When it comes to the logistics of wedding planning, the budget is probably the most important aspect. Whether you have a lot or a little to spend on the big day, there will be a spending limit you won’t want to go over. Rachel Cruze, best-selling author and daughter of famed debt expert Dave Ramsey, has tips on how to create the right budget for your nuptials. “The easiest way to overspend on your wedding is to not evaluate how much you have to spend in the first place. Before you jump into planning mode, sit down with your fiancé (and include your parents if they’re helping) and create a budget together,” she says. “Having a budget will give you a clear picture of what you can actually afford to spend on your wedding and alleviate some of the stress of wedding planning.”
Photo by Michelle Beller Photography; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events
Of course, just because you have a budget doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to stick to it. There are some cases where you can easily afford more, and you just didn’t realize how much weddings can cost. In that instance, it’s best to sit back down and recalibrate an appropriate budget that gives you your dream day while still not adversely affecting your finances. Where couples can get in trouble is having a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. “Before you know it, you’re planning a wedding that looks a lot like someone else’s dream, and that’s dangerous territory,” Rachel elaborates. “Comparison will steal your joy and your paycheck, and it always dead-ends in debt.” We may love inspirational pictures, but it’s important to take those ideas and make them your own.
One of the biggest reasons that engaged couples should avoid overspending for their wedding is so they can start their marriage on the right track. “Money is the number one issue married couples fight about. The last thing you want to do is go into your marriage with a pile of debt from a wedding you couldn’t afford. Marriage is already a huge adjustment, so don’t add an extra layer of stress,” advises Rachel. An elaborate wedding and honeymoon are both wonderful things to experience, but you don’t want them to be the only memories of luxury that you and your spouse have together. Figure out your priorities so you know where to compromise, and instead of going over budget, you two can enjoy living the life you dreamed of sharing with each other.
Get more budget tips from an interview with Suze Orman and find out which financial conversations you should have before getting engaged.