When I first breathed word of my engagement, my piggy bank cowered behind a pair of shoes I had never worn and shook with terror. It knew very well that budgeting for a wedding is no easy task. There are hundreds of details to think of – the venue, food, drinks, place card holders, and so on.
More alarmingly, newly engaged couples are faced with one other formidable adversary – the world of irresistible wedding things: retro straws, pom-poms, garlands, lanterns, mason jars, bunting, and lovebird cake toppers, without which your wedding day is sure to be ruined. Because of this, I didn’t judge my cowardly piggy bank for trying to hold onto the precious moments before I bust it open to get my hands on a pair of photo-booth chalkboards.
Luckily for me, the piggy, and (quite possibly) the floor, my fiancé is a sensible man who knows not to hand over a hammer without a compromise. This being – come up with a budget before you start making exciting purchases (yes, even little ones like chalkboards). Great advice. The truth is that it’s rarely the big things that throw a wedding budget overboard. It’s the little guys you have to watch. After all, a few muslin bags, and a bit of washi tape here, a personalized coat hanger, an antique sign, and an old-school lemonade dispenser there, and all of a sudden you’ve got a financial crisis on your hands. Well, not quite, but you’ve definitely made a small porcelain enemy.
Putting your wedding budget together:
Like most things in life, the key to wedding budget success is staying organized, diligent, and setting limits.
First, decide on final figure and figure out how much support you can expect from your families. Then prepare a wedding budget checklist, like the one you can download for free here. Once you’ve printed it out, decide which things are the most important to you – a good photographer, the food, a wedding band, and so on. This is your chance to show how great you are at the whole compromise thing.
Next, do a bit of research and write in the amount you’d like to spend on each item going from most to least important (if you subtract the amount from your total every time, you’ll know exactly how much you’ve got left to spend). Once all of the fields have been filled in, have another look to ensure you’re happy with the result.
Now comes the most important part – staying on top of your budget and updating it regularly. As soon as you get a quote from a vendor, book or buy something, write it in and adjust the total figure. That way there won’t be any nasty surprises when you get to the wedding day, and you can live happily ever after with your piggy bank.