Budget basics

How to come up with a wedding budget that matches both your dreams and your reality
May 22, 2014 | Victoria Hitchock & Christina Nicoll

How do I come up with a wedding budget?

Establishing a wedding budget is one of the most important tasks you will have when planning your wedding and it should be one of the first. We often say that when you are planning your wedding, you will make more decisions in a short amount of time than you will at any other time in your life, and a solid budget will help you stay on track with every decision.

Wedding funds can come from various sources; some couples finance their wedding themselves, sometimes the family may pay for everything or a combination of the couple's money and some from the family may be used.

Let's face it, dealing with family and money is never easy, so we recommend doing it as early as possible in the planning process. If possible, sitting down with both the bride and groom's families can help avoid awkward moments down the road. This allows you the opportunity to discuss financial matters and determine who is contributing what so you can establish a firm budget.

It is important to get an actual amount each party plans to contribute rather than having them just say, "I will pay for the bar," because they may be expecting this bill to be $2,000 but it may be much higher than that. You want to make sure everyone is on the same page when dealing with financial matters.

If you are paying for your own wedding, first and foremost, be realistic about what you can afford and what you want to spend. We have planned weddings with all kinds of budgets and a small budget does not mean you can't have the wedding of your dreams. If you pick a realistic budget you can feel confident in your planning and won't end up with "buyer's remorse" when the final bills are paid.

Another tip is to avoid speaking with vendors you know you can't afford. This will help you stay within your budget and you won't be tempted to stretch it. If you know a certain photographer begins at $3,000 and your entire budget is $5,000, it's probably not a good idea to meet with that vendor. It can help to try and allot certain funds to certain places so you can manage all of the different elements without exceeding your overall budget. For example, if you allot $3,000 to the meal, $1,500 for a photographer and $200 for centrepieces, it can help you reduce the options and zero in on what you want and what you can afford.

It is also important to determine your priorities. If you have your heart set on a specific venue but don't mind not having pew markers and elaborate centrepieces, then you can save in some areas of the budget to spend a little more in others. It is also better to over-estimate. There are always little expenses that pop up along the way, and it's better to have some extra funds for this purpose than to be left short.

Lastly we would recommend keeping good track of all your expenses as the little things do add up. By establishing your budget early on, keeping track of your spending and determining your priorities, you can afford the wedding of your dreams and not stress out about the bank book when all is said and done.

Victoria Hitchock & Christina Nicoll

Created in 2008 by Victoria Hitchock & Christina Nicoll (WPIC certified), Live, Love, Laugh Event Planning & Consulting is a full service event planning, consulting, decor and rentals company based in Fredericton, NB and servicing New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada. With a passion for planning and a creative knack that will exceed your expectations, Live, Love, Laugh will help make your special event one that you will always remember. Whether it be a wedding, anniversary party, corporate event or anything in between, Live, Love, Laugh will work with you on as much or as little as you need.
With several years of planning experience, Victoria and Christina can help take your vision and bring it to life. If you are looking for a few ideas to get things started, coordination on the day of your event, or full coordination from start to finish, Live, Love, Laugh will work with you to find the solution that ensures a successful event while maximizing your budget.
Live, Love, Laugh also has several decor packages and rental items that add that special touch to your special day.

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