After getting engaged, where do you start when it comes to planning the biggest party you’ll ever throw? I suggest you lay it all out and get organized. It will make everything easier down the road. First, let’s talk finances.
Depending on your personality, grab a pen and paper or a computer with Excel and create a spreadsheet that lays out your budget. Decide how much you want to spend on each category and give yourself a little 10% contingency cushion. Choose what’s most important to you and list all your categories from top to bottom in priority. Work from the top and as you get to the bottom, gradually running out of time and energy, you will be left with the things that aren’t as crucial. As you purchase or sign contracts for each of the categories, record the actual amount spent. If you went over your budget for that category, adjust some of the bottom ones and if you have some left over, put that into the bottom ones or into the contingency. Note: if you don’t use your contingency, you can use that on your honeymoon or new housewares for your home together. Here, the contingency was an added 10%. This could be a gift that you received early on, or just some extra that you’ve saved up. If you don’t have any extra, you can put the contingency in there as part of the 100% and adjust the other categories.
There you go! Now your finances shouldn’t seem as daunting. You know how much you have to work with and you know where to start.