One of the first things you must do after getting engaged is set your wedding budget. Here’s how to to create a wedding budget that is realistic, you can stick to it, and still have a wedding that’s perfect for you.
Create a Wish List
Once you know what kind of wedding you want and how much you can affordboth of you need to make a wish list of items, everything (both big and small) that you’d like to have at your wedding.
Think about the following wedding basics to help make your list: ceremony, reception, wedding attire (including rings), flowers, photography, music/entertainment, transportation, stationery, gifts and the honeymoon.
Then go through each other’s list and have a frank discussion about why each item is important to each of you. Then rank all of them in order of importance, making note of the top 2-3 items that are not negotiable for each of you.
Once you’ve ranked your list, come up with a budget of how much you’d like to spend on each item. And keep in mind that the budget you come up with now will probably double for the actual event. So be smart and set your budget well below what you really want, and can afford, to spend.
The Plus/Plus Rate Can Bust/Bust Your Wedding Budget
What’s the plus/plus rate you ask? For the unfamiliar, it’s a term for how your budget can really get busted.
The plus/plus stands for plus tax, plus service. This is an additional charge by your caterer or venue on top of the per plate charge.
So say your per plate charge is $100. Then you need to add in your plus/plus. Each venue will have its own rate, but let’s say the rate is 8% and the service is 20%. So in reality, your actual per head charge is $128. That’s 28% more than you may have expected. For a wedding of 100 people, that means you’re paying an additional $2,800.
Typically, vendors don’t discuss the plus/plus rate in their brochures. Instead, it’s normally part of the fine print of the contract. So always make sure you ask, and fully consider the cost, before you sign on the dotted line.
Start Saving for your Wedding!
Start putting aside money for the wedding as soon as you can. Weddings are a huge expense, no matter what your budget. But with proper planning and saving, you can ensure that you don’t enter your marriage by being in debt for the wedding!
consider opening a joint savings account that is specifically for wedding costs. First determine how much money you need to save each month to reach your desired amount. Then set up a direct deposit to ensure that the money goes where it is supposed to. Setting up a savings account means that you have instant access to your cash, so you can start paying deposits and other various costs more quickly.
About the Author:
Lauren LaBelle – Wedding Planning Expert
Over the past 10 years, Lauren has successfully planned hundreds of beautiful weddings from small and intimate to large and grand at a variety of venues..private homes, hotels, wineries and more. She is thrilled to be able to share her expertise and passion for planning with helpful articles for brides.