Congratulations! You have made the decision to commit and ready to take the next step in planning your big day. This is the perfect time to start thinking about your budget. Unless you are fortunate enough to have unlimited funds, it is essential to set appropriate budget limitations. Your wedding is the most important day in your life, however, starting a life full of debt after your big day will surely cause you unnecessary stress and financial strain for the next few years. The secret of every great wedding is to budget - and to stick to that budget. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to stay on budget for your big day:
1. Get organized
Buy a folder, some dividers and set up section for each part of your wedding: the dress, the flowers, the entertainments, catering, flavors and etc… Keep all related information in that folder so you know exactly where everything is.
2. Do your Research
Before you book any wedding supplier or commit to a venue - do some research. Check out the venue’s competitors and see their package options/prices. Most brides and grooms have never brought some of the things you will need for your wedding so you will not automatically know what the market price is.
Think of your wedding as a business and you are a well needed customer, with money to spend. Your suppliers will expect you to try and get the best price. Do not be afraid to negotiate and you may surprise yourself. If you know yourself and know for a fact, that you are not comfortable with negotiations, bring a friend / relative who is. PS. Be nice to the vendors. No one wants to work with a bridezilla.
4. Get everything in writing - and keep it!
You should always get your quotes and agreements in writing. Even, when negotiating on a price, make sure you get everything in writing. Keep the receipts and stick them into your bridal folder ( see step 1 ). This way everything is in one spot, in case you ever need to reference a price check later on.
5. Watch out for hidden costs
Reading the fine print is a tedious task and it is certainly boring, but it MUST BE DONE. Before making the commitment, make sure you understand all terms of the agreements on both sides of the parties. This will help you avoid sudden surprises that typically come up at the worst possible time.
6. Watch out for extra costs
Your wedding agreement may be clear, however, make sure you are aware of any extra costs. Those little guys can add up and bring you will over your budget.
7. Review, review, review!
Make sure you sit down on monthly bases to review your budget to ensure you are still on track and following the numbers. It is easy to get carried away in the spur of the moment, but if you are truly trying to stick to you budget - it is essential to review it periodically to ensure everything is going as planned.
8. Book ahead
Don’t wait till the last possible moment to commit to a venue or a cake decorator. The typical peak time for booking wedding services is from December to February. To make your life easier, try booking your services either before December or after February to avoid the “Wedding Rush Hour”.
9. Don’t forget to ask questions
Don’t feel shy or awkward asking financial questions. Your suppliers understands, and will be more willing to work with you if you are straightforward about what you want and what kind of financial commitment you can make. If you don’t ask questions you may miss out on a special deal which can save you a ton of money in the long run.
10. Stick to the budget
While you shop for products and services for your wedding you are bound to see nice little things that costs just a bit more than you budgeted. Don’t be fooled by thinking that adding those little things won't put you order the budget. Those costs add up and you will be stuck paying an extra arm and a leg before you know it. Try to stick to what you allocated for each product and if you cannot resist going over the budget in one area, only do so when you have worked out where you can save that amount somewhere else.