Tips on Sticking to Your Wedding Budget

It’s hard to say “no” to your bride when you’re planning your dream day with family and friends. But wedding expenses can easily spiral out of control, leaving you with a marriage that starts off in the red.

Call for help early.
Especially when you’re on a tight budget, a professional wedding planner can save you money by wrangling deep discounts from vendors. Even if you only hire a pro to spend an hour or two on advance planning, he or she can show you what to expect.

Start with your guest list.
When couples run short of funds during the wedding planning process, they often start shaving friends and relatives off the guest list. These compromises can wreck a new marriage, so experts suggest getting clear about the guest list and locking it in place before you budget a single dime. A firm guest list lets you understand what you’re willing to spend per head.

Lock up your budget and throw away the key.
You and your bride can be each other’s safety net. So many wedding budgets blow up because of impulse buys that someone just can’t resist. Before you go shopping, write down what you’re willing to spend on each item. Then write down a promise to each other that you’ll hold each other accountable to staying within the bounds – no matter how cute something looks.

Haggle like a pro.
If you’re planning your wedding on your own, take advantage of the competitive market for caterers, disc jockeys, and other vendors. With your cost per head in mind, start your negotiation ten to twenty-five percent lower than the maximum you’re willing to spend. Smart businesspeople will meet you halfway, and those little savings add up.

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