I've always been a strong believer that personal finance should be a general education requirement in college. Whether saving for vacation, a car, or a wedding the first step is setting a limit and sticking to a budget.
Here are your biggest budget questions answered!
What percentage of my budget should be attire, ceremony, cake, etc.?
Although there is no right answer to how much you should allocate each category of expense, having an approximate percentage allocated can be very helpful.
The Wedding Garden has a flexible percentage breakdown for you to use as a starting point.
So if your budget is 20,000 you can simply multiply 20,000 by the percentage you want to allocate, let’s just say Invitations (3% aka .03) and get $600. If this number is too high or too low you can now easily move money around.
It is also recommended that you create a prioritized list on which part of your wedding is most important to you. Would you rather invite more people and rent a wedding dress or own your dress and invite less? Once you prioritize you can re-weight your percentages to reflect your wants.
Who pays for the wedding?
Forget the tradition of the bride’s parents paying for the entire wedding and the groom’s side getting off easy. Nowadays it is split between the two families a little more evenly and the bride and groom themselves oftentimes pay for a huge chunk also. The key, start saving early and stick to a budget. It is recommended that all paying parties sit down and discuss early on how much everyone is willing to contribute. TheKnot.com also breaks it down by area/category. Here’s the website with the list: http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-budget/articles/wedding-budget-who-pays-for-what.aspx
Biggest Ways to Save:
1. Come up with a realistic budget from the start and don’t stray from it.
2. Get married in the off-season months (January, February, March, and November) and on any day but Saturday.
3. Rent your dress instead of buying it.
4. Instead of party favors donate to a charity.
For more detailed ways to save check out Frugalbride.com
In regards to saving money in general, some couples have longer engagements (more time to save) and open a new joint bank account that both bride and groom can start depositing in each month that becomes untouchable money.
Another big way to save is working with a wedding planner. Although people oftentimes think wedding planners are more expensive, they are able to help you create a budget from day one. They have experience and are able to tell you where your money should and should not be going. Wedding Planners are able to maximize a budget and will get you the best bang for your buck. It is also an advantage to hire a wedding planner because they will know what companies have the best deals for flowers, linens, DJ’s, etc. Since they have worked with these companies before a lot of the time they will give your wedding planner a discount because they already have an established relationship with them versus you dealing with them on your own.
Check out these great sites for more ideas on how to save.