Paying for your wedding can be one of the most stressful parts of the planning process. You have a budget, but how can you stick to it? Almost always, people tend to spend more than their budget accounts for. Here are five things to consider to help you stay within your means.
1) Budget Accurately: When coming up with your budget, you might include obvious wedding day needs like the reception site and flowers, but what about the hidden costs? Some costs are often overlooked. Things like stamps for your invitations, tips for vendors, or gifts for bridesmaids aren't factored into the overall budget and can end up leaving you short before the big day arrives. When creating your budget, try to include all of these little aspects of planning and then add some extra bucks as a cushion in case there is something you missed.
2) Be Flexible: If you're trying to cut costs and trim your budget, you'll have to be flexible while planning your wedding. You may have to opt for a DJ over a live band or scrap wedding favors for the guests. Look at your overall budget and decide what's most important to you and start cutting costs based on your observations. Being flexible also means shopping around for cost effective alternatives. That might mean a social hall instead of a luxury hotel, opting for candles instead of costly flower for centerpieces, or seeking out vendors in less expensive neighborhoods, .
3) Stick to Your Guest Count: One of the most effective ways to cut costs is to limit your guest count. Once you and your groom have decided on a number, stick with it. The more people you add to your list, the more you're going to pay. By limiting plus ones or even children, in some cases, you can help yourself stay within budget too. Remember this point when a friend asks if she can bring a date. While it would be nice if you could invite him, it's important to let guests know that you're on a budget and can't accommodate everyone.
4) Don't Splurge: It's easy to want to splurge for your wedding. You see something beautiful and you must have it for the big day. Unless you can afford it or factored it into your overall budget, don't do it, or at least, limit it to a single splurge. But remember you'll have to tweak the rest of your budget to make up for it.
5) Keep Your Wedding Finances Up to Date: To ensure you're staying within your means, make sure to keep your wedding finances separate and updated. Use a spreadsheet or other way to make it easy to see what you're spending on and how much money you have left. Keep all your receipts and review your budget regularly to make sure everything is in financial order and on track. The more you keep yourself apprised of your financial status, the more likely you'll stay within your means.