When it comes to planning a stress-free wedding, there are a lot of hurdles that couples need to jump over. Between dealing with monster in-laws, COVID-19 restrictions, and finding the perfect wedding dress, soon-to-be brides and grooms might at times feel overwhelmed. Even more stress inducing than all of that for most couples is creating and staying within your wedding budget. To help you dodge some of the financial struggles that come with planning a wedding, we’ve come up with a list of tips to get you on the right track from the get go.
Decide how much you can spend
The first step in setting up a wedding budget is to determine how much you can actually afford to spend as a whole so that you don’t find that you’re in over your head. Take every expense into consideration — venue payments, catering deposits, your dress, cake, entertainment, etc. Then list those out and compare it to the amount of money you already have saved for the wedding. With financial help from family members and wedding gifts, you may be able to cover a large portion of expenses with cash. If you don’t have that much cash on hand, however, don’t worry – there are options like personal loans or credit cards to fund your dream wedding details.
Don’t sacrifice anything
When it comes to your wedding, you should have everything that you’ve always dreamed of. The memories of your big day will last forever, so you should not sacrifice on the perfect venue, entertainment, and especially your dream wedding dress due to your budget. Prioritize expensive items like your dress in the beginning so that plans for less significant details can be adjusted for more inexpensive alternatives. Choosing how to allocate your spending early on will ensure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Find where you can cut costs
On the other hand, there are ways to save money on items you don’t hold in the same regard as dresses and venues. Items like centerpieces and invitations often have cheaper alternatives, whether it’s ordering them made from lower priced materials, buying from family or friends, or making wedding items yourself. Couples can also save money by recycling old materials, borrowing from friends or family, or buying used items. If, at the end of the day, you’re not willing to compromise on any of these details, you can explore downsizing your wedding or perhaps pushing the date allowing for more time to save up.
Consider next steps
Budgeting for the wedding means thinking in the long term, too. Do you want to spend all your budget on the wedding? If you come in under budget at the end of the planning process, you can save for some major milestones like buying your first home with your partner. Decide how much you both can afford to pay for a house by lining out your income and expenses. Then, apply for a home loan preapproval or prequalification to see what homes you can afford and how much more saving you’ll need to accomplish. Buying a home can take tens of thousands of dollars upfront, so be sure that this is the next step for you before considering it along with your wedding budget.
Taking the financial stress out of wedding planning will allow you to bask in the wedding bliss and come out stronger as a couple. Foster happy memories and plan the wedding of your dreams!