Planning a wedding is quite a massive undertaking. There are hundreds of decisions to make and thousands of minute details to consider. If you’re currently engaged, this will most likely be the first time you’ve planned a large-scale event. From managing your timeline to creating your task list, or hiring vendors to keeping tabs on your budget, there are so many moving pieces to balance along the way. If you are hoping to plan your wedding efficiently while sticking to a certain budget, you may find that this is one of the biggest challenges of the entire process.
In fact, it’s likely that you’ll realize you went over your projected costs in particular areas throughout the planning period. Overages don’t mean you’re a wedding planning failure, but it will mean you’ll have to adjust your spending in other areas of your budget. But before you start thinking about how to fix your budget if you’ve overspent, let’s examine common reasons that your budget may not be working for you in the first place.
1. You haven’t sat down and figured out how much you truly have to spend
One of the most common reasons that a couple’s wedding budget isn’t working is because they failed to set one. Calculating your total wedding budget amount should be among the first steps you take during wedding planning. It’s crucial to sit down with all contributing parties to tally up how much everyone is throwing into the pot. Consider each of your savings, as well as how much the two of you can save to put towards the wedding over the course of your engagement. Throw in any contributions from family members. Add all these numbers up and voila! You’ve got your total wedding budget. Then, and only then, can you start booking anything for your big day. You shouldn’t spend a dime until you know the total sum!
2. You’re getting caught up in the “must-haves” and the “shoulds”
Many couples go into debt or spend more than they planned on their weddings because they feel pressured by traditions, media, and sometimes even family or friends! There’s so much information out there that will tell you about all the must-have, must-do, essential, non-negotiable items and services that it’s easy to lose sight of the true purpose of the whole event.
3. You are spending too much time on Pinterest
Pinterest can be a magical place, filled with a virtual treasure-trove of inspiration for your wedding day. But you know what else it can be? A little-green-monster-inducing pressure cooker! Be sure to keep a handle on your inspiration browsing and try not to bite off more than you can chew with the aesthetic details, whether DIY or purchased. These last-minute additions and artistic accouterments can push you over budget if you’re not careful.
4. You’re comparing your situation to someone else’s
It can be easy to fall into the trap of holding your wedding plans up against those of your friends or family. Just remember: their circumstances are not your circumstances. You and your partner are planning your own unique event, representing and celebrating your own unique love, with your own unique set of tools and skills. This can only happen with the help of your unique and personal financial situation. Do your best to avoid the comparison trap and stay focused on your union.
5. You’re not keeping track of what you’re spending
One of the quickest ways to go over budget is to slack on keeping thorough records of your spending. Make sure to keep an up-to-date tally of each expense related to your wedding. If staying on budget is a priority for you, spreadsheets should become your best friend during wedding planning. It’s imperative that you can account for every penny and where it went if you want to ensure you don’t go over budget.
6. You haven’t budgeted for the unexpected extras.
Just like everything else in life, things happen while wedding planning. There are going to be unexpected fees, occasional overages, and gratuities along the way. It’s important to set a buffer in your budget to allow for each of these potential pitfalls, so you’re not completely caught off guard.
If you keep all this advice in mind during your engagement, you’ll have a better chance at sticking to your big-day budget. Successfully under budget yields quite a happily ever after! Best of luck with your wedding plans!