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a woman's gold wedding band sits inside of a man's gold wedding band atop a wedding veil

How to budget for your dream wedding

June 28, 2016

You have finally decided to take the plunge and get married and are now planning your dream wedding! However, just because you may have a special day in mind, doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve it with proper financial planning.

Here are three things to consider when planning for the big day:

1. Start saving money

Weddings can be expensive, which is why many couples start thinking about their wedding budget months in advance. If you haven’t already done so, start by making a budget based on your current income and necessary monthly expenses. These household expenses can include utilities, groceries, rent and bills. Deduct the cost of the regular expenses from your income and figure out what you have. Then, you need to determine how much you are spending on non-fixed costs, such as dining out, entertainment, clothing, technology and gas. By keeping receipts or using an app on your phone, you can track your spending and identify ways to cut back here and there.

Some couples also try to pick up some extra work to save up for their wedding. Do you have a talent? Are you a DIY kind of person? Anything from crafts, handy work, to writing can all be ways to boost your income and save so you will have more money to put towards your dream wedding budget.

2. Set Goals

If having a dream wedding is one of your goals, then stick to a plan that will help get you there. Set a goal each month of how much you want to spend on leisure activities or eating out. If saving twenty dollars this month is your goal, then skip eating out and cook something at home. Ask yourself questions as to why this goal is important to you and what are you trying to achieve. Look at the big picture. For example, if you really want to splurge on the wedding flowers, be sure to set a realistic goal that will allow you to save the money you need by the time the payment is due.

3. Remember To Factor In Commonly-Forgotten Expenses

The average American wedding costs roughly $26,000. When budgeting for the big day, remember to keep in mind these commonly-forgotten expenses. On top of the venue, rings, clothing and food costs, many couples forget to budget for the following:

  • Beauty treatments
  • Bachelorette party and bridesmaids gifts
  • Marriage license
  • Stationery and postage for invitations and thank you cards
  • Hotel rooms for the night before
  • Clothing alterations and last-minute necessities
  • Transportation for guests
  • Wedding party favors
  • Day-of coordinator fees
  • Meals and gratuities for your photographer, coordinator, servers, valets, coat check attendants, makeup artists, bartenders
  • Sales tax and service charges
  • Reception: lighting, sound, decor

By budgeting appropriately to prepare for your big day, you will be able to save for the wedding and honeymoon you and your partner have always wanted!

Keep your budget and financial goals organized.