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Budget, Wedding Advice, Wedding Planning

January 15, 2014

How to Determine your Wedding Budget

It admittedly took me a while to get comfortable asking the necessary question, have you determined a budget? when speaking with prospective clients. Educating clients on budgets can be sensitive as well, since the fee for wedding planning and coordination can be a significant percentage to consider in the mix, so I am happy to bring you this objective post on how to determine an accurate budget for your wedding, written by guest blogger Sofia Angeli.

5 Questions to Consider When Creating a Realistic Wedding Budget
After all the excitement of your engagement, you’ll need to determine how you will pay for your wedding. The first step is to know your wedding budget. You need to know how much you can spend before you can determine your venue, concept or level of formality, time, and even the date.
This can be quite challenging, but to help, here are five important questions to consider on this topic.
1.     Who is paying?
Even though it is tradition for most cultures in the Western world and some other countries for the bride’s parents to pay for the entire shebang, things can be different for other families. Also times definitely have changed.
·       If you and your spouse-to-be are paying for your wedding, you can go directly to question #2 and discuss your answers.
·       If you’ll be asking your folks for some financial help, then you have to be ready to discuss details with them.  Expect to get questions like “How much will the wedding cost?” and “Why do you need that much?”
o   If your folks say they’ll contribute a specific amount, be grateful for it and try to squeeze everything you need and want into that budget.  Or simply be prepared to pay for the expenses that remain.
o   Your parents might opt to pay for specific items like the catering, the rehearsal dinner, or the dresses. Similarly, you’ll be left to pay for anything else that’s not on their list.
2.     How much do you really need?
Your total budget will generally depend on your location, the time of the event, the number of guests, and the formality of the event.
·       Most major cities usually have more expensive rate in terms, of… well, everything.
·       Peak months and evening weddings dictate greater investments. Caterers, florists, venues, hotels, car rentals, etc. normally charge more at these times than during the off-peak season and for morning and lunch events.
·       The formality of the event signifies how grand your celebration will be. You’ll need more courses for the feast, more fabric for the dresses, more flowers and lights for the venue, and so on.
·       Naturally, if you’ll have more guests, you’ll have more mouths to feed. You need more drinks to serve and more favors to buy.
3.     What are your essentials?
Know your priorities as a couple. These include the most important elements to both of you – maybe the venue, the number of guests, the bridal dress, the wedding rings, etc. The list varies from couple to couple, because these are the items that you’ve agreed to have on your wedding. You may even have agreed to splurge on these items, if necessary.
4.     What are the extras?
After knowing your essentials, you’ll be able to determine which items you can live without or you can afford to scrimp on. You may be willing to cut down on the venue decoration since the place you picked is already lovely enough with just a sprinkling of flowers here and there.
5.     How can you trim your expenses?
·       Prioritizing wedding items through questions 3 and 4 will already help you cut down your expenses. You’ll know items to scrimp on or even totally cross out.
·       Another option is to ask relatives and friends to sponsor some items you need. For instance, a friend who’s into crafts may be able to do your wedding favors. While this may be less expensive than buying them from commercial establishments, consider the time spent,  the quality of the end product and your peace of mind.
·       Use the Internet for shopping and other important task when it’s appropriate. 
These five questions are basic but very helpful if you really want to write a realistic budget. Hopefully these will ease your anxiety as you move into wedding preparation mode. 

About the Author – Sofia Angeli is a PR  and  communications consultant for companies in various industries. In particular, she brings her writing skills and passion for travel, culture, arts and lifestyle, including wedding planning. 

Photo of Honeymoon Fund is from Etsy. 

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