Rich bride, poor bride –
Maybe you can be more than one or the other… how about setting a realistic budget and living happily ever after?
On average couples spend $27,000 on their wedding and whether that sounds reasonable or preposterous, in my experience a budget needs to be made. You can draw it up on the back of a cocktail napkin, or draft a spreadsheet – just make one.
The basics are simple; you need to know how much money you have to spend.
Are your parents & relatives contributing, or are you on your own? If you have to borrow money to pay for your wedding, don’t take on more debt than you can pay it back in a year!
Have your benefactors list their top two priorities (what is most important). This is key because often arguments appear to be about money, when they are really about priorities. If you do reach a stalemate, revisit the priority list and if the matter is not in your top 2, save your energy.
Once you know what you have to spend and what’s important, grab that cocktail napkin and list the items you’ll need for the wedding (see below) include a column for estimated cost, actual cost, deposit and a final column for notes. Always keep a running tally to be sure you are on track and factor in a 5-10% cushion for items you may had over looked.
Embrace the budget because it not only keeps your spending in check, it is a great organizational tool that will help track what still needs to be done.
One more thing, you have a lifetime together, let’s not spend it repaying the wedding debt racked up!
Next Post: I’m tackling politics!
*Here is an example of what portion of a couple’s budget is used on the following:
40% Reception (site, food & drink)
8% each Wedding Rings & Photography
5% each Dress & Videography
4% Reception Music
3% Groom’s Formal Wear
2% each Hair & Makeup for bride & bridal party, Invitations & Stationary, Ceremony Music, Spiritual Ceremony Site, Wedding Cake, Transportation
*Breakdown courtesy of The Wedding Book – The Big Book for Your Big Day, by Mindy Weiss and Lisabeth Levine