Step One:  Set Your Budget

Stressful and expensive might be two things that come to mind when you think about planning your wedding, but they don’t have to be. Below are some tips to make your wedding planning as easy and cost efficient as possible:

Find Out Who’s Paying For What:

It might make for some awkward conversations but ask your families (separately) if they are planning on contributing to the cost of the wedding. If so, have them commit to a specific dollar amount. Alternatively, you might find it easier to ask each set of parents to finance one particular aspect of your wedding (such as the ceremony, catering, or honeymoon). After those conversations decide how much you can contribute between now and your wedding date and start saving each week for your big day.

Consider things like location, guest list size, and time of the year. These are all factors that will make you wedding more expensive or more budget friendly.

Set Aside Funds Correctly:

You can find a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay for wedding vendors here. To avoid stress, plan an extra 5-10% extra for a “just in case” fund. Plan to set aside as much of paycheck each week as you need to pay for your wedding. The longer you are engaged the more time you’ll have to save. Consider cutting the subscription services you don’t use that often (Pandora, Amazon, HBO prime) you probably won’t miss them that much and after a year these savings can cover some wedding essentials.

Decide What (and Who) is Most Important:

Pick your top 3 priorities and plan a little extra money for them (like your dress, catering, and DJ). Next pick three things that aren’t that important to you (maybe flowers, cake, and party favors) and budget accordingly.

The fastest and most effective way to lower your budget is to slim down the list of people invited to your wedding. At $100 per person, taking 10 people off your guest list means $1,000 in savings. We know it’s tough, but cutting back on your guest count will save you money.