Friday, April 25, 2008

Start Saving!

Once you've had ample time hanging out on the Engagement Cloud 9 with your new fiancé, you'll need to start focusing a bit on what type of wedding you want and, most importantly, can afford. Before you even discuss where you want to have the ceremony and reception, you need to figure out what kind of budget you're working with. Whether you have $50,000 to spend or $5,000, a budget is necessary so that you don't spend too much on one area and run out of funds. See the first steps to becoming a budget-building-bride-to-be when you read more.

The biggest question to ask is who's contributing to the wedding costs and who's responsible for each category. If you and your fiancé will be paying for the entire event out of your own pockets then the two of you need to figure out two things — the maximum amount that you can afford, and how much you actually want to spend. Think you can't avoid going into debt from wedding expenses? Set up a separate wedding savings account in which you and your fiancé deposit a certain amount each month. And if you're set on having a bigger budget than is reasonable within your ideal engagement time-frame, be flexible! You can always push the wedding out another six months to give yourself more time to save.

If you're planning on asking your families for help in financing the wedding, talk to each family about who will pay for what and how much they'll contribute. At that point you'll have a total budget to work with, and you can start digging into the details of your big day.

After arriving at the magic wedding budget number, you need to consider how many people will be attending your wedding. That means getting three guest lists together — yours, his parents', and your parents'. The number of guests will determine which types of venues are feasible for the event, and if one side has a guest list that rivals a royal engagement then now is the time for editing. How many guests you'll invite weighs on some of the most important factors of your wedding, pressing most heavily on how your budget is allocated.

The same budget for a 350 person wedding may look wildly different from the way that budget is broken down for a 120 person wedding. For example, you can't determine how much of your budget will be used to feed your guests until you have an estimate for how many will be eating. Nothing needs to be set in stone at this very early stage of your wedding, but you'll avoid wasting time (like looking at venues that would fit half your guests) by getting a good idea of what to expect.


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