As the day of my wedding creeps closer and closer (5 weeks and counting, to be exact!), there’s something I couldn’t help but write about: budgeting. This is not easy. I repeat: this is not and no where near being an easy thing to deal with. The whole question of money has stressed me out beyond belief (catering costs how much?!) and, for the unfortunate few like me, will be stressful up until the end of planning. I was just never one to be comfortable with allocating thousands and thousands towards one single day. When my generous-beyond-belief mom and stepdad approached Mike and I to offer their financial support, I never thought we would come anywhere near their projections. The reality? We’re dangerously close to being over budget. Like I said: this. is not. easy.
So, how am I dealing now that most of the main things have their deposits down and there’s no turning back money-wise? Better than I expected. This took a few things:
Really realizing this is once in a lifetime. Yes, this is one day, but I’m so beyond excited to be throwing this party to celebrate the rest of my life with everyone I love, with all of the food and wine that I love, and with decor and details that will make this the day to remember.
Getting seriously organized. Plan out your money goals, then plan them again. Write lists, then write them again. There’s no such thing as being overly prepared when it comes to spending serious money. If you’re a visual person like I am, you have to use WeddingWire‘s Budgeting Tool. It’s a completely customizable chart that lets you list out exactly what you want to budget for with the estimated cost, the actual cost, and grand totals of each. It also includes columns for the amount paid and the amount that’s due, so you can keep track of what vendors have and have not been taken care of. On top of all that, the tool lets you export, email, or print the budget so you can access it anywhere, anytime.
Last, but most important, start with what you want the most. In all that pre-budget planning, try writing out a list of exactly what you want in order of importance. If your four or five main needs cut a huge chunk of the budget, consider dropping some things from the bottom of your list. Yes, it’s your day and you deserve to have it all. But, you also have to be rational and reasonable when it comes to your bottom line. Going crazy over budget will only add unnecessary stress that can be avoided by getting rid of the extras. The day will still be amazing.
If you’re currently budgeting for a wedding, take this advice. Stressing about things like money will only take away from the overall experience of planning and the happiness you should feel leading up to the day. Yes, you might go over, and yes, you might have to sacrifice in some areas. But, I promise: when you’re standing up there getting ready to say I Do, none of that will matter.