This year Santa brought you everything on your list and then some – you’re engaged! As many as 40% of all engagements happen between November and February. First of all, congratulations! Celebrating your relationship with your friends and family can be the greatest party of your life, but planning a wedding typically comes with an expensive price tag.
Whether you’re planning intimate summer nuptials or a grand affair, how you’re going to pay for it is the first thing you need to figure out.
Create your wedding budget
Websites like WeddingWire provide awesome wedding planning tools, including a budget template. Not only will this help you identify what costs you need to think about, these online resources also show you the average spending in each category so you can compare your spending to see if its within reason.
One of the most important things to consider when making your wedding budget is who’s paying for what. Gone are the days when the bride’s family footed the entire wedding bill. Now it’s not uncommon for both sets of parents to contribute, or for the bride and groom to manage the costs alone. Never assume anyone is paying for your wedding but you. You don’t want to plan a $50,000 event under the guise that someone else will pick up the tab, only to end up with the final bill yourself! Knowing who’s paying for what right from the start determines how much your budget is and will save you many headaches down the road.
Start saving now
The best thing my husband and I decided to do for our wedding (besides commit to spend the rest of our lives together, obviously) was begin saving as soon as we were engaged. We calculated our wedding budget, and then worked backwards to determine how much we would each have to save every month in order to afford it. We opened a joint savings account, and automatically transferred a few hundred dollars from each of our paycheques into the account every month up until our wedding. After a year of saving, we had more than enough to pay for our big day!
If your wedding is six months or more away, you might choose to stash your cash in a GIC. GICs typically provide higher interest rates than high-interest savings accounts, and locking your money up for a fixed term will discourage you from dipping into it before your wedding day.
Pay as you go
While the bulk of your wedding spending will be due on your big day, a lot of little costs and deposits can be taken care of beforehand. Try to absorb low-cost items, like your hair and makeup or your wedding stationery in your regular spending rather than taking these small amounts from your wedding savings. This will allow your savings account to grow so you can better afford higher-cost items, such as event rentals or dinner.
No matter what, remember that spending more on your wedding doesn’t make you more married! Your goal with setting a budget and saving for your big day is to have the wedding of your dreams without a bill from your nightmares.
Unsplash: Scott Webb