Our first and most important piece of advice for planning a wedding budget is figure it out before you buy or book anything!
Before you make any decisions, book any venues, or even buy your perfect dress, you have a few things that you need to figure out. So have a seat, grab your favorite glass of wine and discuss the following questions about planning a wedding budget with your partner:
What Does Your Dream Wedding Look Like?
1. Do you want to have the ceremony at a house of worship or at another type of location such as a restaurant or a park?
2. Do you want the reception to be held inside or outside?
3. Are you a beer and brats type of couple, or do you feel more comfortable serving champagne and hosting a formal sit-down dinner?
4. Would you like it to be small and intimate, or do you prefer to share the day with everyone you know?
5. With well-meaning family, how can you retain control over this event?
Be Honest. How Much Can You Really Afford?
OK, maybe this isn’t the most fun topic to discuss. After all, no one likes a budget! But it’s really, really important to be realistic and truthful here. This isn’t the time to skirt around financials. So be candid with each other, and talk about the following:
1. How much can each of you contribute?
2. Will either of your parents be paying for anything? How much?
3. How many people would you like to attend?
While you need to know how much money you have to spend, it’s that last question which is really key. That’s because the number one factor that affects the budget, no matter how casual or fancy you want your event to be, is the number of guests attending. Make sure to decide on a ballpark number before you begin the actual planning process. Remember, more people equals more mouths, which means more food and drinks. ALL of which equals more money.
How to Ask Parents for Money
Forget that old rule that weddings are paid for by the parents of the bride. That time has passed. As the marrying age has gone up, so has the amount that the couple contributes to their own nuptials. And while parents on both sides still often contribute, don’t automatically assume that they will give you carte blanche for your wedding.
Then comes the “fun” part of asking the parents if they are interested in contributing. Don’t make one person do all of the asking. Each one of you gets to ask your own parents.
Show your parents ideas of the type of wedding that you are looking to create, how much it will cost, and how much you and your fiance can contribute. Then ask if they would consider contributing a set amount to fund a specific part of the wedding in lieu of giving you a gift.
Regardless of their answer, make them feel comfortable with whatever they decide. Remember, this is your event, not theirs. They shouldn’t have to go into debt for your wedding day, no matter how important you feel it is to have a designer gown or a full five-course dinner with open bar for everyone you know.
Now that have an idea of what you can afford, you can start creating your wedding budget!
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.