Are you in the midst of planning a wedding? Have you thought about how you are going to decide the budget? Follow these easy steps and budget building will be a breeze.

The most difficult part of planning your wedding can often be deciding on a budget.  Who is paying for what, and how do I divide the budget?  Many times, parents and the bridal couple don’t want to put a damper on the good moods and high spirits so they avoid the necessary budget discussion.  However, there is no need to fret.  Having this talk can be harmless if you come prepared.  Here are some tips for how a wedding budget is traditionally built. 

1.  Who pays for what?

    This is the most frequent question that is asked when families are determining the budget and how costs will be divided.  Traditionally, the bride’s family is responsible for financing a larger chunk of the wedding, but more often these days, families are dividing the cost of a wedding evenly between both sides – the groom’s and bride’s.  While you can choose to split it up however you want, here is how it is traditionally divided:

    Bride’s family – ceremony & reception, bridal attire, floral arrangements for ceremony & reception, corsages for bridesmaids, photography, groom’s ring, stationery, and transportation.

    Groom’s family – marriage license, officiant’s fee, groom’s outfit, bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for the men, and honeymoon.

    Knowing how it is usually done gives you a good starting place when your families enter into the budget-making discussion.  This can save a lot of time and keep you from difficult conversations.

2.  Prioritize.

    Unless you don’t have a budget at all and can spend as much as you want on your wedding, you will need to prioritize what is most important to you as well as least important.  Separate your must-haves from your would-be-nice-to-haves.  Start at the top with aspects of your wedding that are most important to you, whether it’s the perfect dress or the catering.  Then fill out the bottom with the things that you care least about, and work your way up from there.  Once you have a nice list written out, start thinking about how much of your budget is reasonable to allocate to each item.

3.  Use a worksheet.

    Perhaps one of the smartest things you can do is find a wedding budget worksheet to use when building your budget.  There are hundreds available for free on the internet.  Find one that is easy for you to understand and has all the components you want to track, then be sure to use it religiously!  For the Type-A bride, using a worksheet will heavily appeal to your organized side, even if you aren’t necessarily a number cruncher.  For the more scatter-brained bride, using a worksheet will force you to keep track of how much is being spent, which is extra important for you!

By using these three tips when developing your wedding budget you should save yourself from much grief.  Discussions between families should go more smoothly because you have armed yourself with information about how things are usually done.  Making a priority list and dividing up the budget will save yourself from confusion later when you don’t know if you should spend more on the reception music or the invitations.  Using a worksheet forces you to keep track of your spending so that you will not go over budget.  See, making and sticking to a budget is easier than it looks!  Use these tips and you are on your way to a beautiful wedding, that’s right in your budget range.