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Planning Your Wedding: Setting Up A Budget First


Congratulations to you and your partner on getting engaged! Now as bride and groom, you have the exciting responsibilities of planning the wedding of your dreams! Finances are the primary source of conflict among couples, so minimize any fighting or tension by working together to establish a realistic, well-researched and mutually-satisfying wedding budget.

First work together to create your over-all budget. What is the total amount of money that you have to work with? Is it $10,000? $20,000? $30,000? Take into consideration the following factors:

a) the amount of money the bride and groom have saved up for the wedding
b) the amount of money the bride’s parents are contributing
c) the amount of money the groom’s parents are contributing
d) the free services and/or gifts family and friends are contributing

Please consider the following expenses: (Feel free to create a spreadsheet or record information such as maximum budget, price quotes and actual costs in a special wedding planner or wedding journal):

1) WEDDING CLOTHES

a) bridal gown, shoes, lingerie, jewelry, veil/hair piece

b) groom’s clothes: tuxedo – purchase or rent?, suit?, shoes, shirt, undergarments

c) bridesmaids’ dresses
*consider 3 options
1) bridal couple pays for bridesmaids’ dresses
2) each woman pays for her own dress & shoes
3) bridal couple pays for portion and bridesmaid pays for portion of expenses

d) groomsmen clothes û rent tuxes or purchase suits, purchase shoes
*consider 2 options
1) couple pays for tux rental, shoes & extras
2) each groomsman pays for his own tux, shoes & clothes

2) WEDDING CEREMONY

a) MUSIC
i)vocalist(s)
ii)musician(s)

b) flowers

c) ceremony location rental: church, park, community centre, museum, art gallery

d) officiant/ pastor/ minister fee

3) WEDDING RECEPTION

a) rental of hall/ restaurant/ art gallery/ museum/ park/ church reception room

b) flowers

c) WEDDING LUNCH OR DINNER
-catering fees

i) cost of meal

ii) cost of catering services

iii) cost of tables & chairs rentals

iv) cost of alcohol – decide whether or not to serve alcohol

v)cost of desserts and appetizers

d) decorations

e) entertainment û DJ or band or musicians

f) lighting & sound system

4) WEDDING HONEYMOON

a) cost of hotel/ resort accommodations

b) cost of air or train travel

c) cost of meals/ food

d) cost of honeymoon travel; for excursions, dates, day trips

e) cost of honeymoon clothes

f) travel health insurance

5) OTHER EXPENSES

a) wedding planner

b) wedding planning book

c) bridal shower(s)
û does couple pay for bridal shower, or bride or groom’s friends/ family; lunch or dinner included?

d) engagement party û does couple pay for party, or bride or groom’s friends/ family

e) presents for husband & wife to give one another

f) presents to give bridesmaids, groomsmen

g) bride and groom’s wedding bands

I hope that you find these wedding planning ideas to be helpful to you and your groom as you plan your wedding budget. Feel free to print out this article and use it as a “To Do List” to guide your planning. Enjoy your journey towards becoming husband and wife!

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