Wedding Budget 101

Setting your budget is a must-do -- you can't start planning without it. Follow our basic tips and tricks to set your budget and save your wallet.

Setting Your Budget

Creating your budget is one of the most crucial parts of planning your wedding. Although it may be a bit scary, you can't start planning without a solid budget. This is the best way to keep from overspending on your big day.

Start with the basics.

Make sure you have the must-need items first on the list -- flowers, attire, food, ceremony/reception costs. Then work down the list for the less necessary items.

Write down everything.

To keep your budget up-to-date it's very important to write down EVERY penny you spend on your wedding. A few dollars here and a few dollars there can add up after a while.

Plan ahead.

Write down everything you anticipate spending money for. Make a chart with estimated cost and the actual cost once the bill is paid.

Make a payment schedule.

Vendors like to be paid at particular times. As soon as you get a contract, keep a document with the due dates to pay your vendors.

Choose areas with a little wiggle room.

After your budget is planned, highlight areas that may not be as important as other areas. For example, you may put money in your budget toward a videographer but it isn't something you HAVE to have. Then if you find a reception spot that's more than your allocated amount, you can lose the videographer and put the money toward the location.

Leave a little extra spending money.

It's always better to give yourself a little extra money in the planning phase than to go over budget. There are a lot of hidden expenses that can add up and that may not be in your budget.

Continued on page 2:  The Budget Breakdown