The biggest wedding tip that I have for you is that once you get down to the business of planning your wedding, setting your wedding budget is your first priority!
This post is all about setting up your budget with this budget planner spreadsheet.
From there you can play with the numbers a bit and then set a guest list. The number of guests at your wedding is the biggest driving force behind your budget. Feeding and making your guests feel comfortable/happy/perhaps even awed, will likely make up the biggest line items in your budget.
In light of the importance of your wedding budget, I have created a budget tool just for the lovelies that sign up to follow this blog via email.
Now, I know that not everyone likes to budget because it feels like a restriction. But really, a well written budget will make your money work for you, and not the other way around. Also, since wedding funds frequently come from multiple sources, having a budget will help ease communication about how much the wedding will cost and where the money will be going. A budget will also help keep you on course and prevent you from overspending.
Remember, your budget should be written to work for you, not against you.
And silly me. I almost forgot to mention this. Your budget will save you money! Just the simple act of writing down what you can spend on your event helps to focus you, and to prioritize. Plus, you can rest assured that you won’t run out of money by the time you wedding rolls around.
The budget is an excel template. I like Excel because you can keep a running tab of where you are with your budget. It’s flexible. If you hate Excel as much as I used to, have no fear. I’ve done all the work for you. You just need to plug in the numbers! It will keep you on track. And for those of you that you are visual, I’ve created a lovely graph so you can see where your wedding funds are going. So, let’s take a look at the budget shall we?
If you want to watch the video tutorial, you can find it here:
Step 1. Get the budget thank you email! When you receive your email from me, you’ll see a link to the budget template. When you open it up, it will look like this.
Lots of categories to keep you super organized and on track with your spending.
Step 2. Start inserting values in the line items. Once you receive your budget, and know how much you are working with, insert the values in the cells. Below, I’ve estimated that the bridal gown will cost 1,000; the veil, 200; and the undergarments, 200.
Step 3. As you move along in your planning, and you start spending your budget funds, you insert what you’ve actually spent into the “actual” column. Your pretty graph will populate, as will the main category box.
Step 4. Let’s put this budget to work. Let’s say you budget 1,000 for your wedding gown, like the above. You and your BFFs fly to NYC and go to Kleinfeld’s where you, your BFFs and our favorite Fashion Director Randy have an amazing day. Although your budget is only 1,000. You fall in love with a 4,000 gown. Eeek. You can’t help yourself. You throw down your credit card and buy it right there on the spot.
Off topic a bit, I do not recommend this! Stick to your budget. It will make your life so much easier. Even Randy says not to try on dresses that are outside your budget.
Back to our budget. Once back at home, you open up your spreadsheet and insert the amount actually spent. The difference shows up in red. It’s in red because your overspent in that category. You’ll see the amounts are summed up for you at the bottom of your columns.
Step 5. Have I missed any subcategories? If so, I’ve included two “other” boxes under each category. Just click on the box, and change the name from “other” to whatever your new category is.
I hope that you will join the Wedding Lawyer mailing list, and that the budget and this tutorial will be helpful to you once you do. If you don’t use my budget tool, be sure to use some kind of budget tool. Your budget and your money should work for you, and not against you!