Frugal Fiancée: Wedding Budget

Remember when I told you guys that I worked for an event planner in college? Well, spending other people's money on weddings was awesome compared to what I am doing now. Having a wedding under $6,000, like pinterest suggests you can, is nearly impossible if you want to have it photographed and feed your guests something other than a McDonalds cheeseburger (the one from the value menu - no you can't even have a big mac). Today I'm sharing a few budgeting tips to keep in mind when creating your initial wedding budget.

VIPs (Very Important Parents)
As I suggested when I talked about creating a guest list, consult your VIPs. If either set of parents plan on contributing to your wedding fund, go ahead and have the conversation early on about what the dollar amount will be. If any other family members mention they would like to pay for the dress, flowers, honeymoon, etc. go ahead and make note of that as well. Once you know who is contributing and what amount, you can start working on a realistic budget for your big day. Do not spend money on anything until you have a budget in place. I am using a spreadsheet to keep up with our budget. This way, we can move the numbers around and quickly see an estimated total cost.

Math Class
Some people have been saving up for this special day for years while others haven't even thought about a wedding fund. If you are planning on being engaged for a year or so, estimate the amount of money you will be able to save during the time leading up to the wedding. Calculate the total amount you have combined with contributions from parents. When you have a number, do your best to stick to it.

Have you always dreamed of having a fancy designer wedding gown? Is photography or videography your thing? If so, you will want to spend more on these items. Figure out how much the vendors and items most important to you will cost so you can include that in your budget from the beginning. You can create your budget around these "must have" items and then decide what other areas you can cut back on once you know how much your must have vendors will cost you.

Details Matter
Style - If you are going for a formal and elegant wedding, it will cost you. However, if you are going with a rustic wedding full of small details, it will also cost you. Be mindful about every item you purchase. You can have both an elegant wedding and a rustic wedding without going overboard on expensive decorations.

Time - The day of the week and time of year you decide to tie the knot will greatly impact how much money you spend on your big day. Friday and Sunday dates are cheaper than the ever-popular Saturday and winter weddings are more budget-friendly than a Spring or Summer shindig.

Location - Do you want to have your wedding in the city next to skyscrapers? You'll pay a premium for the more popular zip codes. While it is expensive to have a ceremony and reception in a larger city, having a wedding in the middle of nowhere can also be pricey when you consider the travel fees vendors will add to their price. Always compare your options and see what will work best for you and your fiancé.

Size - When creating your guest list, keep in mind the more guests you have, the more money you will be spending. Your costs will increase for food, cake, alcohol, and even tables and chairs if these are not included in your venue rental.

Hidden Fees
There are many items that can be easily forgotten and need to be taken into consideration when creating your wedding budget.

Taxes - The taxes will vary by state but keep in mind that you will have to pay taxes on almost everything you purchase for your wedding.

Set-up and Breakdown - If you are renting chairs, tables, and linens, ensure the set-up and breakdown charge is included in your rental fee. If it isn't, you'll need to make sure that also fits into your rental budget.

Flowers - If you are having your ceremony and reception in two different locations, consider taking your flowers from one venue to the other instead of purchasing flowers for both. Ask your florist about creating altar flowers that can also transition to décor for the head or sweetheart table.

Postage - If you plan on sending heavy card stock or square wedding invitations, one stamp is not going to do the trick. And what about all that response card postage? Consider having your guests RSVP online to save on the pre-stamped envelope.

Vendor Meals - You need to feed your vendors. They will be spending the majority of their day with you and should be fed. I know when I worked in the wedding industry, I was so thankful that the couples planned on us eating dinner and had enough food for us. If your photographer and videographer will be there all day, consider providing breakfast or lunch for them as well. Don't expect your vendors to do their best work on an empty stomach. It is never fun being around someone when they get "hangry."

I hope these tips help you get your wedding budget started. If you are new to budgeting, I can also help you with creating a monthly budget. It is important to be in charge of your money every month even if you aren't planning a wedding. Let me know your favorite wedding budget tips and tricks in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

If this is your first time reading a post in my Frugal Fiancée series, start from the beginning and find out how we got engaged!

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