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Wedding budgets are dreaded by most, because no one likes to talk about money. But, your wedding budget is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding day. Your budget may save you money at the end, and will allow you to plan your wedding successfully. No financial regrets!
You may not realize this now, but if you borrow money or max out your credit cards when you pay for everything at you wedding, you will have many regrets. Your biggest regret will be that you didn’t even bother to set up a wedding budget. Or maybe you had one, but you didn’t stick to it or used it fully to your advantage. Wedding budgets can be tricky and very difficult to stick to, but we will aim to give you some valuable insight in this post.
How to save up enough money for your wedding
You HAVE to create a budget
Okay, so maybe you didn’t have a budget to begin with. This can become a serious problem if you don’t have a bottomless wallet, which we’re assuming you don’t. You will find tons of budget templates or info-graphics online which can be helpful to some extent. But you have to set up a budget that suits your wedding needs.
If you need a printable wedding budget, you can find ours here.
Two ways of budgeting
There are two ways of starting out with budgeting. The first way is to determine a set amount for the entire wedding. If your parents (or someone else) are paying for the wedding, they might be able to give you a whole amount which will cover most of the wedding costs.
The second way of determining the budget, is by making a list of all the things you want to include in you wedding.
The second way is our favorite recommended way, because you can draw up a table to make you lists, categorize it, then determine the estimated costs and the actual costs. A nifty feature of this method is that it is easier to do budget cutting, since you have a full layout of the costs in front of you. Do you really need Save The Date’s? No? Strike-through! Do you really have to have five bridesmaids? No? So then have fewer bridesmaids.
Sticking to your budget
This is probably the most difficult part of budgeting, because in the wedding industry, nearly everything is pretty and sparkly. You start seeing potential in every single item you spot and think of way to include it somewhere in your decor. You need to focus on the essentials first like the venue, dress, and catering. Save the decor for later, because this is normally where most people overspend.
Another area where people overspend is investing in extras that you really don’t need or that most of your guests won’t even remember. Unless they are in the wedding industry themselves – we get most of our ideas by seeing what people do at their weddings. Some of these extras includes a string quartet or harpist. Or, maybe you want to release white doves on your wedding. Maybe you want two photographers instead of one. Go sit and think about whether you really need those extras to have a magical, joyful wedding day.
If you are a spender or shopaholic, maybe you shouldn’t be in charge of the budget… Consider getting someone who can help and guide you with your wedding budget. Working together as a couple on the budget is essential, because the groom is not the one who planned his fairy tale wedding since he was 12 years old… He might be the one who puts on the brakes when it comes to spending.
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A great method for saving up some money
An awesome way of saving money towards something, is by having a savings plan. Our favorite one is the 52 Week Savings Plan.
How it works: Each week you save the amount next to it. So week one, save ten rand (or dollars, whatever your currency is). Week two, save twenty rand, etc. I know the last months can be difficult, but in the end it will totally be worth it. Think of what can be covered in your budget with that amount of money. Or maybe you can transfer it into your honeymoon fund? Nice!
Working with large amounts of money
It is always, always, always better to work with large amounts of money electronically! You don’t want to lose a huge chunk of cash which could’ve paid for the DJ or the caterer… If you are paying suppliers, insist on doing it electronically. If they prefer cash, you need to ask yourself why (tax evasion maybe?) and think of getting a different supplier.
Luckily, most suppliers have a payment schedule, especially if the total amount owed is a very large sum. Usually they will need a deposit upfront to secure their services, and from there on they will have a schedule of which the last payment is normally due before the wedding takes place.
Our printable wedding planner and tracker kit includes a payment tracker which you can use to schedule payments for suppliers when planning your own wedding.
Side tip for new wedding planners: Never be too kindhearted and accept the last payment after the wedding. More often than not, the newlyweds are so in love and not thinking about anything concerning money at that point. You can remind them frequently, but normally the last payment will take time to reflect in you bank account, if it ever will…
Tipping suppliers (Hidden Cost alert!)
This is another challenging part of handling money. Firstly, establish with your venue if the gratuity payments are included in the amount for using their venue. If not, you need to find out what the average gratuity is for suppliers. One way to do this is to go online and check hourly rates of different suppliers, then decide from there. You do not have to tip, but it is considered common courtesy and shows your gratitude towards them for making your wedding successful.
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