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Thinking you can’t pull off the wedding of your dreams on a budget or without going broke? Well think again! Having the wedding of your dreams is quite easy when you know how to go about it. If you’re reading this post then you already have a substantial amount of money set aside for your wedding but not sure of how to use this money to make your BIG day really special.

Want to throw the wedding of your dreams without sacrificing everything? Follow these genius budget tips.

Research intensively

It is important to be clear about what a budget really is before we begin. A budget is a list of items and the prices at with they are to be purchased. The first step in budget creation is writing out a comprehensive list of items needed for the wedding.

You’ve got to admit that it’s going to be quite difficult to create a realistic budget when all you have are some speculated prices of the items you need for your big day. You don’t want that unpleasant surprise that comes when the thousand dollars you budgeted for photography turns out to be a quarter of the market price.

Read magazines, search the web and meet with different vendors to get a hint of what things really cost in your area. Trust me, you’ll have a more realistic budget when you have real-life figures and not just speculations. After researching, then you may sit down with your partner and decide on the type of wedding you will have.

Scale of preference

We all have our different likes and dislikes. Your wedding ceremony should reflect your style as a couple. You should sit with your partner and decide on the type of wedding party you both prefer. If you love entertainment then you should spend more money on your wedding DJ and photography than other aspects like catering. This way you can reduce the cost of the wedding without missing out on the fun stuff.

It is advisable to make a list of the elements needed for your wedding in the order of priority. This way, you can then spend most of your funds (let’s say 75% )on those aspects that matter most to you. Hence giving you the wedding you deserve.

Do away with the guess-list

In planning your wedding ceremony, you need to be sure of the number of guests to be expected as this affects various aspects like venue size, catering services, etc. Before setting off to create your budget, you should have a clear idea of how many guests are expected to attend the ceremony. 

As a rule of thumb, you should check up on your guests a few days from the wedding to find out how many of them would be able to make it after all. This ensures that you have a clear idea of people make provisions for.

Re-evaluate

So you’ve created a budget for your wedding, the next step should be giving it a second look. However, this time you should watch out for any flaws in the plan and source for possible solutions or adjustments. These changes could range from spending more money for more quality to removing some items to cut the cost.  

The ideal wedding budget

I know we all have different dispositions and preferences which may be reflected in our budgets. However, if you’re confused on how an ideal budget should look; here’s a rundown:

  • Reception: should take about 48%-50%
    Ceremony: 2%-3%
    Attire/outfit: 8%-10%
    Flowers: 8%-10%
    Entertainment/wedding DJ: 8%-10%
    Photography: 10%-12%
    Stationery: 2%-3%
    Wedding Rings/accessories: 2%-3%
    logistics: 2%-3%
    Gifts: 2%-3%
    Miscellaneous: 8%

It is advised that you allot about 5% of your budget for a “standing by” purpose. Finally, you shouldn’t forget to make provisions for your honeymoon if you’re covering it yourselves.

After evaluation, you will notice some extras that just suck up your cash. Here are some tips on how to cut the cost:

  • Go for digital invites
    Everyone loves a hand-painted invitation card but not the steep price that comes with them. You should hire a graphic artist to create really attractive digital designs which can be printed at lower cost. 
  • Schedule Your Day wisely
    To cut the cost, you should beware of those long gaps that exist between the wedding ceremony and the reception. By doing this, you may avoid paying for photographers and musicians extra time. 
  • Switch Your Officiant
    You may skip the traditional officiant and ask a friend or associate if he or she will get ordained to marry you. This way, you get personalised ceremony as well as huge savings.
  • Think Big for Programs
    Instead of printing programs for each and everyone present at your wedding, you may post one large program at a conspicuous location like your entrance where everyone can read them easily.
  • DIY Your Photo Booth
    Use a digital Polaroid in place of the conventional photo booth, with this you can easily set up a photo station with a catchy backdrop and ask your guests to leave you a snap. 
  • Catering services

When it comes to preparing your wedding budget, catering services must be given proper attention because it constitutes the most part of your budget. Below are some tips to consider when making a budget for catering services.

  • Select a Family-Style Meal
    Its funny how different “experts” get caught up in the argument that a buffet dinner is more cost-effective than a formal plated meal, what they fail to realise is that a family style dinner is most cost effective as it requires the services of less wait staff.
  • Select Double-Duty Flowers
    Instruct your florist to create arrangements that work for both the ceremony and the reception. Assign a responsible friend or relative to ensure that the flowers are safely transferred from place to place. 

There are no clear cut rules in wedding budgeting so you’ll have to                          learn on the job. Learn money management tricks along the way. Experts advise that you should put your wedding money in one     separate account to allow for effective accounting.

                 Here’s a summary of steps to take when creating your wedding budget Create a comprehensive list of the items needed for your wedding, think about any available resources, keep close tabs on what you are spending, have an open mind.

  • Create a comprehensive list of the items needed for your wedding
  • Think about resources that are freely available to you like a free venue
  • Have a mind that’s open to opportunities and
  • Keep close tabs on your spending.

Having the wedding ceremony you desire doesn’t necessarily have to be as difficult as we most often imagine. All you need to do is follow these tips highlighted above diligently