So you’ve set your wedding budget… but how do you stick to it? It’s one thing to set a budget, but it’s completely another to keep your wedding budget on track. It’s very easy to get caught up in wedding fever when planning your big day and even easier to lose track of all the spending that comes with it. One of the easiest ways to keep track of your budget is to use a comprehensive wedding budget spreadsheet where you can note all of your wedding expenses. Here we explain how to use your spreadsheet to monitor your wedding budget and provide some helpful tips to ensure you stay on top of your wedding spending.
How to keep your wedding budget on track
Setting Your Wedding Budget
Before you begin creating your budget you should know your wedding priorities. Is your dream venue more important to you than wedding transportation? Or have you always envisioned that dress and are less concerned about your centerpieces? Whatever the case may be it is important that you have a little extra room in your budget to cover for these non-negotiable items.
Leave some wiggle room
As part of creating your wedding budget, you should leave some room to move – a safety net of sorts. It’s a good thing to do just in case any unexpected cost arises- perhaps you change your mind on something or a particular priority item is more expensive than you had initially anticipated. Having this buffer within your budget will help ensure you don’t stray too much and exceed your budget limitations. It’s also wise to not think of this safety net when you begin planning. For instance, if you have a wedding budget of $30,000 organize your wedding as if you actually only have $25,000. Having this mentality will make a dramatic difference to your wedding expenditure and will help to ensure you don’t go over budget.
Managing Your Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
It is important to add every cost to your spreadsheet through each step of the planning process. This way you can closely monitor exactly what you are spending. If you don’t keep up with tracking your spending along the way, you may not realize the extent of your spending overage until the last few weeks leading up to the big day when final payments need to be made. We don’t want you to have to endure Wedding Payment Panic, so stay on top of it.
Itemize your expenses
It’s a wise idea to itemize everything on the spreadsheet as opposed to having broad categories for each component of the wedding. For example instead of just having wedding invitations and stationery, be sure to detail every part of your stationery set like so: invites, thank you cards, RSVP cards, Place Cards, postage etc. You’ll be surprised at just how much you will spend on stamps when sending out your invites!
Reallocate any extra funds
When you actually book a vendor or service, change your spreadsheet from the estimated cost to the actual spend. Make sure this is reflected in your spreadsheet– it’s crucial! By keeping track of your expenses you may find you spend less on certain items than you originally budgeted for, which means that you can transfer those extra funds into other aspects of the wedding, knowing exactly how much you have left to spend. On the flip side, you might find that you have spent more than you initially budgeted for in certain areas which will result in you having to make cutbacks elsewhere or dip into the safety net of money put aside for such circumstances as mentioned above. You should always have a backup plan, be it a cheaper DJ or DIY decorations in the instance that you do go over budget.
Keep hard copies to keep track
Make sure that you are always asking for receipts. Wedding planning is such a busy time– there is so much happening! With so many different payments to make, it’s easy to forget the exact amounts you’ve spent on each item. Ask for receipts/invoices for everything so you won’t have to rely on your memory of your spending habits.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful!
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.