Photo: Levi Steven Miller
During our Wedding Planning 101 blogging series, we’ve detailed our best tips for starting the wedding planning process. Perhaps one of the most important early steps you can take in your wedding planning journey is creating a wedding budget. Everything else you consider for your big day should ultimately be run by the budget you’ve identified early on. We know...this isn’t the fun part. But trust us, it’s the #1 thing that will bring you peace of mind later in the process.
First, determine who will be funding your big day. Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for the wedding. But more and more, this tradition is changing. Today, we see a wide mix of people who pay for the wedding. Sometimes, the bride and groom pay for the entire event. Sometimes, the bride and groom help out with a few categories of the big day and the parents pay for the rest. There isn’t a right or wrong answer here. The best solution is what works best for your particular situation and what you’re most comfortable with.
After you’ve established the main contributors to your wedding budget, sit down with the paying parties and discuss the budget. You can select an overall ideal budget and then brainstorm how to break it down item-by-item. If you create an account on Wedding Wire, they have a useful budget tool that we’d recommend using. You can enter your total budget and they’ll provide a handy spreadsheet with your budget broken down into the different categories you’ll need to consider.
When creating a budget, it’s important to be thorough. It’s easy to only think about the biggest wedding budget categories and feel like you have a general number of how much it will cost. But in reality, the small items you forget to consider can really add up. For example, you’ll remember to calculate the cost of the venue, dress, and photographer. But did you forget to add in the cost of bridesmaid gifts and corsages for you and your significant other’s grandmothers? Food is usually the biggest budget item for weddings but don’t forget to budget for the cake or other desserts. Don’t let small costs add up and surprise you in the end.
Though budgeting isn’t the most fun or glamorous part of wedding planning, it’s one of the most important. If you’re like most brides, it’s important to stick to your budget. Make it easier on yourself down the road by establishing a clear budget early on in the planning process and paying attention to it. If you hire a wedding planner, part of their job can be to help you stick to your budget. Our team here at Goodwin Manor would love to discuss your big day with you. Contact us today to learn more about having your wedding at Goodwin Manor in Little Rock. Happy planning, friends!