We get it - no one really enjoys talking budgets, especially when you’re floating on cloud nine in the early stages of your engagement. But in order to set yourselves up for success throughout the entire wedding planning process, it’s essential to talk numbers early and often. Of course, setting an overall wedding budget is a great place to start, but you’ll also want to develop a detailed plan covering each category of expenses.
From the venue to the honeymoon, and every budget item in between, it’s time to stop avoiding the money talk and save yourself a ton of time, stress, money and sanity along the way.
You’ll save time.
Whether you hire a professional planner from the beginning or take a do-it-yourself approach, planning a wedding takes up a lot of time. There are endless logistics, phone calls, emails, and meetings, but one of the best ways to save time in the process is to research costs and to know your budget.
Setting your budget early-on ensures you won’t waste time contacting vendors or venues that are priced outside of what you’re able to spend. No one wants to waste a Saturday touring venues only to realize your budget can’t match the price points. Instead, you can confidently allocate time towards meeting with professionals you know are viable options on your list.
You’ll avoid stress.
It’s no secret that overspending can be a major source of wedding planning stress, which is why it’s important to establish routine communication about your expenses. The best way to avoid a stressful situation is to talk openly and honestly with your partner plus any contributing parties, such as parents or close relatives, to the budget.
While money might initially feel like an awkward point of discussion, it can be helpful to set a “top dollar” number and make an agreement not to exceed that amount. Once the top dollar is set, work backward by prioritizing items in your budget based on what’s most important to you. Take it one step further by breaking each category of spending into a percentage, so you easily see where your money is going. Not only will this keep you on track financially but will drastically minimize stress when it comes time to pay the bill.
You’ll save money.
Before any contracts are signed or any wedding planning has begun, a budget conversation needs to happen - period. It may feel counterintuitive, but talking candidly about money can save you from some significant overspending. This strategy is so critical because it’s impossible to spend wisely if you haven't established how much you actually want to spend.
When talking through your wedding costs, be sure to remember less obvious expenses, including venue fees or gratuities that you may not be considering. Once you have all expenses accounted for, organize your budget in a spreadsheet to help identify areas where you might be able to save. Cutting costs might look like opting for a more casual catering option or inviting fewer guests, but organizing the numbers in plain black and white will help you flag any areas of concern sooner rather than later. Remember, no one wants to start their newlywed lives weighed down in unexpected wedding debt.
You’ll better maintain your sanity.
Talking through the wedding budget isn’t the most romantic conversation you’ll ever have, but learning to discuss finances is such a great skill to practice before officially beginning your newlywed life. If you’re struggling to make it happen, mark time on your calendar and make a fun night of it! Grab your favorite bottle of wine, pull out your laptops, and embrace those wedding budget spreadsheets together. While you’re at it, take some time to research the average cost of each wedding category to give you a realistic point of reference.
Not only will the budget talk save your sanity as a couple, but it will give you the groundwork to make smart financial decisions all throughout your marriage.