Planning Your Wedding Budget
Married couples fight about money more than anything else, and this trouble can start well before they actually get married. Wedding costs can range easily into the tens of thousands and get out of control rapidly. Whether families are paying for the wedding or you are footing the bill yourselves, it is important to crunch the numbers and stick to the budget closely.
Any wedding without a budget may land you in serious financial trouble and debt. It may not be fun or glamorous to talk about money when you plan your dream day, but it is essential. This is the beginning of an open and honest two-way communication with your spouse about money and finances that will serve you well throughout your marriage.
The engaged couple should discuss exactly what they see their wedding and reception being. Don’t assume that the future groom has no opinions about your big day. He could have just as many visions of what his wedding should be, and his family can have dreams he’d love to fulfill as well.
Sit down together and have a frank conversation about what you each want from your wedding. Don’t let him get away with “whatever you want dear,” but don’t badger him into making decisions he doesn’t really care about. Ask him to talk to his mother and other family members to see what they envisioned for his big day too. Pick out a color scheme and theme for the wedding reception you both can feel comfortable with. Do you want to arrive in a horse-drawn carriage or a sleek and modern Humvee limo? Make a list of all the essentials: music, photographer and caterer. This information is necessary when it comes time to build your budget.
After the list of things you want for your wedding, it’s time to match it with the money you have available. Check savings accounts, stocks of bonds, trust funds and how much you will have to save from your monthly income to have the wedding of your dreams. The more time you have before the wedding date, the more time you will have to save.
Never assume others are going to put up a certain amount for your wedding and reception. Do not make unrealistic demands. Take what they want to give with genuine gratitude and never express disappointment in the amounts they offer. This maturity should serve you well in all your dealings about finances throughout your life.
When you know how much money you have available and have made a plan on where the other money is coming from, you get to begin to spend it. Match a dollar amount to each thing on the list of wedding reception expenses and start comparison shopping for the goods and services for your big day. If you pay more for the venue than you had planned, you must scale back in another area to make up for it. Perhaps order less expensive flowers or shop clearance racks for the wedding gown. Budgeting and sticking to a financial plan is so important for couples, and learning how to do it properly before you are even married will save a lot of money and headaches throughout your lives together.