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Weddings are expensive and it’s easy to find yourself spending more than you planned. Having a budget allows you to have a wonderful experience without breaking the bank, but so many decisions and extra expenses can lead to couples going over the intended amount.
There are ways to ensure your money goes where you want it to. Here are five essential ways to stick to your wedding budget.
Once you set a budget, it’s vital to keep track of all your expenses from that budget. Getting caught up in a beautiful item or unique service is easy, but you’ll need to ensure you can afford it.
A great way to do this is to keep a notebook where you can track expenses as they come in and subtract them from your budget. By having it with you, you can evaluate whether or not you can afford a product or service.
There are also phone applications that can track your spending without needing paper or pens. By knowing where you are in your budget, you can make decisions at the moment that make the most sense for you.
It’s necessary to be aware of any hidden costs that can come with different products and services. Many vendors have overtime fees if your reception exceeds the booked time, so ensure you know any policies beforehand. Once the party starts, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and let time get away from you, so it might be best to put someone in charge of keeping track of end times.
It also can be easy to forget the additional costs you might not think of right away, such as fees for dress alterations, sheet cakes to accompany your wedding cake and postage stamps for your invitations. Considering these costs for your budget gives you a more realistic view of the final price.
You want your guests to feel satisfied at your reception and it’s tempting to go for all the food options you find. A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate your love with family and friends. However, while the endless appetizers, cookie trays and chocolate fountains all seem incredible, getting too much food will cost you more and leave you stuck with handling leftovers.
Think of an ideal menu before you start looking for caterers. That way, you can stick to similar options without going overboard. Be realistic about how much people will eat and don’t get something just because someone might want it.
When it comes to your wedding, there are no rules, so don’t be afraid to explore non-traditional options. Most buffets are affordable options that help eliminate wasted food.
Many brides know the type of wedding dress they want and discovering your perfect dress is out of your price range is hard. You might think you only have two options — go for a dress you love less or splurge and go over your budget — but there are other options.
Note the fabric, cut, color and detailing on the dress you love. Search for these options and compare dresses on different websites to find a close match. You can also consider buying a less expensive dress with that color and cut and have details added to it.
There are also several websites where brides sell their wedding dresses secondhand to recoup some of the cost. You might be able to find your beloved dress on one of these for a steal. Just be sure the website is reputable with positive reviews.
If you don’t have a specific type of dress in mind, you can tell your consultant to choose dresses in your budget only. Online dress shops also allow you to filter your options by price.
If you have talented friends or family members who offer to help you, use them! Even if you’re not sure they can help, it doesn’t hurt to ask — most loved ones will feel honored to help out on your special day. It also gives you more opportunities to brainstorm ideas and make items more personal.
Relatives and friends can help design invitations, decorate and even make food. You can still compensate them, but it’ll likely be a more reasonable price than other vendors.
Weddings are both exciting and overwhelming. It’s hard to remember all you need to account for in your budget with so many choices. By utilizing these tactics, you can prepare for your big day with confidence.