you can find on most wedding websites. You might also want to dedicate one credit card use for all wedding-related expenses.” — Sharon Hill from Become a Top Wedding Planner

“Don’t let your wedding bankrupt you…it’s one day and shouldn’t take 5 years to pay off. Think about asking for travel reward points as a wedding present to help fund the cost of your honeymoon. Just because you’re married it doesn’t mean you have to give up credit independence. Maintain individual credit unless you need 2 incomes to qualify. (That should ONLY apply to your mortgage loan.) It’s not too late to have “the talk” about how debt and credit cards will be managed. Too many couple have a “head in the sand” approach to finances yet it’s one of most cited reasons from marital stress.” — Financial Expert John Ulzheimer

Everyone at some point finds themselves a part of a DIY (Do It Yourself) fail. No thanks to Pinterest we all now believe that we can make any and everything. Actuality: We can only make SOME things on our own.

“Get family and friends involved in the planning process, if they know anybody in the business. Even if you don’t get a discount, you at least get the peace of mind of knowing the person, and you can help out a local business. Even if it’s a friend of a friend, it still makes the wedding a tad more personal and stress-free. My friend was our photographer, so it felt great to help her out with her small business.” — Alli Shoemaker from Sailing with the Knight Blog

“Use free DIY templates for simple items like table numbers and wedding signs. But be careful of DIY projects — they can sometimes seem like a good money-saving idea at first, but materials and supplies can add up and the time require to execute them (and the stress it may cause for family and friends) can outweigh the cost savings.” —Sabrina Moyle from Hello Lucky

“Utilize the skills your family holds – if your cousin is a makeup artist, ask her to do your makeup as a present. Brother-in-law a photographer? As him to do the honors.” —Rebecca from I Always Believed in Futures Blog

Always put what’s most important first, and know that it’s rarely ever something that has monetary worth.

“Prioritize. Most of us won’t be able to afford everything we want, so prioritize. Are you more concerned with what guests are eating than what the tables look like? Spend more money on the food! (By the way, no one will remember your centerpieces anyway. No one.) Creating a great wedding on a budget is all about creating a balance.” — Kenzie from The Chasing Happy Blog

“If you are giving cookies as party favors, see if you can negotiate a lower price by buying both your cake(s) and favors from the same baker.” — Brittany Ryan from Beaux & Belles

“Though alcohol can be a big expense for a wedding, there are actually many ways to cut its cost. A few suggestions; cut the champagne toast, offer a limited bar (beer and wine) all night, or offer a limited bar at cocktail hour then open it up to a full bar at the reception, or inquire about purchasing your own alcohol. Also, don’t assume that either paying by consumption or paying a per-person price is cheaper – it really helps to know your audience. Paying on consumption can possibly cut the bill in HALF.” —Emily Thomas from Emformarvelous

“Splurge on what matters. Scrimp on everything else. There are some things like flowers or shoes or cake that each bride has dreamt about her entire life. There are other things like invitations, favors and programs that will DEFINITELY be thrown in the trash after your wedding day. Give yourself one or two splurges, but keep everything else low cost.” — T. Stevenson, Day-of Wedding Coordinator, Chicago/Pittsburgh

“Know what is important to you and what is not important before you begin the process. If you’re a foodie don’t try to save money when it comes to food! If you are a visual/aesthetics person don’t cut costs when it comes to decor. Instead look for the more economical options in areas that you don’t feel as strongly about. You want to be economical but not disappointed as a result.” — Kelsey Abbott from The Event Firm Inc.

“Don’t go into debt for a ring or wedding. Stay within your means, and remember that it’s one day, one party and it’s not worth making payments on that for years to come!” — Sarah and Jessica from Pretty Providence

“Our tip would be either buy a preowned wedding dress or sell your dress after the wedding using safe and secure wedding classified from websites like SmartBrideBoutique.com. This typically saves you 50% off the retail price, and you still get the wedding dress of your dreams.” — Andrea from Smart Bride Boutique

“Buy a preowned dress. I did it. My sister did it. Tons of brides do it, and you can too!” — Jamie from The Excited Bride

The dreadful guest list. Keep it simple, only invite people that you couldn’t imagine your day without.

“I urge clients to keep their guest list down as this is the easiest way to keep the budget in check. The less people means less food, tables, linens, napkins, centerpieces, favors, slices of cake, etc. Keep your guest list in check. You will be able to then splurge on some of the items that are more important to you that aren’t count based. Ex. Photography, wedding planner, look of event, and all the extras that you want.” — Alliey Kline from Sash and Bow

“Family is important and there opinions are good and well, but it’s your wedding your budget. While everyone may have an opinion, you as the bride and groom should (and do) have the final say.” — Amber and Jason from Mr Thomas and Me

“Be specific when addressing invitations. – Many of our friends were already married with children, but we knew that inviting whole families would kill our budget. The only children invited to the wedding/reception were immediate family and the children of our wedding attendants.” — Michelle from Taste As You Go

“Determine the type of event and feel you are going for and then make sure your guest list is appropriate for the style you are going for. If you are looking for a casual, intimate affair, make sure your guest list is not 200+ people. In the long run, this will help you save money. You do not want to look back on your day and wish that you had been able to upgrade something instead of having 20 extra guests there. Take time with your guest list and truly consider who is most important to you to be there for your special day.” — Alysse from Morgan Gallo Events

Research. Research. Research for the best venue possible that fits within your budget.

“Have you been ruling out venues as they’re slightly out of your budget? Well don’t! Get in touch and find out what promotions they have… look for recently opened venues, they may have special offers and choose a day that has a lower rate, like a weekday. Being flexible with the time of year you choose to marry could also save you a fortune, oh and don’t worry about the weather, you’re as likely to get rain in August or sun in March as any other time of the year.” — Sonia from Want that Wedding Blog

“Look at getting married in an off season — We were married in January and had our wedding reception at a beautiful country club in our town. By getting married in January, we cut down the cost to almost half of what it would have been in the summer. The wedding planner at the country club worked with us on pricing a lot and we even were able to have a hot chocolate bar!” — Brittany from The Buckeye Couple Blog

“The Bar Tab – We worked with a catering company that provided bartenders but they allowed us to purchase our own alcohol. This helped us avoid the mark-up that often comes with someone else purchasing the alcohol for you. Just be careful not to over buy.” — Colleen Wisniewski from Flee Fly Flown Blog

If the thought of planning your wedding is keeping you up at night, hire a wedding planner.

“Brides and grooms can make their own decor, get their family members to do their catering, have the reception in their friend’s big garden and go all out with their DIY theme. I would then advise them to spend money hiring a coordinator (either a full wedding planner or someone who can come in on the day and pull it all together). At least then, the bride and groom can enjoy their wedding, knowing it has been a community of friends and family bringing their contributions, but also knowing that, that community can take part in enjoying the wedding. There is a tendency to ask your favorite aunt or organized friend to do your coordinating – I would suggest avoiding this as much as possible. A professional coordinator isn’t a guest and will focus on the wedding, whereas a friend or family member won’t want to miss the speeches, first dance, etc. “ — Kelly Mole from Illuminate My Event

“Do not ever hire a planner that charges a percent of the cost of the wedding. That planner will drive up the cost of the wedding. Check the budget every month to be sure you are on track. If you are over on photography hire a slightly cheaper videographer, etc. “ — Nancy Fields from Elegnat Weddings and Affairs

Yes, your wedding is truly only one day, so remember that you will never be able to relive those moments. Be sure to hire a great photographer that can capture each of those special memories.

“Do not skimp on your photographer. The details are only there for a day, but you’ll always want fabulous pictures to remember them by.” — Sara Burnett from Burnetts Boards

“Find a few different photographers that you’re interested in and set up IN PERSON consultations. Try picking one photographer at the top of your budget, the bottom of your budget, and somewhere in the middle. Then compare and contrast their work AND their personalities. You’re going to be working very closely with this person/people for a good amount of time on a very important day of your life. It’s one thing to produce beautiful work but it’s a whole other thing to actually get along with your photographer(s). It will make your wedding day and all the days leading up to it that much more comfortable and easy feeling.” — Jenn and Ben Ayres from Ayres Photography

Always. Always. Always be honest and open with your partner about your finances.

“Be honest and talk about money – All couples should talk about their personal finanaces, which includes income and debt. They need to work together and make a decision about how much they will spend on the wedding, a house or other living areas and what they’ll save for a rainy day. They need to be honest about what they have to spend on their wedding and what they want to spend on their wedding. Talking and honest help to avoid disagreements down the road.” — Debbie Collins Dunn from Wedding Thingz

“Make sure you talk with your fiance and both of your parents about expectations of the look, feel, location and guest list of the wedding, that way everyone will be on the same page. Be very polite with asking for money from your parents. The best way to ask is if they feel comfortable making a contribution to the wedding and then let them suggest what works best for them.” — Emily Cann from B Lovely Events

“Have conversations about a number of different topics before getting married. Most studies of happily married couples list being compatible as the number one reason why the marriage succeeds so having conversations about key topics helps them determine their compatibility. One of the important conversation topics is finances — in particular, each partner’s style of managing finances.” — Rachel Mueller-Lust from Wondrance

“Ask friends who’ve gotten married what they paid, get quotes from businesses, search wedding forums, talk it out with your partner and then write it all down. None of these things are easy, but knowledge is power and the more you know, the less you’ll be in danger of making emotional decisions you’ll later regret.” — Jennifer from American Wedding

“My advice is simple, and based on my personal experience. Elope. It’s romantic, adventurous and can save you a fortune!” — Francine from Miss Minimalist

“The simplest weddings are often the happiest. They require less money. They result in less stress. And they help keep focus on the bride and groom rather than decorations, accommodations or food. Don’t fear simple. After all, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist

“One thing that can quickly increase your wedding budget: Spending too much time fantasizing on Pinterest or with wedding magazines – keeping it simple will help keep your budget in check.” — Merritt from Live Simply Love

“If the choice is between a big wedding and a nest egg, choose a nest egg.” — Lee Reyes-Fournier from Couple Dumb

“Don’t waste money and paper on RSVP’s. Create a wedding website for guests to RSVP, read about the bride and groom, and see where they’re registered. There are a lot of great websites that provide these services for free, plus you can always create a facebook event!” — Ashley Riggs from Etailz

The Beach Wedding Experts…

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