2010-05-25 07:00:00 by SMARTBRIDE
Bride-To-Be: Got the Budget Blues? Create A Realistic Wedding Budget You Can Stick With
Staying on budget is difficult for many couples who are planning their dream wedding. We started out by creating an excel sheet that included each wedding item and its cost, based on quotes from vendors we had already secured. We then added all of our costs to find the total amount that we needed to save to pay for our big day.
Use this Budget Template (pictured above) to get started on your budget.
Lessons I Learned to Help Me Beat The Budget Blues:
- Define Items Separately. In order to create a realistic budget, it’s important to look at each aspect of the wedding as a separate item. Create lines for each expense rather than grouping them into categories, so you can see exactly where your money is going. Budget for everything, including: wedding party gifts, groom’s shoes, bridal makeup, day-of transportation, music etc.
- Create a Timeline. Create a wedding day timeline or schedule to help you visualize your wedding day so you don’t overlook potentially large expenses. We hadn’t thought about ceremony musicians early on. Luckily, we re-visited the budget and caught this omission early enough that we still had time to save the extra money. It’s too easy to miss something when you’re trying to remember everything off the top of your head.
- Regularly Re-Evaluate. We used our initial spreadsheet for weeks, having forgotten that it was based on our original number of 100 guests. Recently, a bit late in the game, we finally revisited each item and adjusted the cost based on our new number of 140 guests. The cost of food and alcohol increased, as did the price of decorations and favors.
- Don’t Forget Taxes: Be sure to include tax in your budget. If you forget to do this you'll be in for a shock when those bills arrive. This is especially important this summer with the harmonized sales tax coming into effect (in Ontario and British Columbia) because prior to HST, you would have paid only the GST on most services. Last week, I booked a service and was charged for HST because my event is taking place after it comes into effect. This increase will significantly impact many wedding budgets this year.
Some friends and family look at my excel sheet and think I’m being hyper organized, but I don’t know how else couples could possibly keep track of their spending, let alone the total amount owing for their big day. Spreadsheets can help you to avoid confusion and minimize your stress. Also, this is a great way to have a working budget that can be quickly updated throughout your planning process.
*SmartBride Tip*: Check and revise your budget regularly. You may think you have a clear understanding of your guest list, favors and food costs, but you’d be surprised at how quickly all this can change as you get closer to your wedding date. Avoid the budget blues by reviewing your budget and guest list every few weeks to make sure nothing is forgotten.
About our Guest Blogger: Alicia Mason
On December 23, 2008 I got engaged to my best friend and soul mate. We set the date for September 25, 2010 and for the past year I have been sleeping and breathing everything wedding including; the venue, food, flowers, decorator, invitations, and finding the perfect dress…all on a budget!
While I didn't go crazy meeting with 10 florists and 10 decorators, I put a lot of thought into each decision and was able to find great deals along the way. I am thrilled that the SmartBride Boutique ladies have asked me to be a guest blogger in order to give you details about my wedding planning. While the planning isn't easy, it is exciting and I hope as you plan your wedding, you'll find my experiences helpful.
More posts from Bride-to-Be Alicia:
- Choosing a Wedding Date
- Making the Most of a Venue in a Small Town
- Finding The Perfect Decorator
- Finding Budget Conscious Flowers Without Comprimising Quality
- Searching for my Holy Grail Wedding Dress
- What's the Magic Number?
- Choosing the Soundtrack to Your Big Day
- Fun and Fundraising at Your Stag & Doe
- An Eco-Friendly Favor Alternative
- Get Creative With Your Wedding Invitations
- Singers or Quartets? Choosing a Sound that's Music to Your Ears at Your Ceremony
- How to Deal With Attendants Who Live in Different Cities
- Fun and Games and a Trip to Jamaica?