Many couples admit to spending more than they initially intended on their wedding. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to stick to your wedding budget. It is easy to get lost in the excitement and overlook the small fees that eventually all add up expenses and small fees that can really add up. Here are four key steps to help you stay within your budget.
1. Establish a Wedding Budget System That Works for You
Decide on a budgeting system to track all the money coming in and out. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to keep a file/spending diary where you write down what you are spending money on, how you are paying and what the cost is for.
2. Consider Hidden Wedding Costs and Extras
Knowing about potential hidden costs up front will guarantee your budget can actually cover it all. Such as:
If the party's going on longer than expected, the minutes may fly by—but you'll likely pay in overtime costs for everyone from the photographer to the DJ. Work overtime costs into your budget. If you don't end up using it, it'll be a nice surprise sum of cash to have after the wedding.
Tipping Your Vendors
Conservative vendor tips can add hundreds to your wedding cost. (And, no, you can’t skip vendor tips!) Make sure to account for tipping costs when you first start drafting your budget.
Florist's demos may be free the first time around, but if you make repeated changes, you risk being billed. The same goes for hair and makeup trials, so factor these possible costs in too.
Things like stamps for invitations and RSVP cards, marriage license fees and packaging for welcome bags or favors seem so small you can shrug them off, but like any costs, they add up. This can push you past your limit without you realizing it.
3. Plan in Advance to Go Over Budget
This may sound absurd. But if you account for unforeseen expenses, then you will never actually blow your budget. Try and allocate 5 percent of your budget for unforeseen costs. A few examples might include:
Flowers: a last-minute realization you want to decorate a previously unconsidered corner of your venue.
Weather-related expenses: umbrellas for a rainy day, heaters for unseasonably cool day, or additional shade or air conditioning if it’s particularly hot or humid.
4. Be Smart About Tracking Wedding-Related Spending
Make a point of opening a separate account for all your wedding expenses. This way you can easily track what you are spending and how much money is in the account at all times and not getting it confused with the rest of your day-to-day funds. Pay for as many of your expenses as possible on a credit card to receive benefits like mileage, rewards or cash back. Finally, make sure everyone making wedding-related purchases on your behalf are all on the same card system, allowing you to benefit from the rewards and also from the easy tracking of your purchases.
These four steps can really help you plan your expenses well.
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