How to Budget Your Tennessee Wedding
Brittany Sidwell Photography
Editorial Category: 
Date: 
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wedding Budget 101: 6 Tips to Get You Started

Creating and managing a wedding budget may seem daunting at first. How much will the entire day cost? What should be spent on a DJ versus catering?

With just a few simple steps, you can put your mind at ease with a simple budget framework. Our 6 easy-to-follow steps will launch you into a budget that puts your wedding day priorities at the forefront and your stress to a minimum.

1. Get Organized – The most important element of any budget, especially one for a wedding, is having an organizational system. If you’re comfortable on a computer, Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets are a wedding budget godsend. You can use any spreadsheet system, though, to track expenses and estimates. Sample wedding budget spreadsheets can be found on BridesideBridalMusings, and many other online bridal websites. If you wish to go the paper-and-pen route, be sure to set up something that is easily accessible and editable.

2. Define Your Vision – Before you begin a financial budget, it’s critical to define the vision for your wedding. Will it be indoors or outdoors? Casual or formal? Unique and exciting or relaxed and traditional? Spend time talking with your fiancé about what you both envision for the day. Discuss pros and cons of each and settle on 3-5 bullet points of what you want your wedding day to be. For example, you might write:

*Outside wedding ceremony

*Summer or fall reception with yard games and dancing

*Tent, barn, or park pavilion reception venue

*Casual menu like barbeque or taco bar

Having a clear vision for your wedding and reception will make the rest of your budgeting focused and efficient. Write your bullets in your organizational tools.

3. Estimate Guest Number – There are a couple of approaches to consider when estimating your guest number. The first is to set a limit. For instance, you might already know you want an intimate guest list of no more than 75, or large wedding of 220. If you’re not sure, create an estimate. First, consider how many family members may be invited on the bride side, along with close friends of parents. Second, do the same for the groom’s side. And third, run through a rough list of friends you both wish to invite (both individual and mutual friends). Total up the three groups. See how you both feel based on your rough idea of invitees and decide upon a number or range. Setting even an approximate number will give your budget more precision and accuracy.

4. Consider Money Sources – In addition to estimating costs, you’ll want an idea of how much you can afford to spend. Consider all of your sources, such as family members, personal accounts, and bridal contest winnings. Document the amounts and sources in your organizational tool.

5. Pick Priorities – When you’re determining how much to allocate for each element of your wedding, start by thinking about what is truly important to you. A wise friend once said, “Pick your top 3 priorities, and don’t worry too much about the rest.” Write your priorities on your budget sheet and refer back to them as often as needed when allocating your funds to different parts of your wedding.

6. Dive In – Be quick and take the weight off of your shoulders when it comes to your wedding budget. Even if you’re not an accounting guru, diving right in and creating a budget framework will make the rest of your wedding planning a whole lot easier. Now that you have your organization tool, with your vision, guest number, sources of money, and priorities included, you can build a functional budget that will carry you through all of the wedding planning joys and challenges. Grab a latte, set aside an hour, and dive right in! 

Happy Planning! 

isolated_bl_logo_heart_0.jpg Heather 

 

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