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5 Tips for Creating a Wedding Budget and Sticking To It

By Erin Killingsworth, Founder of Wedding Under Control

Creating a budget for your wedding is the most important thing you can do as an engaged couple. Why? Being a financially responsible married couple is one of the most important things you can do together. You need to start being financially responsible together for your wedding. Even if your budget is $100K, you need to manage it so that you won’t accidentally spend $150K! Starting your marriage off in debt is not a good way to start. Let me give you 5 tips for creating a budget and sticking to it, so that you can have a happy jump-start to your marriage.

1. Figure out what your budget will be
Who is contributing to your wedding fund? Bride’s parents? A set of grandparents? The bride and groom? A combination of people? This can be an uncomfortable conversation for some people, but it’s necessary. Find out who is going to contribute, and try to get the best estimate of the amounts that will go towards the wedding. Then, you’ll know what your budget is!
2. Break down the budget by percentages
I’m not going to say that you should spend 50% of your budget on this and 10% on that because everyone’s wedding is different and unique. I will, however, give you a rough estimate. Remember, this may not work for your wedding, so keep this in mind when referring to this list.
45% – 50% – Reception
This includes your catering, venue, décor, alcohol, cakes, rentals, parking and almost all expenses that will be part of your reception. Start with your venue and caterer. Then fill in the holes of this budget with the other aspects of your reception.
10% – Photography
This includes any prints, engagement shoots, and videography.
5% – 10% – Attire
This includes the bride’s dress, shoes, jewelry, veil and alterations. This also includes the groom’s attire.
10% – 12% – Flowers
Bouquets, centerpieces, and other floral décor makes up this category.
5% – 10% – Entertainment
The reception DJ or band makes up this category, as well as your ceremony musicians.
10% – 20% – Miscellaneous
This includes wedding planning, wedding rings, stationery, gifts and any other additional items you’ll want to personalize your wedding.
5% – Cushion
This is a MUST, no matter what your wedding budget is. You need a little wiggle room in your budget, so make sure you budget for 5% of a cushion.
This list does not include any expenses related to the Rehearsal Dinner, Honeymoon, or any other wedding related events like showers or luncheons.
3. Re-evaluate after you’ve booked your venue
For some of your wedding professionals, you will need to include a tip. Budget to spend an additional 5% to 10% for those vendors. These vendors could be your florist, caterer, waitstaff, entertainers, and others.
Since the venue is probably your largest expenditure, you’ll want to review your other budget categories before you go dress shopping, cake tasting, and sample catering.
You may have to change some of your plans. That’s OK! If your dream wedding consisted of elaborate and ornate floral arrangements, but your wedding budget won’t allow these ideas, work with your florist to find a happy medium that fits in your budget. Spend less on your bouquets or have your wedding party carry single stem flowers to allow for more ornate floral centerpieces. Find alternative ways to make your dreams come true. Pinterest can become your best friend for finding cost effective alternatives.
4. As you spend, keep track of your wedding expenses
Creating a budget is great. But what good is it if you don’t know how well you stay on track? As you spend for your wedding, keep a log of your expenses. If you want to have a pen and paper, go for it! If your style is more electronic, do what works for you!
Log your expenses as you go. Waiting until the month of your wedding to see how well you’re staying on budget could be a scary moment! It may seem tedious at times, but you will thank yourself when it’s all said and done.
5. Use Wedding Under Control which has the template you need!
Did you know that there is a company out there that provides a budgeting tool and it helps keep track of your expenses? And it will show you how well you’re staying on budget at any given time. You don’t have to recreate the wheel and try to figure out a template! Head on over to Wedding Under Control and see which affordable package will be right for you and your wedding.
At the end of the day, your wedding is the jumpstart of your happy marriage. Finances can seem unromantic, but how romantic will you feel when you know that you aren’t starting your marriage off in debit or feeling stressed financially? Stick to these 5 tips, and you’ll be able t have a wonderful wedding without feeling the weight of stress from overspending!

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Proposal Checklist: What to Do Before You Take a Knee

You’ve met the love of your life, and are ready to propose. Congratulations! Asking the love of your life to marry you will be one of the most exciting and nerve wracking moments of your life. To ensure the big moment will be more exciting than gut-wrenching, there are a few things you can do to make your proposal smooth-sailing. Below, we’ve outlined the most important things to consider before getting down on bended knee.

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1.The Ring

If you haven’t already found your sweetheart the perfect engagement ring, now is the time to do so. A sign that you are ready to propose, is if finding the right ring for your partner is a breeze. If you already know her taste in jewelry, and her ring size, then you are well on your way to making this proposal memorable rather than forgettable. Having the right ring for your proposal is very important, as most women daydream about this moment, and in their dreams they are always over-the-moon when they see the ring and so there is a lot riding on your choice of ring. If you aren’t 100% sure, ask her best friend or Mother for help in finding the ring of her dreams.

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2. The Parents

Although the tradition of asking her Father for her hand may seem too old-fashioned to some, most men still seek approval from the bride-to-be’s parents. If you are leaning towards honoring this tradition, then it’s best to take some time planning how you are going to ask her family for their approval. You will need to keep your sweetheart in the dark about it, so we suggest you ask her parents out for dinner or plan a visit to their home – wherever you feel they will be most comfortable having this conversation. Best approach is to be honest and genuine, and that means telling them why you want to marry their daughter and all the reasons you feel the two of you are a good match for a long and happy life together. The hope is you already have a really good rapport with her family, and so this should be a happy occasion and one you won’t have to stress out too much about.

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3. The Setting

Deciding where you should propose is nearly as important as the ring. If you know your sweetheart well, you should have a few locations already in mind. Whether it is the spot where you went on your first date, or the locale of your first vacation together; make sure the setting for your proposal is going to be a place where she already has fond memories of, and will be thrilled to remember for many years to come.

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4. The Words

Once you have the ring, the parent’s approval, and know where you are going to actually get down on bended knee, there is the small issue of what you are going to say when you ask the love of your life to marry you. There is nothing more romantic than speaking from the heart, but when it comes to proposing, you also want to make sure that the words that are coming out of your mouth flow well, and that your partner can understand what it is you are asking them. We realize that proposing elicits many emotions, and there is no shame in having to stop to catch your breath along the way – but to put your best foot forward, we suggest you write out what it is you want to say, and then actually practice saying it out loud a few times. Doing this for your proposal will also prepare you for your wedding day, when you will have to speak your vows. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Majesty Diamonds is a family run, international diamond wholesaler and custom diamond jeweler focused on acquiring the highest quality diamonds possible. Our goal is to continue to strengthen our diamond wholesaling business and to continue responding to the changing needs of the global diamond market.

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Expensive Flowers for Weddings

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For those who have an unlimited budget when it comes to planning their wedding, expensive flowers are more than likely one of the top things that they are considering. If flowers are the area that you are most likely to splurge on, you may be interested to learn more about these specific flowers. If you are trying to save money on your wedding flowers, be sure to steer clear of these options.

Casa Blanca Lily

This is considered to be the most expensive flower for weddings. Unfortunately, they are also some of the most beautiful options as well. If this is your favorite flower and you are planning to include it with your décor, be prepared to spend a pretty penny on it. However, you can save some money by only using it sparingly and including other flowers in the arrangement as well. Red roses pair very beautifully with this flower and are a very popular addition to a Casa Blanca Lily wedding.

Gardenia

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Not only are gardenias beautiful, they also have a fantastic aroma that comes along with them. Since they are very expensive, you may want to choose a different flower for your wedding, however. One option to think about is going with a different type of flower and wearing gardenia perfume instead.

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are also a beautiful option and are extremely popular. One of the best things about them is that there is a huge variety in color options that you can choose from. However, since they are so expensive, an alternative might be necessary. One fun idea is to go with Snapdragons instead. Not only do they have a similar look as what hydrangeas offer, but they also have a good variety when it comes to different colors as well.

Lily of the Valley

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The flowers are beautiful and there is not really an option that can replace their unique look. They also have a fantastic scent to enjoy as well. If you are determined to have them in your wedding, you may need to look for some silk options rather than real in order to save your budget.

Orchid

These delicate flowers offer a beautiful look for any wedding. They also come in a variety of colors and are stunning to look at. With expenses running high for brides who choose this flower, you may need to find some other areas in your wedding to save money on. This can help you to pay for this lovely flower so that you can still have them in your wedding.

Conclusion

There is an endless amount of flowers to choose from for your wedding. Even if you cannot include these beautiful and expensive options in your wedding, you will still be able to have a beautiful wedding. Just remember, keep your eyes open for discounts and be open to making a few changes here and there in order to keep your budget intact.

Remember; stop by Best for Bride for help with all of your wedding planning items. You will be able to save money on dresses, décor and much more when you shop in the store.

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Before you meet with your Wedding Planner

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Did you know that there are some important things that you need to decide before you meet with your wedding planner for the first time? While it is common to think that your wedding planner will be able to help you with every aspect of your wedding, there are some basic things that need to be addressed before your first appointment. So, before you visit with your wedding planner for the first time, make sure that you have made the following decisions.

Budget

You should always have a budget planned before you meet with your wedding planner. Since weddings can be extremely expensive, your wedding planner won’t even know where to start if they don’t have a budget. You should also break down your budget rather than simply offering a final number to go with. This will help your wedding planner know where they can make some changes to help save you money or where you have a strong opinion about another area.

Guests

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One factor that will determine a major part of your budget is the number of guests that will be attending your wedding. While you don’t need to have a full guest list of guaranteed people who will be attending at this time, it will be necessary to know how many people you plan to invite. This will help your wedding planner discuss with you things like whether your budget is realistic.

Chosen Vendors

If you have already entered into an agreement with other vendors, it is important that you fill your wedding planner in on the details. This will help your wedding planner to determine areas that have already been taken care of as well as the areas that still require attention. This will also help your wedding planner learn more about how you would like your wedding to turn out as well. If you haven’t chosen any vendors yet, this is also fine. You simply need to let your wedding planner know what’s already been taken care of.

Your Wedding Plan

Every bride has a plan for her wedding and the person who has been chosen to help this wedding dream come true is the wedding planner. Don’t be afraid to bring pictures of your perfect wedding as well as samples of flowers and colors that you are considering as well.

Decision Makers

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While it is most often left up to the bride to make the decisions, sometimes the parents of the bride wish to be involved as well, especially if they are paying for or partially paying for the wedding. It is best to discuss with your parents up front regarding who is making the decisions so that neither of you are faced with a surprise.

Your wedding planner is a great asset to have and can help you plan your wedding from start to finish. But, you need to make sure that you are prepared for them by deciding these items before you meet with the wedding planner for the first time. In addition, make sure that you stop by Best for Bride in order to find all of your wedding day attire and décor needs.