You’re Engaged! Now What?: Budget and Date

by Emily Grace

Now the excitement of planning begins! The first thing to do in the planning process is setting a budget and picking a date. You might not know the exact date of your wedding right away, but start a discussion about what season and continue narrowing it down to month then date. While having the date discussion it is probably a good idea to start the budget discussion as well since costs vary greatly based upon what month and day of the week you choose to have your wedding. It seems that people, especially parents, don’t realize how costly weddings are becoming. Having this conversation early on will help minimize the headaches later on.

Before making decisions about style, location, and even date, figure out a budget for the events of the wedding. Who will be paying for things? Will y’all take the traditional approach and have the bride’s family take the bulk of the expenses? Will you be non-traditional and split costs? Are you planning on paying for the wedding yourself without the help of your families? I would suggest that you both sit down alone with your families to discuss what they are able to contribute to the wedding whether it be money, time, services, etc. in addition to your own financial contributions. Figure out what your priorities—food, music, location, etc—are for you and your fiancé so you can determine where to focus your spending. ***

Now that you have an idea of what you’re budget is looking like, you can return to the date question. Remember that from late spring through early fall will be the most expensive times to have your wedding as well as on Saturdays. If you’re looking to cut costs consider having a winter wedding or possibly choosing a day other than Saturday to get married. Do your research and talk to vendors to see when you can get their best deal. Just know that holidays and certain months of the year tend to be busier than others so choosing a date is important when securing the venue and vendors that you want.

***Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot are two websites that have great budget tools that help you stay on track. They provide adjustable percentages so you know how much of your budget is going to different aspects, as well as keeping you updated on payments so you never miss a payment to one of your vendors. How helpful is that!

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