Congratulations! You have a ring on your finger and a bright, sparkling future ahead of you. Let the wedding planning begin! To ensure the process is as stress free as possible, follow these tried and true tips:
Planning a wedding is not a simple “sit-down-and-work-till-it’s-done” kind of project; oftentimes you have multiple projects at once. So stay organized! It often helps to create a binder where you can keep a budget sheet, a calendar checklist, pictures, fabric swatches, etc. See the Worksheets Section for helpful organizational tools.
Plan your budget before you get carried away with other wedding details. Determine how much you want to spend and how much assistance, if any, you will receive from family members.
Sit down with everyone that is planning to contribute to determine who will pay for what. Sometimes families will give a specified dollar amount and allow the couple to spend it however they choose. Others will offer to help out with a particular aspect of the wedding. Many couples undertake the wedding expenses themselves. No matter what financial assistance is offered, the wedding is ultimately the couple’s financial responsibility.
Avoid two common budgeting traps:
1) Do not expect more cash wedding gifts than you may actually receive.
2) Do not under-budget wedding and honeymoon expenses.
Make a list of all the different vendors you will need and allocate a portion of your budget to each, prioritizing when necessary. If the costs keep piling up, don’t panic! There are ways to trim costs without sacrificing vendor quality.
Once you have settled on the bottom line, secure prices with a contract to help keep you within your budget. Paperwork plays a crucial role in keeping misunderstandings to a minimum.
Financial experts advise against going into debt for your wedding. It is much better to start a marriage without needless liabilities.