Get your marriage off to a good start by planning your wedding budget.

Why planning your wedding budget is so important!

To begin, and it will come as no surprise to many, the number one thing that married couples fight about most is money. And for many, this tension begins long before the happy couple say 'I do?' Take a moment and think about starting the long journey of marriage with this weight holding you back. Not a pretty picture, is it.

Yet a lot of people do exactly that. They start their marriage with financial problems aggravated by a marriage ceremony whose budget is out of control. You don’t have to do this. Here’s the good news - you can do something about the costs of your marriage ceremony from the very beginning by planning your wedding budget. This will give your marriage a good foundation to grow on.

So, let’s begin. As mentioned above, wedding costs can rapidly escalate out of control. This is why it's so important to begin your planning by devising a realistic budget. Then once you've got the numbers crunched, it's equally important that you both stick to the budget.

And yes, planning your wedding budget doesn't sound glamorous, but it doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, planning your wedding without a budget is almost guaranteed to land you into serious financial debt. What's the key to success? Open, honest, two-way communication prior to the wedding. That is the key. It is an absolute must at the beginning of your marriage just as it will be later on.

Newly-engaged couples must talk about how each envisions his and her special day. Women work on the assumption that guys don't care about the details but that's not always true. It is, after all, the man's big day, too and he has a family to please as well.

  1. Once the excitement of the engagement wears off, go somewhere quiet and talk about what's important to each of you in regards to your wedding day. Listening to your partner's opinion is as important as talking so be sure to do both. This isn’t always a natural and easy thing to do. But if you can develop this habit, it will serve you well your entire marriage.

  2. Make a detailed list of what you both want (to arrive in a horse-drawn carriage, lobster, renaissance theme, color scheme, etc.) and what are absolute necessities (for example a photographer, caterer, rings, etc.). You're going to use this information when it's time to allocate your budget.

  3. Crunch the numbers. You've got to determine how much money is available now (for example, in savings accounts, stocks/bonds, real estate, trust funds), how much you'll have to commit to saving from your regular income streams, and how much you can realistically expect others to kick in. Depending on how far out the actual wedding date is you may want to consider opening a higher-interest bearing account for the money so that it can earn interest. The average couple doesn’t do this.
When considering what others may be able to put towards the cause it's really important that you don't make unrealistic demands. Take whatever others are willing to contribute graciously and try not to belabor the issue. Getting angry or disappointed in the amounts you are being given isn't a very mature way of handling the situation.

When you know where the money's coming from and how much is coming, you'll know how much you'll be able to spend. Now make another list of all wedding-related expenses and allocate a dollar amount or the percentage you're willing to spend next to each item. This will help when you're actually contracting for these services.

With your list in hand, it’s important to remember that if you exceed your budgeted amount in one category, you'll have to scale back another so your budget will stay balanced. Take a moment now and think back to the beginning of this article. By realistically planning your wedding budget, you’ll start your marriage on a good footing. There is no way to put a price on that.

Finally, because planning your wedding budget is so very important for most couples, you'll find wedding budget worksheets, software and other tools are available everywhere. So what are you waiting for? Go find one right now and start using it! You’ll be glad you did.

For more articles on marriage read these pages
Marriage tips
Manage the wedding guest list
The wedding reception location
Savings on jewelry
Savings on travel

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