Thursday, January 6, 2011

Budget this in!

Who is paying?

It used to be that the bride’s father pretty much paid for everything. These days it’s far more likely to be a family affair with the bride, groom and both sets of parents chipping in to create one wedding fund.

Will you need to compromise your ideas?

Taking a cue from either set of parents is great. Just be sure they don’t think this means they have a much bigger say in your wedding plans than you want. It’s hard to say you want workmates rather than relatives on the guest list if it’s your parents’ cash you are spending.

Is going it alone an option?

It’s becoming increasingly common for couples to pay for their own wedding, using their own money – and it’s the only way to ensure complete freedom of choice. If the cash isn’t readily available, seek advice about saving and cost-effective borrowing.

Budget planning

Lots of couples do pay for their own wedding and it’s perfectly possible to have an amazing wedding on just about any budget. You simply need to start organizing from the word go.

Start saving

Saving 10-20% of every pay check during your engagement should be your aim. Try a few cost-cutting measures every month like taking a packed lunch to work, staying in with friends rather than eating out, and delaying major purchases or expensive outings until after the wedding.

A wedding account

Whether or not you are receiving parental contributions, a separate wedding account is a good idea since it will make tracking what comes in, what goes out and what’s left to play with much simpler. Agree at the outset how much you will each contribute to the fund, taking into account your differing salaries and any other debts you may have.

Get financial advice

If you need help with the wedding fund and are thinking about a loan, get advice on the best way of borrowing. A small loan may be worthwhile, providing you can pay it back without being in debt for years to come – not even your wedding is worth that! And forget putting wedding expenses on a credit card; it’s expensive and is usually a recipe for financial misery.

Do it yourself

Think carefully about whether you can do some things yourself rather than employing others to do them: check out craigslist for wedding bargains – new and ‘once-loved’; look out for sample sales at your local wedding dress shop; get on to your PC and design your own invitations, thank-you cards or seating plan.

How will you spend the cash?

50% - Venue and catering: food, beverages and tips
3% - Ceremony officiant
10% - Music
10% - Photographer
10% - Flowers
10% - Bridal gown and groom’s attire
3% - Invitations
4% - Transportation

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