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Your Wedding Budget

Don’t Budge Without a Budget

According to www.theweddingreport.com, the average cost for a wedding is $16,000. Okay, take a deep breath, yours doesn’t have to cost that much, if you don’t want it too.  It all starts with careful planning and sticking to a budget.  If you’ve never been organized before, this is the time to start.!  Before you discuss your wedding with anyone, sit down with your fiance′ and decide what you both want.  Make a list, compromise a little here and there. Put the list aside for a day or two and then revisit what is now your “Official Party Planning List”. You might also like to glance at some of the wedding planners available on our Partner Sites.  We especially like:  The Wed Plan by Ana Najera.

After you both know what you want, it’s time to work closely with those who are helping to pay for the wedding ceremony and reception. Once your know how much money you have to work with, promise yourselves to celebrate within your means and keep your promise as best as you can.

Here’s an excellent article about your wedding budget, but don’t forget to download your FREE Wedding Planning Checklist from ForBrideandBaby.com!

The Dollars & Sense of Wedding Planning

by Susan Hawkins

There are those who can plan a wedding with the mantra ‘Money is No Object”. For most of us, there’s another reality that comes to bear as brides-to-be and their parents prepare for the big day. Start with calculator and an idea of what you can spend and move forward from there.  Don’t forget to make a checklist and include things like invitations and gifts from the bride.

Don’t crunch numbers until you’ve made some initial decisions, like where you want to wed. Do you want a big church wedding with a country-club reception? An outdoor wedding in a large garden, with an elegant, tent-covered reception? Has a destination wedding been your dream? The majority of costs will stem from this decision.

Make a list of what’s most important to you
. Create a column for ‘must-have'”, another for ‘would love to have” and a third for ‘nice but not essential.” This simple list clarifies how to allocate your money.

Next determine the guest list.
You’ll be paying your caterer a set amount per person, and the dollar amount can climb dramatically as you add more guests.
Let’s move on to the standard elements of a wedding. Some will mean more to you than others. Here’s a list of typical wedding elements and some options to consider:

  • Wedding Planner’”Someone else shoulders the stress and responsibility. However, you may enjoy the hustle-and-bustle of a do-it-yourself wedding.
  • Invitations‘”Choices here vary widely. You can make an elegant statement with a beautiful invitation that doesn’t break the bank. And you can forego expensive calligraphy, because your computer can address envelopes calligraphically for practically nothing.
  • Transportation‘”Limos are the norm, and there are a number of choices, depending on how many you plan to transport.
  • Caterer-Take your pick: buffet-style, formal dinner, heavy hors de ouvres, champagne brunch? Choose one to fit your budget. Serious tasting will be involved.
  • Cake-Wedding cakes have evolved to exquisite works of art. More intricate designs are more costly. Bakers usually charge based on the number of slices required. Grocery stores nowadays do wonderful things with wedding cakes.
  • Alcohol-If you go with an open bar and a burgeoning guest list, you may need a drink yourself when you receive the bill. To conserve, limit alcoholic beverages to bubbly (for toasting) and wine, or consider a non-alcoholic event.
  • Flowers-Pick flowers that are in season at the time of your wedding. Ask a florist about selection and prices, and then determine what you’d like for your ceremony and reception decor.
  • Dress and Jewelry-Designer dress or off the rack? There’s money to be saved here, because you can find the dress of your dreams at a local bridal store. And instead of purchasing new jewelry, borrow family heirlooms. You’ll need something to wear in that category anyway.
  • Photographer/Videographer-Shop around. Be suspicious of cheap estimates. Make sure you see examples of their work.
  • Entertainment-Your reception style dictates the entertainment. If a big band is too much, find a DJ. For a champagne brunch, a mixed CD and good sound system works beautifully.
  • Favors-Here’s one category where you’ll go crazy with choices. Garden wedding favors, beach wedding favors, practical wedding favors and more, in a wide range of designs and prices. Have fun picking your favorite!

When you’ve visited the vendors, learned what they have to offer and the costs, make choices based on your priorities and budget. Careful counting up front avoids serious sticker shock after the wedding!

Susan Hawkins is a senior copywriter for MyWeddingFavors.com one of our favorite Partner Sites for Wedding Centerpieces, Groomsmen Gifts,Bridesmaid Gifts – Your favorite girls deserve the best gifts, and some of the most unique bridal shower favors and personalized wedding reception favors on the web!

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