Planning your dream wedding can be daunting, but with a few simple steps and smart saving techniques it is possible and enjoyable – we promise!
Saving for your wedding is accomplished one day at a time. It takes careful planning and prioritizing. Huffington Post reported that the average engagement lasts 13 to 18 months, which leaves plenty of time to put some money away. Planning a wedding that reflects you and your partner’s values, while keeping to a realistic budget, is a challenge. Below are a few tips to help you plan your dream wedding, without starting your marriage in debt!
Set up a wedding savings account
The best thing about having a long engagement is the extended amount of time you and your beau have to save up for the cost of the big event. No matter how much time you have to save, a few steps you can take now to get things started off are:
Establishing a budget
Decide how much you’d like to spend as a couple. Tally up your household’s income and available funds, and discuss the amount you both feel comfortable putting towards the wedding. A good place to start is by reviewing your prior month’s expenses to see how the cost of a wedding would fit into your budget. If you don’t have the funds readily available, it becomes your savings target.
Create a savings timeline
To make sure you stay on track with your savings, map out a timeline of certain milestones you want to reach as you grow your wedding fund.
For example, If you have a year to save and your goal is to have a £20,000 budget, dedicate a night with your partner to figure out where you can cut back on current monthly expenses. Say you currently have £8,000 to start with. That means you’re putting £1,000 away per month for the entire year. Whether it’s 50/50 or one of you shoulders more of the expense, it’s good to have clear and open communication throughout the whole process.
Look for extra sources of income
During your saving period, it’s smart to look for ways to earn more cash. This doesn’t mean go out and get a second job, unless you have the time and energy to do so. You could try to sell unwanted furniture, electronics, and cut down on the amount of clothes you have in your closets. There are plenty of opportunities for a side job that you can do from home like freelancing, babysitting, or even dog walking. Make sure you choose gigs that are fun as they don’t add stress to an already hectic schedule.
Once you’ve broken down your savings goal and timeline, figure out where you want to set all the money aside. Will you open a seperate savings account with your local credit union? Or register for an online account to make the management and monitoring easily accessible?
Either way it’s important to have the savings accounts separate from your daily expense account. It’s a good idea to automate any transfer of funds so it’s done seamlessly. Pick a date each month to have a certain amount transferred over. Then sit back and watch the money pile up!
If you’re known to be disciplined with paying off your credit cards on-time and in full at the end of each month, consider opening a designated wedding credit card. Using a travel credit card for your wedding expenses is a great way to keep track of your spending. You can earn sign-up bonuses and reward points on most of your purchases to put towards your guests’ hotel fees, or even cover your airline tickets for your honeymoon.
Prioritize then plan
Getting married is an amazing, life-changing event. Yet, it can take a big toll on your wallet and relationship if you’re not prepared. After a budget is agreed upon, the next step is to prioritize what’s most important to you and your future spouse for your wedding day. Know that it’s different for every couple so try to keep the conversation between you and your loved one instead of asking others’ opinions.
Ways to make this process easier is to ask yourself and your partner, “what stands out the most when you think about the wedding day?” Is there a specific DJ or band that you’ve always wanted? Or maybe there’s a really talented videographer you want to capture the special moments. Once you have three or four major details you want to prioritize, set a maximum you’re willing to spend and plan everything else around those details.
Think about your guests
The people you invite to your wedding are loved ones who’ve known you throughout your life, who cherish and celebrate your relationship, and wish you nothing but happiness. In return it’s important to make their experience comfortable, and fun. The reason why your catering, venue, and entertainment will take up half of your budget is because of your guests.
Avoid cutting corners in providing the best experience you can for them, if that means shortening the guest list to spend more on comfortable seating and good food then don’t hesitate to have the talk with your partner to see what can be done.
Having a wedding budget, and prioritising the details is great in theory but even better in practice. Once you’ve made these decisions continuously update your budget. Planning a wedding and staying on budget is a give-and-take, but by prioritising and staying organised, you can have an amazing wedding and keep your finances intact.
Dreams to reality
Your wedding is all about you and your partner, so try to incorporate as much of your personalities into the day as you can. The wedding is a day celebrating the fact that you are marrying the love of your life. Throughout all of the planning make sure that when you’re taking in the latest trends, and picking the most fabulous flowers, you’re keeping a bit of each of you two and your story woven throughout the details.
There is no “right” way to do a wedding. The most important advice to take away from this is to remain open and communicative with your partner throughout the entire planning and wedding day process. It’s you two against the world… till death do you part! So have fun, plan smart, and enjoy the process.
Our thanks to Courteney Reed for these fabulous tips!