Budget Planning for Your Wedding

Regardless of the amount set aside in your budget, there is no need to be overwhelmingly stressed about finances when planning your wedding.  Instead, gather an understanding of how your funds should be allocated and begin breaking down each cost one step at a time. This simple process can help you take control of your money, your planning, and your sanity.  Here are a few tips to help you effectively manage your money through the planning process.

Ask for Help
Before you allocate funds into specific categories, find out exactly who plans to pay for what. While the conversation may be tricky, ask your family members if they plan to help and how. Have an open and honest discussion about what you need and be grateful for any amount they are willing to donate. It is important they commit to the amount offered before you begin planning specifics. If you are weary of their willingness to follow through, play it safe and start the process as if they were unable to take part financially.

Smart Allocation is Key
Gathering a broad idea of the amount to allocate in certain categories is essential before you commit to vendors. For example, roughly half of your budget will be designated for the wedding venue and catering. When you meet venue representatives, gather a cost breakdown of what is included and make sure it aligns with your financial plan. If not, no need to stress. Instead, find a venue more compatible with your savings. In the end, staying inside your budget creates less angst than spending more than you can actually afford. Here is how to start creating a practical wedding budget.

Manage Your Guest List Appropriately
Controlling the size of your guest list is an easy way to manage the overall cost of your wedding. Less people means less food and alcohol alongside a smaller venue space. This will also lead to savings on stationary, décor, and favors. Here are tips to keeping your guest list small.

Keep Track of What You Spend
Whether you have a wedding budget calculator or just love to create spreadsheets, keeping track of your spending is essential. Be sure to have a “miscellaneous” fund available for any unexpected cost that may arise and don’t forget gratuities and service fees. Here are some hidden wedding costs that catch people off guard.  If you have your heart set on something that you can DIY, give it a shot! You may open up funds to allocate in areas that were otherwise neglected.

Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling

Many couples like to seek the advice of a counselor before walking down the aisle.  This decision can have a positive impact in creating a lasting marriage.  Studies conclude that professional counselors can help couples work through differing family dynamics while creating a foundation in matters of finances, children, and household roles.  Here are some valuable reasons to seek counseling before you say, “I do.”

Family Roles and Responsibilities

Every family dynamic is different.  We all grew up watching our parents assume individual roles. Without realizing it, we naturally expect these roles to be the same in our marriage.  The problem is, these responsibilities may have looked different for each of your families.  So, understand that what you may feel is a natural role for your future husband to mimic can create controversy if he is not on the same page.  The way you grew up inevitably affects the decisions you make, the everyday jobs you assume, and how you choose to resolve family difficulties.  Allowing a counselor to help guide you through reasonable and unreasonable expectations will create a healthy and happy partnership.

Finances

One of the biggest struggles that can drive a happily married couple towards separation are finances.  Perhaps one of you is a spender and one is a saver.  Maybe one of you believes a joint account is better while the other wants to keep the money divided.  Before marriage, you were in control of your financial decisions and suddenly your spouse has a differing opinion.  Through pre-marital counseling, it is common for couples to seek financial guidance.  A professional can help you create a budget or help you find common ground.

Children

If you and your husband-to-be have not yet had the important discussion about children, it is now the time!  Surprisingly, some couples have been so swept up in romance they neglect this important conversation.  It goes beyond the “if” of children, but how many?  Does one of you want to stay home when your family expands, or do you both want to continue pursuing your careers?   Even though your decisions may change, it certainly does not hurt to go ahead and express your feelings in the matter of family growth.  Let a counselor walk you through how children can affect your relationship and how to protect your romance during the fun chaos children can bring!

Seeking a counselor can provide valuable insight into what to expect from marriage, how things can change, and how to make important compromises.  It is worth the time and certainly cannot hurt!  Not everything will be perfect forever, so take your part in lowering your chance of divorce and figure out how best to work through your difficulties early.