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Plan your budget together and stick to it

Sitting together and making a budget will help
Sitting together and making a budget will help you focus on priorities. PHOTO | FILE 

Planning a wedding can be a trying especially if you cannot seem to get adequate finances to make your dream wedding come true.

The pressure can be intense especially when the bride does not have adequate support system to help with preparations.

Sticking to a wedding budget is the perfect way to help reduce the pressure even as you think out a realistic wedding.

Prioritise what needs to be done immediately, what can be put on hold to a later planning stage and what you can do without.

The bride and groom need to agree from the onset that they are not going to start their marriage with debt and begin planning within their financial limits. First off is to both consider where the money to finance the wedding will be coming from. Parents from both sides may chip in for some of the expenses which will reduce the budget for the couple.

Setting money aside every month before the wedding is the best way to save for your big day instead of looking at a huge amount at one go. I your friends and relatives want to chip in, let them do so early enough so you know how much more you need to raise after what they raise for you.

Paying for services early also ensures that you make some savings as late payment usually ends up more expensive.
A simple way to ensure that your expenses stay within budget is to plan for an off-season wedding.

Most weddings happen during school holidays in April, August and December and suppliers are likely to cost more at this time compared to other times of the year.

Calling in favours from friends and family working within the hospitality and service industries can help the couple reduce expenses by removing some items off the list of things to pay for.

Quality

Before committing to one service provider, shop around and see if you can find the same quality at a cheaper rate.

Having a wedding planner pushes the pressure away from the couple allowing them to focus on other things as the big day draws closer. However, good planners do not come cheap so if you want their services, make it one of the budget items.

Most money is spent in planning a reception that your guests will live to remember as well as a memorable honeymoon. Working around this knowledge will help you apportion the money wisely.

The number of guests you invite will determine how much money you will spend on the venue, décor and food.

While some people argue against card-only invites, if you want an exclusive event then it pays to cap the number of invited guests and cater only for those you have invited.

From the onset, be candid with your service providers about your budget, have contracts that tie their pay to timelines of deliverables and ensure they are clear on your expectations.

If the wedding ceremony is at the same place as the reception, the couple is likely to spend much less in moving guests from one venue to another.

Keep track of your expenses and adjust your budget accordingly should any unplanned expenses come up.

Sandra Chao-Blasto, [email protected]

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