Thursday, 13 December 2012

Budgeting your wedding

There is life after the wedding, so to avoid the two of you ‘soaking garri’ it is necessary to budget for the wedding and work according to your budget. Your budget is the most important element in your planning, setting the stage for every other decision you make. So it pays to set a firm number right away – and to stick to it, even when that entails making difficult decisions.
The most important thing that must be done when you are ready to begin planning your wedding is to first create your wedding budget. Your budget is important because it is almost impossible to know what you can afford for each aspect of the wedding if you don’t give yourself a limit to the overall spending costs. For most people, creating the wedding budget is the hardest job to do because you want to have the nicest and most memorable wedding that you can afford.

The days when the wedding is paid for by the parents of the bride are practically gone now. Parents will often contribute to the wedding cost as a gift to the couple, but it is rather rare for parents to cover the whole cost of the wedding these days. Usually it is because the parents simply can’t afford it, but couples today often prefer to pay for their own weddings because it ensures that they can do it the way that they want to without interference.
However, a day can be set aside for discussion so that both the bride's as well as the groom's families can sit together and discuss the budget of the wedding along with other financial aspects. It can also be discussed at this point that which bills have to be paid by which family, in order to avoid any problems in the future. The traditional rules laid down by your ancestors are no more accepted these days and can be molded according to the choice and the comfort of either of the two families. You should always keep in mind that the formal weddings are quite grand and the informal ones can be smaller and simpler.
A lot of the time, parents will forego paying for the wedding and pay for the honeymoon instead. Basically this makes creating your own wedding budget very important; especially if you are paying for both the wedding and the honeymoon yourself thus it helps to know the wedding budget breakdown. The chart below should give you an idea of the wedding budget percentages involved:
This chart is a general breakdown of the costs and how much of your budget should be applied to what. As with the above chart, when creating your actual wedding budget, you should use the chart information as a guided starting point. From this chart, you will then have to create your actual budgeted amount. Please note that different couples will have different priorities and this chart is according to my opinion

·        Wedding Apparels – wedding gown, shoes, hair piece/veil, grooms’ suit, bouquets, bridesmaid accessories, make-up, hair dresser/nails etc.
·        Stationary – wedding invitations, direction cards, thank you notes, wedding programs etc.
·        Church ceremony – priest, marriage bans, license from court, wedding bands, ring bearer pillows
·        Reception – hall, decoration, food, drinks, servers, cake, photography, video coverage, music, wedding car, security etc.
·        Accommodation – hotel rooms for the bride and bridal train
·        Post wedding – honeymoon

When creating your budget, you will first begin with the overall amount that you can afford to spend. If you find yourself going above your budget you can:
·         Lower the guest list
·         Forego some of the services
·         Lessen the wedding party
·         Forget the extras like limos
Make it a point to stick to your budget and adjust wherever you can to ensure the best wedding. Once you have decided what you want to include and what you can afford, it is on to the wedding planning stage.

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