While a couple can figure out a budget on their own…I truly recommend you at least sit down with a wedding planner for an hour or two to get some help. Even if you have to pay for a few hours of their time, it will be money very well spent. How do you create a budget:
1. Take an honest look at your income, expenses and what you think you can save or afford to pay for a wedding. Be realistic. How will you save it…will it be monthly, do you have family members who will contribute, etc?
2. Make a list of everything you need to buy or rent for the wedding…and be specific where possible. Venue, food, dress, flowers, invitations, DJ, photographer, etc….put them all down. Then prioritize them…which item is the absolute most important that you get what you want, what is 2nd, etc.
3. Research to find out prices for everything on your list. This will take some time, but you want to be as accurate as possible.
4. Add up all the costs on your list…if you are in the 1% group, all those costs added up will be equal to or less than the amount you can save…congratulations, you are done.
5. For the other 99% of you it is time to roll up your sleeves and start to make decisions. Where do you cut back on your wish list or what can you realistically do to increase the amount you can afford to spend. You have to work this until your list is equal to or less than the amount you can save. Only at this point do you truly have a budget and can you truly start planning your wedding.
If you truly end up with a realistic budget, the balance of your wedding planning will be much easier. Again, a good wedding planner can make this process far easier and often get you far more for your wedding dollar than you can on your own.