When you dream of your wedding and the endless possibilities, is “budget” a dirty word in your plans? Believe us when we say, don’t fear the “b” word! Not only is it a crucial first step in planning your wedding, but it is also necessary to reducing wedding stress.
Who’s Paying for the Wedding?
In the past, it was tradition for the bride’s family to pay for the wedding. Times have changed and today that is not always the case. Whether the wedding is being paid for by the couple, both sets of parents, a grandparent or combination of all, it is important to have all appropriate financial decision makers involved in the budget planning process. If your grandmother generously offered to pay for the flowers, make sure you know exactly how much she is planning on giving. In her mind, she might think flowers will cost $200 when the actual cost is $6000. Although these can be uncomfortable conversations, it will be easier for everyone who has financially committed to your wedding to be aware of the actual expenses right from the start.
What’s Most Important to You?
With so many possibilities to make every detail of your wedding perfect, your wedding costs can very easily creep up to a number that is not perfect with your budget. You will need to decide early on where you want to make the biggest investment in your wedding. Is a 5 star venue most important to you? Do you want a big party with celebrity entertainment? Do you have your heart set on a decadent dessert table with treats from your favorite bakery? Whatever that #1 Most Important Thing is to create your dream wedding, put your money aside there first. Once you have that number in place, you will be able to determine where you will have to cut back in your wedding plans or how much more you will have to allocate in order to get everything that you want.
Set Up a Wedding Bank Account
One of the most important things you will need to do is keep the money you are saving for your wedding in a bank account that is separate from your everyday living expenses. When it comes time to put down a deposit for the venue or photographer, you will know the money is there to pay for it. This is also an automatic place to put monetary gifts you receive from your engagement party to ensure that money is going towards your wedding. A wedding bank account will be a visible inspiration to keep you accountable with your savings and help you track your spending.
The Value of Experience
It is near impossible to budget for a wedding if you have absolutely no idea how much a venue, photographer, flowers, linens and entertainment will actually cost. And what about the numerous items that slip thru the cracks (bridal party gifts, attire for pre-wedding events,vendor meals, tips etc.)? Planning a wedding is a big undertaking and a big expense. As professional wedding coordinators we have seen many wide-eyed brides and grooms (and their parents) stunned by prices or overwhelmed by the size of the task. The biggest stress factor we have heard from couples who didn’t use a wedding coordinator was that they were constantly spending more and more money throughout the planning process that they didn’t know they would need. Before you begin any plans, we suggest you consult with a wedding coordinator to get all the details for what you will need to plan your wedding. What you don’t know from the beginning, may cost your more money in the end. The average cost of a New Jersey wedding for our couples is about $48,000.00, so having a wedding planner will give you a full picture of all the expenses, alert you to any hidden fees, set up your budget and help you stick to your budget. The wedding planner’s goal is make sure you fulfill the wedding of your dreams while starting your new life as a married couple without exorbitant wedding debt.
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