The key to controlling your stress, ensuring the success of your wedding, and preventing a financial hangover starts here.
It’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful world of custom monograms and buttercream...but before you sign on the dotted line there’s one thing you need.
Before you do ANYTHING sit down with your partner, your parents, and anyone else who will have a vested interest in your wedding and have an honest conversation about money. How much will people contribute? How much influence over the final design does the contributor expect to have? Money is a tough conversation, but setting clear expectations will save you from awkward moments down the road and arm you with knowledge to approach appropriate vendors; saving you the heartache of falling in love with a venue that will bankrupt your budget
COMPONENTS OF YOUR BUDGET
Existing Savings Look at your accounts. How much of your current savings are you able to allocate for your wedding without compromising your financial security? Make sure to hold back an “Emergency Fund”. Life happens and, when it does, your emergency fund ensures it doesn’t compromise your future.
Family Contribution Are your parents, grandparents, or other family offering to contribute? Will that contribution be a flat fee or are they willing to cover certain, specific, elements (e.g., catering, alcohol, dress, etc.)? Do they expect to have decision making power over any of the aspects they’re offering to bankroll? Is that okay with you? Really consider, is that okay with you?
Future Income Contribution You’ll need to do some math for this one. If you don’t know them already, figure out your monthly expenses (e.g., rent, electric, Netflix/subscriptions, car payment, etc.) and add them all together. Now, calculate your monthly take home pay. Take home pay, minus monthly expenses, equals expendable income. Again, life happens so not every cent of your expendable income will be going towards the wedding. Plan for 50% and if you’re able to do more each month, great! Now, take the 50% sum and multiply it by the number of months between now and 30 days before your wedding (when most final payments are due), THAT is your Future Income Contribution.
Those three numbers added together will give you the total overall wedding budget you have to work with for your event. From there you can work with your planner to identify your priorities and allocate your funds where it will make the most impact.
A well defined budget is the most powerful tool in your arsenal (equal only to a team of qualified creative professionals).
Existing Savings (-) Emergency Fund = Savings Contribution (SC)
Family Contribution = Family Contribution (FC)
Monthly Net Income (-) Monthly Expenses = Monthly Expendable Income Monthly Expendable Income (x) Month(s) Left to Plan = Future Income Contribution (FIC)
SC + FC + FIC = TOTAL OVERALL WEDDING BUDGET