Wedding Budget

How To Budget For Your Wedding

You finally met the man of your dreams and you’re engaged. The excitement will take you right into the wedding-planning process.

Once you begin planning the big day, you will quickly realize that weddings cost a lot of money.

You don’t want to spend every dime you have and it’s easy to go above and beyond what you really need. Before you get ahead of the game and spend what you don’t have, it is important to sit down with your fiancé and work out a wedding budget.

It won’t be as fun as the engagement or the wedding, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Did Your Family Set Aside Money For You?

Before you set a budget, you need to know how much money you have available to you for the wedding.

If no one has brought up the issue of money, as uncomfortable as it is, you’ll have to do it yourself.

Talk to your family and his family and see if they are willing or able to chip in for the wedding. You will need to know a specific dollar amount so you have a starting point. If there are others that might potentially chip in, check with them as well.

How Much Can You Save Before the Day?

If you are on your own, or simply need more money than your families can provide, look at your own incomes and see how much you can save between now and the wedding day.

Putting aside money from each paycheck can add up and is a great way to get the items you really want for the big day. Keep in mind that you might also want to save for a honeymoon or even a down payment for a house.

Research Prices for Professional Services

Before you crunch too many numbers, you should do a little monetary research.

  • How much do photographers cost?
  • Do you want a DJ or a band and what do those cost?

Get down some of the basic costs so you know what numbers you will need to add up within the budget. Go grand and you can always cut things out later. Having an idea of the basic costs of the items you want and need will help you with the budget planning process.

Crunch the Numbers

Once you have an idea how much money you can possibly come up with, you will need to start adding and subtracting to get a budget put together.

It is a good idea to add 10 percent to any number you come up with so you can go over when necessary.

Decide how much you are willing to spend on every aspect and then start searching for items that match your criteria.

 Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun. Laying the budget out beforehand may not be the most fun aspect of the process, but when you do it right, it can help with expectations along the way.

Your wedding is a very important day and you want to make sure you and your future spouse line up the money aspects so the rest can fall into place with ease.

Unhappy Bride

6 Wedding Disasters to Avoid

Your perfect day is almost here.

You have everything planned and now it just has to play out. Of course, there are plenty of things that could go wrong.

How can you avoid them? There is no way you can think of everything or avert every possible crisis, but there are several things you can do to avoid wedding disasters. Here are a few suggestions.

Surround Yourself with Good People

The best way to avoid wedding disasters is to choose people you trust for your bridal party.

Invite them to look into the details of your wedding. If a disaster is about to arise, they’ll tell you. Or, better yet, they’ll find a way to handle it without bothering you at all.

Hire A Wedding Planner

If you are really worried about how things will play out, hire a wedding planner to see to the intricate details for you. When the big day arrives, you don’t have to worry about forgetting something.

All of that will be on someone else’s plate so you can kick back and enjoy the day.

Practice Makes Perfect

You will rehearse the wedding itself the night before, but there are other elements that you can rehearse or go over as well.

If you are seeing to the details yourself, talk to the caterer and make sure everything is set. Ask how the meals will be brought out. Speak with the cake store and ensure that the cake will be handled correctly.

It’s a pain to go through all of the motions, but it can help avoid disasters on the actual day.

Prepare for Plan B

Of course you don’t want anything to go wrong, but stuff happens.

Think through some scenarios and see what you can come up with in terms of a back up plan. You may want to have some things in place and other items simply in mind.

When things go down, try to keep a level head and move on to the second option.

Take A Chill Pill

The best thing you can do for your wedding is to remain cool, calm and collected.

If something goes wrong, take things one minute at a time.

Your wedding is an important day, but it’s just one day. You have a whole marriage to look forward to.

Laugh off what you can and handle the rest. You may look back on the disaster and smile someday. A little flub could make the day all that much more memorable in the future.

A Good Plan Keeps Disaster Away

The best way to avoid disasters is to plan, plan, plan.

If you have everything laid out and planned ahead of time, all you have to do is keep your fingers crossed that everything will go according to that plan. Put trusted people in charge of each element so no one person is overwhelmed with too many details.

Delegating will make people feel important and they will oversee the little things with great care.

Even the best laid plans can sometimes go awry. With any luck, your wedding will be the perfect day you’ve always dreamed about. But if something does go wrong, deal with it gracefully and enjoy the rest of the day.

Wedding Lock

6 Tips for Planning Your Wedding on a Budget

Your wedding is a big deal, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to afford every elaborate detail you dream up.

When you are planning a wedding on a specific budget, there are things you can do in almost every area to save money. These money saving tips can help you get the wedding of your dream on the budget you have available.

Grab a Bargain Venue

The reception and ceremony locations are often the largest cost on the budget list.

One way to save money is to have the wedding and reception in one location. You can pay one fee and have all of the items on location for two uses.

Keep in mind that the less formal the event is, the less it will cost. If you are okay with casual, you can save a lot of money on the venue.

Forget a Saturday Wedding Date

Weddings typically happen on Saturdays, but you can get a lot of discounts by picking a different day of the week. Many wedding vendors will give you deals if you get married on a Friday or Sunday instead.

Examine the Guest List

Of course you want everyone you’ve ever met to see you marry the love of your life, but it’s most important that your close friends and family members are there, right?

Take a look at the guest list and shorten things up.

Limiting your guests will cut out a number of crucial costs. It’s hard to cut people out, but if you’re on a budget, it’s a good place to start.

Plan a Simple Meal

If you are going to have a meal included with your wedding, plan something simple.

In order to save the most money, make the wedding an evening affair and simply offer cake. You could also do something like appetizers or brunch.

Make it clear to the guests what they will get so no one is expecting something else. As you check out various food options, get cost estimates up front so you can compare.

Hand Make Wedding Favors

If you dream of having something to give each guest, that’s great, but those store bought wedding favors are pricey, even if you have a small guest list.

The good news is there are a lot of creative ideas online for things you can make yourself with a few friends.

Not only will you save money on wedding favors, but you will have a lot of fun bonding with the friends who make them with you.

Flower Arrangements

If you want everyone in the wedding to have a bouquet, you have a few options.

Instead of getting custom made, expensive arrangements, consider making a fake arrangement from flowers you buy from a craft store. The arrangements hold up well under any circumstances and the wedding party can keep them forever.

If you are passionate about using real flowers, consider a simple long-stemmed flower, or a basic arrangement you can organize yourself.

Finding the man of your dreams was the hardest part. Now that you are engaged, you simply have to find a way to make the wedding happen in a sensible way so you can start your life without a mountain of debt from one day of fun.

These money saving tips will help you simplify in order to get what you want from the day without going overboard on costs.

Wedding Ideas

8 Unique Wedding Ideas to Make Your Day Stand Out

There are certain things about weddings that you may want to incorporate into yours, but you don’t want your big day to look exactly like everyone else’s. There are a number of things you can do to make your wedding stand out, especially if a lot of people you know are getting married around the same time.

Here are some unique ideas to make your day the best it can be…and something that will stand out.

Create a Reception Lounge

Receptions often have a meal, cake, and a dance.

But not every wedding has a lounge area at the reception. Fill this space with some comfortable chairs and couches and people can take a break from dancing, relax, and have a good conversation.

Have Reception Ushers

You will probably have ushers to greet and escort guests at the ceremony, but why not add some ushers to the reception as well?

The ushers can walk to their tables like they are at an upscale restaurant. It’s possible that the catering wait staff can take this job, or you can assign a few new ushers or use the ones from the ceremony.

Pre-Ceremony Drinks

Guests won’t expect any kind of food or drink until the reception so it’s a nice surprise when the couple offers light beverages on the way into the ceremony. You won’t want to serve anything strong, just some fruit-flavored iced teas they can sip as they mingle before taking their seats.

Create Thoughtful, Useful Favors

Wedding favors are standard fare, but how many of them are items guests will actually use during their stay or beyond?

Out of town guests might enjoy custom scented soaps to use instead of the regular hotel stock.

If you have an outdoor reception, perhaps utilize spray on sunscreen with a special wedding logo. Come up with something guests will appreciate and can actually use as well.

Flowers for Everyone

The wedding party normally gets boutonnieres and corsages or bouquets, but you might want everyone who attends your wedding to have something special.

Ask your florist to set up a flower station with some sturdy blooms. Supply the area with ribbons and pins as well as easy instructions.

Guests can create their own corsages and boutonnières for the big event.

Make a Kids Corner

Some children love to dance, but watching adults chat can get boring after a while.

If you know you will have a lot of children at your reception, set up a kid’s corner so parents can have some relief from trying to entertain their kids in an adult situation. Put some coloring books, crayons, stickers and other small crafts in the corner to entice kids to entertain themselves for a few minutes here and there.

Get Creative with the Guest Book

You’ve seen dozens of guest books at weddings over the years and most couples file that book away, perhaps pulling it out once every decade or so to look over it.

It’s much more fun to get creative with the guest book so you can turn it into something you might enjoy more often.

One idea is to have a jigsaw puzzle made from a photo of you and the groom. Each guest can sign the back of one piece and perhaps add advice or well wishes.

Enjoy a Photo or Video Booth

Rent a photo or video booth and allow guests to take silly pictures or record messages for you.

These moments captured are things you would have otherwise missed yourself and you will likely treasure them later.

These are just a few unique ideas to give your wedding the unique touch you want it to have. Your day doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s wedding and all it takes is adding one or two interesting items to the normal fare.

Get creative and come up with different ideas or use some of the above as inspiration.