If there is a wedding in your near future, whether it is for you or for your child, it’s time to get excited about planning for the big day. While a wedding is one of the most important days of your life, remember, it is just one day and not worth years of debt. One of the most important first steps in the planning process is to determine is how much you can afford to spend on the big day.
Creating a budget is critically important for planning a wedding and should be done before booking a venue or committing to other major aspects of your nuptials. Since weddings are a multi-billion-dollar industry, there is no shortage of accouterments that money can be spent on for your wedding. The wedding industry has convinced today’s brides and grooms that everything from elaborate invitations, to DJs or bands, favors, a photographer, a wedding dress and countless other accessories are essential for the celebration. According to IBISWorld, as of 2016, $72 billion per year is spent on weddings in the United States. Countless websites devoted to wedding planning have budget functions to help with your plans.
As part of the budget process, it is important to make a list ranking items of the greatest importance to you.
Keep in mind the following:
- It is no longer expected that the bride’s parents handle all of the wedding costs. Most couples contribute financially to their weddings—particularly if they are getting married later in life.
- To determine a realistic overall budget, call local venues to get an idea of average costs.
- Factor unexpected costs into your budget. Consider taking event insurance if you are getting married where weather could be a problem.
- If finances are tight, consider purchasing, or even renting, a previously worn wedding dress. Given the high cost of wedding gowns, coupled with the fact that they are usually used only for one night, buying a new dress may not make sense for your situation.
- Consider a longer engagement if you need more time to save to avoid a loan or significant credit card debt. You don’t want to pay interest charges for credit card debt that will add a significant amount of money to what you’ll ultimately pay overall.