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First off, if you are here, a huge CONGRATS is in order! Being engaged is a uniquely happy and exciting time! It can also, unfortunately, sometimes be stressful. That’s why we are here, to help navigate the daunting task of budgeting for the big day.
In the Pinterest era of wedding planning, it is incredibly easy to be overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles that accompany the big event. Our first (and actually not financially related) piece of advice is to not lose sight of why you and your betrothed are here in the first place. You’ve found someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with! That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment… and your love for one another and the promises you make on this special day will undoubtedly last longer than the memories of the flowers/food/bar/band that accompany this incredible celebration.
Alright, enough of that, down to the nitty-gritty of planning a wedding on a budget.
First and foremost, you need to come up with a number based on the monetary contributions either your family or you and your fiancé are realistically able to afford. This is tough. However, as a financial advisor, I want to shout from the mountaintops… DO NOT GO INTO DEBT TO PAY FOR YOUR WEDDING!
A wedding is perhaps the most important day of your life, but you’re not doing the marriage that will last the rest of your life any favors by starting it in avoidable debt. Determine your parameters and work within that budget. Once there, my wife and I personally found it helpful to determine what we found to be the 3 most important things to us about the big day.
This, in turn, helped us decide what weren’t going to be big-ticket items for us. These things are going to be unique to each couple, so sit down and talk it out with your soon to be spouse.
Once we determined our budget and our spending goals, we broke everything out into a spreadsheet. The important thing is to use this tool to keep track of your spending and hold yourself accountable.
These are some basic steps to decrease the uncertainty and stress that comes into play when we don’t have a framework in which to work.
I’ll leave you with a couple of other resources and wedding budget checklists that we found helpful as we were in the midst of planning our own big day.
Real Simple Wedding Checklist (My wife swears by this planner/checklist… straightforward and, as the name suggests, simple!)
The Budget Savvy Bride (A great inspirational blog for budget-friendly planning and ideas!)
Borrowing Magnolia (A great site for dresses that won’t break the bank.)
Wedding Wire Budget Tool (We love this budget tool, we also used this for our FREE wedding website. Very user-friendly and helpful!)
Congratulations again and enjoy your artfully budgeted wedding!
About the author: Bogdan Constantin is the Chief Marketing Officer of Menguin.
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Arrives about 14 days before your event. Plenty of time to try it on.