Congratulations! You (or maybe your child) are getting married and want to have a wedding!
Once the planning gets started, many couples start to become overwhelmed by the cost. That’s reasonable – according to a 2017 study from The Knot, the average wedding costs approximately $33,000!
Needless to say, weddings can be expensive and careful budgeting is essential to keeping wedding costs in-check and ensuring that money is being spent on the most important aspects of the big day. Here are three tips to help you stay on track with your wedding budget:
1. Establish the budget. And stick to it! This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to over-spend if you don’t set a budget ahead of time. Each aspect of the wedding is likely to cost more than you expect, so make sure to estimate the guest count, research wedding vendors, and set a reasonable cost limit before doing any booking. This is also a great time to discuss with your partner how much both of you are willing to spend on your celebration. This helps avoid surprises and potential disagreements in the future.
2. Get organized. It might be worth setting up a separate savings account that holds all the money you have budgeted for the wedding. This will help you to easily track expenses and additional savings without confusing it with the rest of your funds. Then, decide what percentage of that budget you want to spend on specific aspects of your wedding. If the music is most important to you, then maybe the flower budget can be reduced to make way for a live band.
3. Be wary of hidden costs. The obvious expenses are easy to budget for: the venue, the food, the music, etc. However, there are some costs that can sneak up on you. These include overtime fees if the party lasts longer than expected. Tips for hotel staff, wedding vendors, and transportation can also add up. Even stamps for the invitations are a cost that some couples forget to take into account. Make sure that there is some room in your wedding budget for unforeseen costs and miscellaneous extras.
Each wedding is unique, which means every wedding budget is also unique. Don’t base your budget on the number above (remember, that’s an average). If you aren’t sure where to start, talk with your financial advisor about a budget that is affordable for your situation without sacrificing your other financial goals.
Wedding budgeting may be overwhelming at first, but staying on track will help you enjoy a stress-free and joyful wedding day!