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It’s not easy to figure out your wedding budget. This is probably the biggest party you will ever host and the priciest. Despite all the planning, it is said that one in three couples find themselves going over their allocated budget! You can avoid this mistake by setting a realistic budget straight away.

Getting an accurate budget for your wedding can be hard work which is why we have listed 5 essential tips to follow when planning your wedding budget.

TIP 1: COUNT YOUR CASH

Determining your wedding budget is directly proportional to you and your fiancé’s personal savings, plus the surplus you can save from your monthly income. If you get lucky, you will get contributions from loved ones.

Here is how you can approach these three:

Your personal savings: Set aside a considerable amount of money for emergencies like loss of job, health setback, emergencies, etc. Then decide how much you can spare for your wedding.

Your current income: Make sure you have paid off all your debts like student loans and save at least 10% of your monthly earnings. Save for your wedding expenses in a separate account so that you are not just saving leftovers.

Contributions from parents and loved ones: Never expect your family or loved ones to contribute to cover the cost of your wedding, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

TIP 2: KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SPENDING

Make three expense columns on a spreadsheet: Actual, Modified and Estimated. Estimated amount will be the cost you listed during research (like websites, word of mouth, etc.), Modified will consist of the proposals from vendors, and Actual will be the final amount you pay.

Modify your estimates after consulting vendors. Always start with the venue because that is where the biggest chunk of the money will go and will determine the number of guests you will be inviting. Remember to calculate the tax rates after you vendors have given you an estimate.

Keep aside 15 percent of your wedding budget for overlooked expenditures like parking valets, invitation postage etc. Never spend this because you will need it throughout the process of planning.

TIP 3: PREPARE FOR SURPRISES

Sometimes expenses can add up pretty quickly. Make sure to read the fine print properly before you sign a contract with vendors or make purchases. If the total expenditure isn’t in your budget, cut it.

Transportation for Vendors: Is your photographer or band is based out of town? Check the contract and see if you have to pay for transportation and accommodation.

Fees for set-up and breakdown: Vendors usually don’t offer cleanup services. You might also have to pay for overtime rates.

Cocktails: Spirits and signature drinks can add as high as £3,500 for a wedding of 200.

Digital sharing: You might have to pay as much as £1,200 just to view and share the wedding photos online depending on the photographer.

Wedding Planners: Full-service wedding planners can charge as high as £25,000 while day-of coordinators charge an average fee of £1,500.

TIP 4: CHARGE RESPONSIBILITY

You may be tempted to use your credit cards but never charge anything unless you can pay it off in a month. If you do end up swiping the plastic, use the one with a good cash-back plan. Make use of the rewards that you have earned during the period of zero percent APR.

TIP 5: LOOK FOR WAYS TO SAVE

Running over-budget? Cut your spending with these ideas:

  • Change your wedding venue
  • Decrease your guest list
  • Go off-peak
  • Have your ceremony and reception in the same venue
  • Switch to a DJ
  • Refuse upgrade to the wedding venue
  • Use fewer vendors

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