Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Naturally, you’d like it to go off without a hitch. Before you worry about details like the color of tablecloths or invitations, it’s important to get your financial plans right. Otherwise, you’ll end up trading some of your must-haves for details that don’t matter as much to you. Here’s what you need to do to make sure everything is all set.
Whether you’ve just gotten engaged, or you know you’re sure to marry eventually, now is the time to start setting aside money for the big day. Even if you can’t scrounge up more than a few thousand (or even a few hundred) dollars, your personal fund might be the difference between a wedding and the wedding you actually want. Furthermore, if you’re relying on family to foot most of the bill, they’ll be glad to know that you’re chipping in.
Speaking of Family
Talk to your family ahead of time to figure out whether they’ll be able to contribute. No matter the amount, remember to be grateful for their support. It’s no longer unusual for both families to kick in some money for a wedding. However, it’s likely that each family will be able to contribute significantly different amounts, especially if you and your hubby come from different backgrounds. In order to avoid any offense, you should discuss the matter with each family separately. If, prior to the conversation, you have an idea of what each can afford, you could suggest specific expenses that each family will cover. You may find that the discussion goes more smoothly if you talk about paying for the wedding in terms of specific factors instead of arbitrary amounts of cash.
Allocate Your Budget
List everything that you imagine for your big night, like great food, enjoyable music, or memorable scenery. Then, order the items according to how important they are to you. For example, you may decide that “everyone we know attends” is more important than “reception at the fanciest hotel downtown.” Only you know what your dream evening entails, so be discerning.
Once everything is in order, you’ll have a good starting point for deciding how to spend your funds. However, even if it seems like you’ve got everything figured out, there’s a good chance something expensive will pop up at the last minute. It’s easy to overlook details, like the cost of delivery from a rental service, when you’re deciding between a band and a DJ. Set aside 5 to 10 percent of your budget so that you can absorb unexpected overruns.
One Trick to Save on the Reception
Unless you hold it in someone’s backyard, your wedding reception will most definitely be one of the more expensive parts of your wedding day. However, there’s a good way to reduce this chunk of the budget ¾ but it’s not an easy one. Since the price of food and liquor goes up with each person in attendance, you’ll save a boatload of cash by strictly limiting your guest list. While it can be a tough decision to leave people out of the celebration, you’ll be sure to invite the people you care about most.
After the night is over, you’ll be glad you put in the effort to keep your spending under control. Hopefully you have a little left over for the honeymoon.