Thursday, May 22, 2008

Money Matters...Wedding Budget Part II

Back to the wedding budget. We already have a list of the general questions we want to ask in the previous post, now let’s get specific.

Let’s face it: weddings are expensive. So as you sit down and talk about the wedding of your dreams, you need to think about how to set up a system that will help you determine and track costs.

My first piece of advice? Make worksheets with everything attached to them. Set up a spreadsheet or Excel workbook. Name it "Wedding Budget" and then be prepared to add sheets to it as the need arises.

Go to the library and get a book or two that gives you some ideas of all the costs involved. Read a wedding magazine! With those ideas, make the wedding budget list as long as you need with as many categories as you can think of – and don’t be afraid to add – you are going to need to if you want to have some control over your wedding costs.

Be prepared to make up notebooks for each area that include budget sheets and have all your information.

As you are determining your wedding budget, you need to ask yourselves these questions:

How formal do we want our wedding (the less formal the less costly)?

Realistically, how much can we afford to spend? (Not dream spending, but really, how much do we ACTUALLY HAVE TO SPEND?)

What are our priorities (food, decorations, ceremony, reception, etc)? Where do we want to spend the bucks?

What are the potential incidental costs (calls, wardrobe, etc)?

Who will sign contracts?

How will we keep track of expenses?

What do we do if a friend offers his or her professional services?

Who pays for what?

Even before you make the wedding budget, go out and see what economies you can practice. That will make the difference in how much you can spend and what sort of extravaganza you can afford.

Can you rely on a friend to handle the wedding planning or will that be too much of a strain on your friendship? How about liquor? Will you be able to eliminate it as a cost or be able to bring in your own? Perhaps a visit to the local warehouse box store like Costco will help in defraying some costs as well.

There are many ways to set up that wedding budget so that it doesn’t mean you are still paying for the wedding on your 20th anniversary.

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