Wedding Bells: Managing Your Money (Part 2)

The biggest worry for most engaged couples is the budget.  It’s also the biggest worry for anyone who might be writing those checks!

From the beginning, make sure you know your budget.  It is much harder to keep everything in perspective if you don’t even know the dollar amount that you have to work with.  And then next thing you know, someone is upset because some aspect of the celebration costs too much.  But if you don’t know your limit when you go shopping, it’s hard to stay inside that limit!

The basic budget categories are ceremony, reception, dining and bar, floral, and bridal.  Depending on your personal situation, I would recommend not including the honeymoon since that usually falls outside the wedding budget.

  • Ceremony – While this is not normally a huge portion, it is an important one.  There is the venue, the officiant, and any other personnel that you may have such as musicians.
  • Reception – This can be one of the largest chunks of your budget however I have specifically divided out the catering aspects.  The reception can be as budget-conscious or as extravagant as you (and your budget) will allow.
  • Dining and bar – Food and drinks are a huge part of the largest part.  What will your guests eat and drink while they celebrate with you.  I have attended weddings that included a multi-course plated dinner and I have attended weddings with cake and punch.  And truthfully I have enjoyed both!
  • Floral – I have separated this out because the floral category spans almost all of the other categories (ceremony, reception, and bridal).  Generally, the floral “requirements” are guided by the size of the wedding and the wedding party.
  • Bridal – Ah the dress.  It deserves it’s own mention.  It’s potentially one of the most dreamed-about aspects of a wedding, at least for a young woman.  However, if you plan to get married in a sundress and flip-flops, then own it!

Etsy wedding planner

To stay as organized as possible, I recommend using a planner to keep everything in one place!

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