One of the most important aspects of the wedding planning process is creating a budget. Planning the wedding details without some sort of budget in mind will not only cause anxiety, but it will also make it difficult to make decisions about how and where you want to prioritize your spending. If you and your fiancé are self-proclaimed “foodies”, then maybe plan to splurge on the caterer. Are you obsessed with flowers? Then make sure you build in extra money for a stellar florist. By building a budget at the beginning, you will be able to make decisions with your money in a way that makes sense to all parties involved in the finances.
So, whether you and your fiancé are choosing to pay for the entire wedding on your own, or your families will be contributing, it is best that this discussion be had early and often before emotions get the best of you and your wallet. To help get the discussion started, here is a traditional break-down of who is financially responsible for each aspect of the big day:
Wedding dress and accessories
Planning expenses for reception, ceremony (vendors, decor, etc)
Bridesmaids lodging, transportation, and gifts
Groom’s wedding ring
Flowers or alcohol (whichever the groom doesn’t pay for)
Flowers or alcohol (whichever bride doesn’t pay for)
Lodging of groomsmen, gifts
Although using traditional methods of building a budget is a good way to start the discussion…it is not the “end-all-be-all” of how it should function. Ensuring that each party involved is comfortable with their financial responsibilities of the wedding is by far the most important aspect of building, maintaining, and following the budget. Then, as you continue to plan, make sure that you keep track of all estimates, signed contracts, deposits, upgrades, and final bills so that everyone is kept on the same page.