YOU’RE ENGAGED! Questions have started to flow of “how are we going to pay for everything we want?” “What should our budget be?” “Do we really need that?” Did you know that weddings generate 60 billion dollars a year in expenses?
Here are 6 financial discussions you'll want to have with your future spouse before you start planning the wedding.
1. How much do we want to spend? vs. How much can we actually spend?
This is where wedding planning and budgeting will begin. Determine how much you want to spend and how much you are actually able to spend. Remember that this is your wedding to plan, and if you decide to spend a certain amount, it shouldn’t be swayed by others opinions.
2. What type of wedding do we want?
Do you want a big wedding with tons of friends and extended family? Or do you want a small wedding with just your close family and friends? Do you plan only to invite close family and friends to the ceremony and invite the rest to the reception?
Do you want a wedding that is elegant and dreamy? Or, would you prefer to have it shabby-chic? Where do you picture yourselves saying I Do? A beautiful, elegant ballroom in your city? An outdoor venue or park? Or would you prefer to have it at the traditional winery outside of town?
3. What aspects of our wedding are we not able to live without?
Talk to your fiancé about the essential elements of your wedding and go from there. Can you sacrifice your gourmet dinner to have your dream venue? Do you insist on having a live band over a DJ?
4. Will our parents help contribute to the wedding cost?
Traditionally, the bride's family would be responsible for covering wedding costs. However, that tradition often goes ignored. Are parents willing to help pay for the wedding, or are they going to put your saving skills to the test?
5. Do we know how much weddings typically cost?
Talk with close family and married friends about how much they budgeted for their wedding. Do some research online to determine cost of various wedding elements. Every wedding is going to cost a different amount, especially depending on where you live.
For example, below is the breakdown of a wedding for 100 guests that cost a little over $20,000.
- Ceremony: $500
- Reception/Venue: $2,500
- Food: $4,000
- Dress/Tux: $600
- Flowers: $750
- Photographer: $2,000
- Rings: $5,000
- Other miscellaneous items: $6,000
6. How much money will we actually save for our wedding?
Are there unnecessary expenses you can eliminate? Start to think about the things that you are paying for regularly but may not need. If you belong to a gym or have cable TV, Spotify Premium, Hulu, and other monthly expenses, going without can bring savings that will add up. Same goes for purchasing coffee every morning or eating out multiple times each week.
Can you sacrifice on larger expenses as well? This may be more difficult, but if you are determined to have your dream wedding, you may decide to not take a vacation the year prior or trade in your vehicle for one with lower cost.
Wedding planning can be a very long and stressful process. With the correct planning, budgeting, and plenty of discussion between you and your fiancé, your perfect day is underway. Don’t be afraid to be picky, it's your special day!
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