Saturday, April 2, 2016

B is for Budget #atozchallenge


I cannot stress enough the need to have a budget in place before you do anything else.

  • “Daddy will probably pay for all of it.”
  • “The manners guide says the father of the groom pays for the bar tab.”
  • “I have $500 saved. That should be enough.”

That is not a budget. Those are pre-conceived notions. You need to nail down an actual budget. You need to know who is paying for what, how much they are willing to spend, and when you can expect to have that money.

When you go to buy a dress, you will need money. When you book a reception hall, you will need a deposit. The cake will require a deposit, probably full payment before the wedding date. All of the major planning is going to require some form of payment, and most of them are going to want it upfront, at least in part.

Make a list of everything you’ll need for your day. Then do research on what the websites and books say you’ll need for a wedding. Once you’ve figured out what you do and don’t need, start pricing. Figure out what matters most to you.

There are people who think custom engraved invitations are an absolute must. (Check out the Wax Seals post on W day.) For other folks, a party isn’t a party unless a vat of vodka has been consumed. One girl I knew just couldn’t live without a dove release. What seems superfluous to you is someone else’s absolute essential. Budget according to your desire, not third-cousin Ellen’s or Aunt Becky’s or even Grandpop’s. They probably won’t care in five years from now. You will.

If you're curious— the cake and the bride are what guests photograph the most.

Now that you know what you want and have a general idea of costs in your wedding area, you can discuss the budget with other people. You can find out if Daddy really is going to pay for all of it, or chip in, and find out when that money will come. Armed with knowledge is the way to approach people when asking for money.

It’s also the best way to figure out how much of a wedding loan to take out from the bank, should the situation come to that. Or a way to figure out how long it will take to save up enough money for the wedding. (And it may be a factor in deciding to elope instead. Check out the post on E day.)

Be sure you have money when you go dress shopping. There is nothing worse than finding THE DRESS and not having the money. Then it vanishes. It’s heartbreaking. Avoid this pain. More about the dress and avoiding rip-offs in the next two letters (C and D).

I'll also be getting into how you can save money by using the dollar store and

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