B is for Budget!
We can’t even believe we’re going to try to tackle a topic as big as the budget, but we’ll try to cram in as much helpful knowledge as we can. Buckle up!
If possible, don’t spend a dime until you know exactly how much you want to dish out total. It’s all too common for a Bride to purchase her dream gown and then crunch numbers only to discover she splurged. We hate that journey for you (#SchittsCreek anyone?). The good news is that it’s never too late to create a budget. Just add up how much you saved, what you can contribute monthly, and all funds from family. You have arrived at what we call THE number.
Just because you have THE number, doesn’t mean you’re done doing math, though. We know you likely haven’t done much math since high school, but we promise this isn’t as complex as the word problems you were assigned in 10th grade. Start with THE number, then break it down into categories (attire, food and beverage, stationary, production, venue, etc). Assign budgets by using average percentages for each section. Try asking your friends Google and Pinterest “How much of my wedding budget should I spend on cake?” To customize your budget, tweak the category totals to account for your unique priorities. You’ll naturally want to splurge in some areas and skimp in others. Adjust your numbers to reflect that! See how we used an exclamation point to make math sound fun? Did it work?
Now for the real key: create an easy-to-use system. We like using a spreadsheet because spreadsheets are our love language. Start by giving each category its own section and then list all the individual items below. Do some research to get estimates of each line item. If the category total isn’t enough, figure out another category to pull from. If it’s too much, use the extra dough somewhere else. For anyone who cares, this method of problem solving is called the guess and check method! Note the exclamation point again.
Our last piece of advice: add in an oops category for anything you forget. Toss in a few grand as a buffer. If you get most of the way through planning and haven’t dipped into it, we’re certain you’ll know just where to spend it!