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Wedding Planning: The Budgeting Basics

Budgeting for your wedding can sometimes be a huge headache and may take the romance out of the whole wedding planning process. Rather than stressing out every time you think of another bill or deposit that’s due, create an organized budget in advance before you spend a dime and give yourself a realistic idea of what kind of wedding you can afford.

Budgeting Before You Buy

Sit down with your partner and create a thorough budget before you start thinking about where to have your wedding or how white you want your dress to be. Make a list of every detail you can think of and assign a monetary or budget percentage value to each item. Creating a budget and not worrying about all the little stuff is usually what gets couples into tight situations because it’s those little things that can add up after all the rest of your budget has been spent on the caterer, the venue, and the wedding dress.

The Guest List to Expense Ratio

Creating your guest list should go almost hand in hand with creating your budget. More guests equals more cake, more food, more drinks, and more seating space. For a large guest list, you need extra wedding invitations, wedding favours, and perhaps even a bigger sound system to function in a larger reception hall. When estimating out your budget, be sure to keep all these factors in mind.

Make a List of Priorities

You can’t know in advance exactly what everything is going to cost. While you may have put your best effort into drafting up an accurate budget, some things may just end up costing more and you may have to eat up those extra costs. By prioritizing everything in your budget, you’ll be able to cut back on the less important aspects of your wedding. If possible, pay for the most necessary things in advance and save the less important things for the end when you have a better idea of what you’re actually spending.

Keep a Budgeting Checklist

By making a chronological checklist of everything you need to buy, pay for, or put a deposit on, you’ll be able to see how much you’re spending and when you have to spend it all at a glance. If you have to pay a few vendors all within the same week, you may choose to make any additional purchases at a later time in order to leave yourself some financial breathing room. This is also a good way to remind yourself when a bill or deposit is due so you don’t lose a hold on your dream dress or that perfect venue.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a chore when planning your wedding if you stay organized and keep records of everything. When your wedding day rolls around and you’ve stuck to your budget you’ll be able to enjoy your big day with unburdened shoulders and a light heart.

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How To Create Unforgettable Wedding Invitations

Your wedding invitations are your first impressions. Before you get people to your ceremony or reception, the only feel they’ll have of your wedding is what comes in that invitation envelope. Taking a little extra care in designing your invitation will ensure that you’re sending the right message to all the guests you’ve invited to share in your big day.

Make Your Guest List First

Before designing up a bunch of beautiful invitations on high-end paper create your guest list and get an idea of how many invitations you’ll need. If you have a huge guest list and a limited budget, you may not want to go with the most expensive invitations. However, if your guest list is going to be quite small and you have a little extra to spend on your invitations, you could splurge on a fancier design. Seeing who you’ll be inviting to your wedding may also have some effect on the wording or font you choose to use on your invitations as well.

What Info You Should Include

You may want your invitations to be lovely and simple, but be sure you’re including all the necessary information. If someone else is paying for the wedding, you may want to give a mention to your host in your wording. Your basic info such as who is getting married, the location of the ceremony and reception, and the time and date of each should be clear and easy to read. A map and directions could be helpful as well if you’ve chosen a difficult to find venue.

Standard and Simple or All the Bells and Whistles

Depending on your budget, you’ll need to decide what will be included with the invite. Generally you’ll have the envelope, invite, and response card. You could opt to have a separate reception card and you may even decide to get another card printed up with a map and directions. You may also want a thank you card for after the wedding to be part of your invitation package. Of course, the more you add, the more it will cost, so determine your budget before brainstorming your invitations. Pre-wedding favours can be included as well in the form of bookmarks, pictures, or some other little memento that suits your particular theme.

Adding Your Personal Touches

Deciding on your theme before designing your invitations will give you the opportunity to make your invites match your wedding. If your wedding will be casual and on the beach, inform your guests of this in the invitation so they can dress appropriately for your chosen venue. Alternatively, if you’re expecting strict formal attire, relay that info in your invitations as well.

Let your guests know when to reply by and ask for any information you’ll need, such as dinner option preference, on the response card. Proof-read your invitations before having them all printed up to avoid any costly corrections. Your invitations don’t have to break your budget to be beautiful as long as you take your time in deciding what paper, ink, and font will suit your wedding best.

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Create Your Own Wedding Planning Checklist

Even for them most organized woman, trying to plan a wedding with no timeline and no checklist can lead to disaster. Especially as your wedding date gets closer, you’re going to have a million little things on your mind and deposit due dates or appointments will be jumping out at you from nowhere. Creating a wedding planning schedule early on in the planning process will give you a great guideline to follow and will provide an all-in-one reminder resource rather than wallpapering your whole house with sticky notes.

Making a Timeline of Your Checklist

Having a list of things that need to be done is great, but keeping things in chronological order will help you stay much more organized and keep you on top of any upcoming deadlines or appointments. A lot of bridal magazines or wedding websites offer wedding planning checklists that usually range over about 18 months or so. You may have more or less time than that to plan your wedding, so creating your own checklist will allow you to tailor it to your specific needs.

Incorporate Your Budget into Your Checklist

Deposits and vendor bills can sneak up on you when you have so much already on your mind. By putting due dates on your timeline checklist, you can avoid overstretching your budget at any one time. Using your checklist this way will allow you to decide at glance when to schedule in another big purchase for your wedding at a time when you won’t be paying for too many other expensive wedding necessities.

Get the Most from Your Checklist

Be sure to check your list weekly to see what new errands you’ll have to keep track of. As you get closer to the wedding date, it could be a good idea to start checking it daily. Creating smaller task lists off the main schedule every day can keep you focused on just what needs to be done for that day. By having a master schedule saved onto your computer, you can add to and edit your checklist as often as needed and reprint updates when necessary. It would also be a good idea to print a copy of your checklist for everyone helping you plan your wedding.

When you’re starting your checklist, fill in all the most important dates and appointments first and plan the smaller details around those. Whenever possible, try to spread out the tasks that aren’t time sensitive so you don’t overwhelm yourself in any one day, week, or month. Sticking to an organized checklist can take a lot of stress and uncertainty out of your planning and will keep you on the right track if you ever start feeling like you’ve become too swamped.

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