101 TIPS TO HAVE YOUR DREAM WEDDING ON A BUDGET
1. Create a wedding journal. When planning your wedding‚ the best place to start is by creating a wedding journal. This can be in a three ring binder‚ a spiral notebook or even a file folder. The key is to use it as one location where you will keep all of the information about your upcoming wedding. From a budgeting standpoint‚ this can be an invaluable tool if you use it properly. It will help you keep track of all your receipts and be a place to make note of upcoming sales or coupons. It will also remind you of everything you need to do so nothing is left to the last minute. Last minute purchases are usually expensive purchases!
2. Start by budgeting the must have items. Every couple has different priorities. Maybe your heart is set on a one of a kind silk dress or a 5-tier wedding cake. Whatever is most important to you should be budgeted for first. After all‚ it's your day and you should have the things that make it special for you. Once you have an accurate idea of how much these "must haves" will cost‚ determine what else you will need. A general list includes:
a. A venue for both the ceremony and the reception.
b. Attire for the bride and the groom (including accessories).
c. A cake.
d. Food and/or drinks.
e. The wedding officiant.
f. A marriage license.
h. Gifts for the attendants.
3. Keep track of ALL expenses. Since the average engagement is around 12 months long‚ that's a lot of time to be buying items "as you see them". A big mistake budget conscious couples make is to not keep track of exactly how much they've spent. Every time you purchase something write it down in your wedding journal. Otherwise you run the risk of eating up your entire budget on fun accessories long before you even get to the big day.
4. Educate yourself on what things cost. Before you purchase anything‚ shop around to see what the going rate is. Unless you know what several different places are charging‚ you have no way of knowing if what you plan on spending is reasonable. Doing this can also give you bargaining power.
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