Sunday, October 14, 2007

Time to Budget!

Now that you have decided on the overall feel of the wedding you need to sit down and go through the logistics of the budget. It is crucial to plan this step out as detailed as possible and always keep in mind that overlooked expenses will surely come up. Allocate some funds to what we ill call the "what if" section. Creating a budget is easy, sticking to it is the part you will have to work hard on. You must commit to sticking with it and I promise you will be thrilled that you did! Add on's and spontaneous purchases will drive your costs way up and can easily cause stress and conflict between you and your groom.

Step 1: Get yourself a binder, notebook or self-planner organiser to keep you on track.

* Make all your lists, take your notes, add pictures you find in magazines, keep business cards, contracts, virtually everything together to avoid losing any ideas or documents related to the wedding!

**Remember to keep copies of important documents and contracts or originals in a safe place. If you feel you lose things easily, invest in a safety deposit box at your bank. This will usually cost you around 60$ per year.

Step 2: Create a list of what you will need to make this wedding happen. Will you need a seperate ceremony site or will the ceremony take place in the same venue as the reception. Photographer, videographer, florist, rental company, caterer, beverages... Here's a site that has your list made for you to make your life a little less stressful.

The important task here is to prioritize your list. Discuss and make decisions on the most important things on your list for you. If a lavish wedding cake is impotant to you then keep that at the top of the list or if the lighting of the reception makes all the difference to you then that would top your priority list. A wedding is not a day to impress friends and family, but rather your dream day and the union between you and your groom. Whatever elements of the wedding are most important to you, should stand out and play that role.

Step 3: Figure out how much money you and your groom have at this moment for the big day. You may want to start a special savings account for your big day to keep things both easier and better organised. This will help stay on track with your budget!

Step 4: Set up a meeting with both your parents and determine if they will be contributing to the cost of the wedding. Whatever they decide to contribute, if any should be divided into specifics. You may ask them if there is any specific part of the wedding they'd like to cover such as photography or florals.
* This can be a sensitive subject for some, you may want to set up seperate meetings to avoid one family from feeling inferior to the other if they chose to contribute a smaller amount, if any at all.

Step 5: Allocate amount to each item on your now prioritized list.

Step 6: Visit vendors, with all your questions and concerns, making sure to always keep notes on their answers and prices. You want to visit as many vendors as possible to compare both price and quality.
* These are items to keep in your book. You will be able to refer back to each go-see very easily with this method and your decision will be that much simpler.

Step 7: Keep record of estimated cost and actual price throughout this process. Also, after every purchase, refer back to the checklist and estimated cost to see if you are still on track. This way, if you have gone above what you had thought, you could cut back somewhere else or dip into the "what if" funds!

Always hire professionals rather than cutting back and getting your aunt to videotape the event. You wil have no one to blame, but yourself if it doesn't turn out.
Get everything in writing! Contracts should detail every aspect of what was agreed upon between you and the vendor. This way you will have no surprises on the wedding day!
Pay with credit cards whenever you can incase of a dispute with a vendor.

Keep these pointers in mind and you will do just fine! Make it together, be clear with yourselves and commit to this budget! Goodluck!


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