Creating a budget for your wedding isn’t the most fun part of wedding planning by any stretch of the imagination, but it is what will be the biggest stress reliever when the day comes to say “I Do!”. Less stress = way more fun. If you do the hardwork now, the fun parts of wedding planning will be so much easier and a lot less stressful.

> Set a realistic budget before you begin planning
Make sure you add this budget to a spreadsheet so that you can easily reference it

> Break down your budget into smaller categories
(use this budget calculator for how your budget should be broken down based on your ideal budget)

 > Get quotes from all your vendors and add them into your budget spreadsheet
This will help you plan for the cost of the entire wedding long before your wedding day so that you don’t have any surprises when your vendors send you a bill.

> Keep track of all of your expenses as you go
Keeping track as you go will save you time in the long run and keep you from running out of money before your big day arrives. It may sound tedious, but it will help relieve A LOT of stress as you are planning and spending.
> Your budget will greatly depend on your guest list. Here’s how to get that nailed down right now
When you begin your guest list, there will be people that you will invite to your wedding no matter what your budget allows. Your parents, siblings, best friends. Once you have that starting point, you can grow from there. Keep adding people to your list as long as you can comfortably fit them into your budget. With an average wedding, each guest will cost you an average of $30 per plate, plus drinks. It is hard to know exactly how many people will actually make it to your wedding, but you can take a guess at what most people’s response will be. You’ll have some surprise yes’s and some surprise no’s, but it should all work out pretty closely.

My wedding budget spreadsheet ($12) includes a template to give you an estimate on your actual attendance number. This is the actual spreadsheet I used for my wedding, but with some extra polish and a few more bells and whistles. On top of keeping me on budget and completely organized, it helped me track my shower and wedding gifts and all of those thank you notes, my day of schedule, my seating chart, etc.

As a Mari Insider, you can get the budget spreadsheet for free! Sign up, if you haven’t already, to get that coupon code!
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