Preparing a Wedding Budget – What You Need to Know

16 Dec

For many brides, keeping a detailed wedding budget can be overwhelming. There is so much to consider … so organize the information into smaller categories to create a manageable and easy-to-use view of your wedding finances. Your final wedding budget may include some or all of these items:

  • Stationery : While brides can not wait to get their wedding invitations ordered, think about what other stationery you may need. It can be convenient to take care of ordering thank you notes and other stationery at the same time as invitations.
  • Wedding Dress & Alterations : When you are comparing costs for your wedding dress, make sure to factor in the alterations. Some shops have seamstresses on staff that can do alterations while others will direct you outside the business. Understanding this will help you effectively manage your dress budget.
  • Bride's Accessories : What bride does not want new shoes and lingerie?
  • Groom's Tuxedo & Accessories : Like the bride's dress, the expenses associated with the groom's tuxedo will likely need to include alterations.
  • Wedding & Reception Venues : If you are having a wedding at your family church or the reception in your Mother's back yard, you might have minimal expenses for the venue. Otherwise, you'll spend money on both locations (although you do get some efficiencies if you have the wedding and reception at the same location).
  • Ceremonial Officiant : Your officiant may or may not be paid for the services provided, but either way you should plan to provide a donation (for religious services) or a tip in the case of a paid officiant.
  • Wedding & Reception Decorations : Decorations for the wedding and reception can be as grand or as simple as you like. No matter how well equipped a location is, many brides find themselves wanting to personalize and decorate the venue.
  • Food & Service : Start by deciding if you would rather have a formal sit-down dinner or a mid-afternoon cocktail reception. Your costs are typically "per person" so you can scale your budget up or down based on the number of people you will be feeding (and what you are serving at the wedding reception).
  • Cake & Cutting Fee : Whether you serve a tiered wedding cake or contemporary cupcakes, even the smallest wedding reception usually includes dessert. Consider how many people you are inviting and then check with bakers for an estimated cost per person.
  • Beverages & Bartenders : If you are considering serving alcohol, make sure you factor in the cost of the drinks and servers. Even if you provide your own wine, often you will be charged a "corking fee" by the reception location or caterers. Alcohol can eat up a lot of your budget so plan early for the costs.
  • Transportation : Especially important in destination weddings, consider the distance between the airport, hotel, ceremony and reception locations for you and your guests. You may want to provide some or all of the transportation for yourself and your guests.
  • Flowers : They are transported by the bride and her wedding party, given to the mothers of the bride and groom, and used in some of the decorations at the ceremony and reception so allocate your budget accordingly. If your budget is tight, consider DIY Flower solutions.
  • Hair & Makeup : Every bride wants to look gorgeous on her wedding day, and it's not uncommon to hire professional beauticians and hair stylists to make sure the look is perfect on that special day.
  • Musicians : You may hire several different musicians for your wedding and reception. Whether you want a harpist, pianist or DJ (or all three), keep music in mind as you plan your wedding.
  • Photographer & Videographer : Your photography and video are often some of the biggest wedding expenses you will have, so ask a lot of questions when you interview these professionals.
  • Wedding Bands : Do not forget those wedding rings!
  • Bridal Party Gifts : If friends and family are playing a role in your wedding, you'll probably want to give each one a small token of your appreciation. People traditionally receiving gifts include bridesmaids and groomsmen, ushers, the flower girl and ring bearer and often the parents of the bride and groom.
  • Party Favors : Your wedding guests are special to you, and it's common to give them some small party favor. From candy or flower seeds to personalized bottles of wine, party favors are a nice way to send your guests off with a small memento to remind them of your wedding.
  • Wedding Night Lodging : Your wedding night will be your first night as husband and wife, and may also be the start of your honeymoon. You may want to consider this part our honeymoon budget (that's up to you)

There are ways to have a wonderful wedding day with any budget – you just have to decide what is important to you and then be creative!



Source by Judy Tanzer

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