Friday, July 8, 2011

Wedding talk

Anyone who has ever planned a wedding or is planning a wedding and isn't a millionaire, which I suspect most of my followers and anyone reading this isn't, understands that budget plays a KEY role in determining a lot of factors for your big day. I have always been *ahem* good with money. I may or may not be a shopaholic, but I know my boundaries and when I have money to spend and when I don't.

When starting out on this little venture last April, my parents sat me down and had the wedding budget talk with me. Daddy graciously handed me a check, along with his dignity (totally kidding) and I went along my way. He told me that was now my money and I could spend as much or as little as I wanted of it.

The first thing I did was a lot of research for my budget. Websites like were AMAZING. You describe the type of wedding you would like (traditional, non, indoor, outdoor, etc) and the number of people you want to invite and it helps you go from there. The website will help you break down your budget into different categories and offer percentages of your budget that should be spent on each of these categories.

My amazing MOH, PK, also bought me this precious binder that has been my right hand in this whole process. It also offered advice on planning for your budget and helped me to divide out my different vendors and keep them all organized in this binder.

the infamous binder that came with a handy tote  (and PK's pup, Char Char, creeping on the side)

Between all these helpful tools, I have compiled an excel file, percentages and all, to keep an eye on my budget. Let me be the first to tell you that you will look at this budget religiously while planning your wedding, because no matter how much you read up on sticking to your budget, you will always face the inevitable, unexpected costs. (like taxes, holy moly)
All the little things that you wouldn't think affect your budget, well my friend, they add up. That $40 you just spent on your marriage license or the $70 you spent on cocktail napkins will start to really change your numbers.

That's why you gotta give yourself some wiggle room. Take these websites, books, advice, and make them work for you. Analyze how your budget would fit exactly into how they recommend then tweak it the way you want to. Use them as your guidelines to build on.

The very first budget outline I made, I highlighted into different categories: places I would need more money and places I would probably save money. Things like transportation, photography, and cake had very low recommended percentages, but in reality, those tend to be high end costs, so I categorized them as areas I would need more money. Trust me when I say, I have spent a great deal of time analyzing my budget and adding/subtracting where needed.

But as I round this last leg to the finish line, I am proud to say that it is looking like I will come in substantially under budget and the only area where I really splurged was my dress. (and I don't regret that for a minute, someone is going to have to pry me out of that beauty!!!!)

As I reach the age of wedding mania and many of my friends are taking this next big step, I will be interested to see how they all handle wedding planning and the insane amounts of spending they will do to prepare for this big day. Every wedding is different and don't lose sight of what you want your big day to be like. If you want that fairytale wedding, with enough hard work, research, and planning, you'll find a way to have it.

I can't wait for mine. :)

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