When the overwhelming excitement of your new enjoyment ends in comes the reality of how much your big day can cost. You will quickly learn the job of picking vendors, guest lists and searching for inspiration is better controlled with a wedding budget. A budget will give you a guide on where your money will be spent and how much you’re willing to dish out. There are a few questions you should ask yourself and some thoughts to consider when sitting down to outline your day-of expenses.

Who is Covering the Wedding Tab

Traditionally it is the bride’s side of the family that pays for the entire affair but this has often gone to the way side with more modern couples. Be honest and upfront with family and parents. Most couples can’t afford it all on their own and parents are usually more then willing to pitch in some to help the bottom line.

How Much Do You Need

Prices can vary depending on your location but be expected to pay roughly $100 per guest including food, space accommodations, party favors and so on. This breaks down to about $50 for catering costs and the remainder going towards everything else. Now depending on your count this number may rise drastically. If your wedding is small, like twenty or below it may be hard to pay for an entire venue, food and other expenses with only a hundred a head. More often then not the more guests the more formal the affair but this isn’t always the case.

There are plenty of wedding budget planning worksheets, spreadsheets, programs and websites to help you map out the basics of your big day. Depending how the program is mapped out you may be able to use percentages or exact counts. If you already know the final cost of certain expenses like a venue be sure to put that in and work from there. If you want a more accurate cost point for your area ask others who have gotten married in your region. These newly wed couples will have a more realistic cost analysis when it comes to your area.
What’s Important Comes First

The Basics

Deciding what is important can be a tough job especially if you’ve already brainstormed an entire Pinterest board of ideas but the goal is to be realistic. Some say put the money towards what people can experience and focus on, namely the food, the dress, photographer and the cake. You may not have the most visually stunning venue but the guests will remember the food. These are just examples and you can work with what matters to you. If you have a smaller guest list food may not take away as much of the budget as a bigger affair so you may be able to place something else in your top three list of what’s most important to you.

Putting Aside Money

With a set budget and goal in mind this will help you set aside money to save for your wedding. Often times brides find it easier to know what their end goal is when saving so it doesn’t feel like an endless void of spending. From the moment you are engaged and you have had the financial talk with your families and set your goals it helps to set aside a percentage of each check to put towards your expenses. This is where having a date set further off can work on your behalf so you don’t need to expense as much each pay period. Be mindful of when bills are due to your vendors as well as tips the day of for services.
Always remember to make the most of your money and get the most for what you spend while removing what doesn’t matter. There is no one-size-fits-all budget plan. If you create a budget that works for you and decide on ideas that are flexible and realistic you won’t spend your first weeks of marriage wondering where you went wrong.