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Wedding Budget 101: Guide to start your wedding planning

Congratulations on your engagement! As you embark on the exciting journey of planning your dream wedding, one of the first and most crucial steps is creating a budget that aligns with your vision and priorities. Let's dive into the ins and outs of crafting a wedding planning budget that ensures staying on budget for your special day.

1. Set the Stage for Success:

Your wedding budget is at the foundation of your entire planning process - unless you have an unlimited budget! To kick things off, start by determining your overall budget. This includes contributions from both families, your personal savings, and any additional financial support you may receive.

2. Prioritize Your Priorities:

Identify your top priorities for the wedding. Whether it's a stunning venue, a renowned photographer, or a live band, establishing your non-negotiables helps allocate the budget where it matters most to you and your fiance. 

Keep in mind, your guest count is going to impact the budget the most. The more guests, the more food, drink, tables, chairs, centerpieces, etc. to budget for.

3. Break It Down:

Divide your budget into categories to make it more manageable. Common categories include venue, catering, photography, attire, decor, entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses. Allocating specific amounts to each category provides a roadmap for spending and helps prevent oversights in critical areas.

See number 7 for your budget checklist!

4. Embrace DIY Magic:

Not everyone is a “DIYer”, but if you are, you can save in areas for your wedding budget. From handmade centerpieces to personalized or template invitations, incorporating DIY elements adds a unique touch while saving on costs. 

5. Negotiate Like a Pro:

Don't be afraid to negotiate with vendors and create custom packages. Many are open to customizing packages based on your budget and needs. And if that first vendor doesn’t work out due to budget, it’s ok, you will find one or you’ll have to shift the budget slightly to accommodate that must-have vendor!

6. Keep an Eye on Hidden Costs:

Beware of hidden costs that can sneak up on you. Factor in taxes, service charges, and gratuities when estimating costs for vendors. Additionally, consider transportation, accommodations, and any unforeseen expenses that may arise as you plan. Being proactive in accounting for hidden costs helps you stay on track financially.

7. Utilize Wedding Budgeting Tools:

We have created a free budget checklist for you that has over 100 line items to help you plan and not miss a single detail! 

8. Monitor and Adjust:

Regularly review and update your budget as you progress as you contract vendors and make payments.. Circumstances may change, and unexpected expenses may arise. Being proactive in monitoring your budget allows you to make adjustments as needed, ensuring you stay on track and avoid unnecessary stress.

9. Going into Debt: 

This is a BIG NO for us! We highly encourage you to NOT take out a loan or be in debt from one single day of your marriage! Yes, you may get wrapped up in the shiny object syndrome, but managing your budget within your means is what we will always advocate for! 

Disclaimer: Below is not financial advice, but something to consider to benefit from the wedding planning expenses. 

However, if you are a “master budgeter” and have a strong handle on the expected expenses, you can earn a significant amount of credit card points (depending on your card benefits). While this isn’t for everyone, some credit cards offer bonus points for signing up and spending certain amounts and you can take advantage of those perks! Of course, do your due diligence!

10. Celebrate Smart Choices:

Finally, celebrate the smart choices you make along the way. Every dollar saved is a step closer to staying on budget for your dream wedding. By being intentional with your budget, you'll not only create a memorable celebration but also set the stage for a financially sound start to your married life.

Crafting a wedding planning budget may seem overwhelming, but with careful consideration, prioritization, and regular monitoring, you can achieve the wedding of your dreams by staying on budget! Remember, this is just the beginning of a lifelong journey, and by working together on your wedding budget, you're laying the groundwork for a happily ever after filled with financial bliss!

Check out the checklist for over 100 line items to keep your wedding budget on track

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