Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wedding Budget 101

Dear Online Diary,

Married life after the wedding ceremony is as important as the wedding day itself. That’s why H2B and I decided not to splurge our hard-earned money on our wedding day alone. I know my parents and parents-to-be would certainly agree.

This is the main reason why we want to get married on a budget. Lucky for us, practical brides, wedding experts give these random tips on how to intelligently allot our wedding budget:

Tip#1: Know who’s paying.
Talk with your families about who will pay for what. To bring up the conversation, talk to each family separately to have genuine open discussions.

Here are a number of strategies to determine the initial budget:

1. Ask both of your folks to commit to a specific amount, and then add up all the contributions to create your budget.
2. Alternatively, it may be easier to ask each set of parents to finance a particular aspect of the wedding (such as the catering, honeymoon, or wedding ring) instead of just committing to a particular amount.
3. Decide how much you two can contribute between now and the wedding.

Tip#2: Determine how much you actually need.
Here’s a general rule in allocating the budget:
Reception: 48%-50%
Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
Attire: 8%-10%
Flowers: 8%-10%
Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
Stationery: 2%-3%
Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
Ceremony: 2%-3%
Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
Gifts: 2%-3%
Miscellaneous: 8%

To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for an emergency fund. If you're financing your honeymoon, remember to include that on your budget, too.

Tip#3: Learn how much you can save.
As soon as you're engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20% of your monthly income is a good yet painful goal. The longer your engagement, the more you'll be able to sock away.

Here are some ways to save:
1. Limit your spending to things that you truly need. These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some wedding essentials.

2. If you have the resources, do not be afraid to experiment and do some DIY projects. Depending on your enthusiasm, this could be a good investment even after the wedding.

{photo source:}

I hope you learned as much as I did. Happy preps! =)

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