Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 4

4. Set a workable budget
Stay away from budgets that are little more than an “expense report.” I’m sure you’ve seen the kind — you to enter your “estimated” budget and your “actual amount spent.” This is really nothing more than a tally of receipts instead of a true budget.

With no – or an incorrect type of – budget, it will be too easy for your wedding expenses to get out of hand and you end up paying more that what you wanted to, or what you could afford.

Before you make any purchases or put down any deposits determine a feasible budget. Start out with knowing how much you’ll have to spend on your entire wedding. This can include money you and your fiancé can comfortable take from savings, how much you’ll be setting aside from your paychecks, as well as money that either your parents or his parents (or anyone else) may contribute.

Once you’ve got this dollar amount, divide it up by percentages based on national average. (Example, the reception is typically 33%-50% of the total budget, transportation 2%, invitations/wedding stationery 4% . . .). This will be your starting point.

Next, grab your priorities list (remember Tip #2?) and determine where to make adjustments.

Maybe having lots of gorgeous flowers at the top of your list, but special transportation at the bottom. Then move the amount you’ve have allocated for transportation up to your floral category. Or perhaps you’ve been dreaming about hiring a great band, but although you want the food to be good, it doesn’t have to be too fancy. Then shave off a bit from your reception category and add it to entertainment.

This will help you to know where to splurge and where to save. Spend your money on what’s important to you and cut backless on what’s not so important. Then if you come in under budget in a category you can reallocate the difference elsewhere, and if you go over budget it will be by choice, not by accident.

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