You have dreamed about your wedding day since you were a child. You might have envisioned fairy tale dresses, plush limousines, hundreds of your closest friends and family members, and dancing until dawn. After all, this is your special day and you want to give your new life the best start you can.
Now that it's approaching, reality is setting in. You know you deserve all of your dreams, but perhaps you're not sure just how you'll pay for them. You could max out your credit cards, but starting your married life deeply in debt doesn't sound so romantic. You need to set a budget.
Setting a realistic wedding budget doesn't mean you need to forget the fairy tale. It simply means you need to prioritize and plan how you will spend your money. That way you will be able to afford the things that are most important to you. And you will be able to start your married life without unnecessary, burdensome debt.
Begin setting your budget by setting your priorities. You have a vision of what you want your wedding to look like. But it's time to take a more realistic approach. Decide which of the items you want to include are must haves, which are optional, and which would just be nice to have, but you could do without if you needed to.
Determine how much you can spend. How much money do you have saved for your wedding? How much will you be able to save before the big day? It's important to be honest about how much you really can afford. That will help you avoid a lot of problems and conflicts as you plan your wedding, and ensure that you don't create additional stress by running out of money too soon.
Decide how much you will spend on each area. Now that you know your priorities, and you know how much you have to spend, you can decide how much money you will spend on each area of your wedding. One way to organize this is to create a notebook sheet for each expense, such as dress, flowers, invitations, and write down your budget for that area.
Budget for the unexpected. As carefully as you plan, you may still have some unexpected expenses. If you overspend in one area, remember you'll have to make up for it by spending less on something else.
Be creative. There are many ways you can cut down on the high cost of a beautiful wedding. Perhaps you can make homemade wedding invitations so you can spend more money on your wedding dress. Do you have a friend who loves to cook for a crowd? Maybe she would like to help prepare the wedding feast. You can even rent your wedding dress, if you need to cut down in that area and spend more on others.
Setting a realistic wedding budget doesn't mean you can't have the wedding you always dreamed of. It is only a means of making it affordable so you can enjoy your day, without worrying about how much it cost.