Creating a Budget and Sticking to It
Once you know the amount every party involved can contribute and add it up, you have created your wedding budget. Creating a budget and sticking to it however, are two different things. To stick to a budget, you will need to break your overall wedding budget down into categories that need funding. Here is a recommended breakdown of a total wedding budget. Keep in mind, you cannot use the highest number of each % range. Use the high percentages for those items most important and the low for those less until your total % equals 100.
48 - 50%
8 - 10%
Attire: 8 - 10%
Entertainment/Music: 8 -10%
Photography/Videography: 10 -12%
Invitations and Stationery: 2 -3%
Gifts for family and attendants: 2 -3%
Miscellaneous items such as a wedding coordinator - 8 %
Surprises: Because they will pop-up 5 - 10% for expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day, and ribbons for the wedding programs.
Now, the key is sticking to it! Put this breakdown on a spreadsheet and balance to it. You must not over-spend on any one category of your budget or you are at risk of overspending the budget. If there is an area you want to splurge on (something that is really important to you, you would be willing to make some sacrifices for) you can borrow from one area of your budget to support another. Example, You have a band you love and really want at your reception but they are a bit pricier than alternative music options. Look at the rest of your budget categories and see what category is less important to you. Maybe you can save some on the cake or flowers to compensate for the band. Then you can afford the band and fit it in your budget.
Make sure you make these adjustments prior to spending. If your well runs dry and you don't have money to pay your wedding vendors by the day of the wedding or if you bounce checks, they will not show up!