Fixing the budget-simplified!

  • Since today is not the 1950s and most brides are working full time and plan to continue working full-time,advise asking your fiancee to share the expenses of the wedding. Traditionally the groom's family only pays for the rehearsal dinner, and possibly part of the honeymoon. The bulk of the expense is really the wedding (the flowers, the cake, the gown, the food, the music, etc.).
  • Research the vendors and get price quotes before setting the budget. Many vendors have minimums - get this information up front.
  • Write a detailed list with vendor name and projected cost and tally everything up. It may be good to use software like Excel to easily update this and make cost comparisons between different vendors for the same thing (like different flower shops).
  • Once you have an idea of what your wedding may cost in your area (with vendors that you like), discuss the finances with your fiancee. How? Asking questions about his views would be a good place to start. Sharing the list of potential costs with him would be wise. Better yet, look into venues and costs together - reviewing purchases and setting budgets based on one another's needs is something you'll be doing for the rest of your lives!
  • At this stage, start formulating a guest list, because many budget items are proportional to the size of the wedding you host. Keep in mind that if your families are paying for all or part of the wedding that they may feel entitled to add to this guest list. Be up front with them about this.
  • Come to agreement with your fiancee about how you would like to pay for the wedding. Meet with your respective parents to speak honestly and openly how much they are willing to contribute to the "wedding fund." Special note: money from family has strings attached, so be careful about setting expectations that this is YOUR wedding and that you appreciate their financial contributions.
  • Create a spreadsheet using Excel or OpenOffice to write down and track your budget. The top line should have the total amount you are willing to spend and the end of the sheet should have a running total of projected and actual wedding related expenses.

 

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