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Brilliant Wedding Pages April 23, 2001

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 Volume 2      Issue 1
Sunflower
Why Your Wedding Budget Planning is Important - Part 1 of 3

You have probably seen plastered in bridal magazines, books, and websites those bridal planners that tell you what you need to be doing up until the last moment before your wedding. What is one of the first things that they always mention?

Write down your wedding budget.

Now, this seems like a HUGE hassle, and very complicated - especially since it is hard to ask each of your parents if they plan on helping you out in any way, and then figuring out who is going to pay for what. Inevitably, this is probably going to lead to someone being offended, either because they cannot give as much money, because they want to give more money, or because they have a specific thing they want to give money towards that was not within your plans. Sound familiar?

Well, even though this is a dreaded task, take it from me - You need to do this! Even if you know that you are paying for the wedding completely by yourselves, it is still important to write down your wedding budget.

Why? There are several reasons why you should do this. The first is that it is important to get all of these issues out in the open right away. For instance, it is better to find out right away that your fiancÚ's parents have a friend who owns a flower shop and they are expecting you to order your flowers there, rather than hearing through the grapevine that they are going to pay for the flowers, ordering them from a shop that you like and then later finding out that the money was contingent upon ordering the flowers from this particular shop. If you are armed with knowledge, you are more capable of making decisions. (Brides out there: you know, right? Send me your stories about this sort of thing! I want to share your experiences with our readers! kelly@bwedd.com)

Second, this will force you to plan from the very beginning what large expenses you are going to have in the coming months. This will give you a bigger-picture mentality and it will be easier for you to prepare for these expenses, and for your wedding in general.

Third, the act of writing down your budget is very important because it gives you something concrete to refer to. If you do not have a budget, I guarantee you will go over budget. In the same way, if you do not write down your budget, you will also go over budget. When you see the beautiful cake that you could have for $1000 and then you look at your budget and see that you and your fiancÚ agreed to only spend $500, you will be more likely to keep your wits about you and say no to the more expensive cake, or to not even look at any cakes over $500. And this is a good exercise to go through. The more times you throw your budget out the window, the more you will continue to do so.

So, are you convinced that writing down your budget is important? If so, you are ready to sit down and do so. And, this is a very delicate matter. Here is how I would do it, if I could do it all over again:

First, I would sit down with my fiancÚ and try to discuss as many aspects about the wedding as possible. "I was hoping to have a string trio at the ceremony" or "It's very important to me that I wear my mother's wedding dress." If you are both on the same page, and are aware of each others thoughts and feelings, it is less likely that either of you will regret something you say to your parents later. It may help you to have a wedding planning book in front of you to help you to cover as many aspects of the wedding as possible. More than likely, your wedding is still 6 months to 1 year away if you are in the budget planning stage, and it can be hard to think so far ahead about so many tiny details. Try, but don't drive yourself crazy trying to cover everything. Just do the best you can.

After you have discussed your hopes and dreams for your wedding with your fiancÚ, arrange for a time to meet with both sets of parents together - do this whether you think they are going to help pay, or not. (Even if you are paying, they need to be aware that you have a limited budget and cannot be expected to pay for 500 guests, etc.) Your parents need to know what is going on. Misinformation is your enemy. Do not, however, invite friends and siblings to this meeting (unless they are helping to pay) - make it as simplistic as possible. And when inviting your parents to the meeting, make sure they are aware that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss your wedding, and specifically the budget.

Now, the tricky part. Depending on your personalities and those of your parents, each of your meetings will be different. Some of your parents will say you get X amount of money for whatever you want. Some will say they will pay for the flowers, the cake, and the DJ and then give you a limit for each. Many of your parents will be stubborn, and many insistent that you do this or that. If you and your fiancÚ had a good discussion before the meeting, then you should be ready for almost anything that comes your way (and you may be surprised at what comes your way). The key is honesty. Remember that. You may find it difficult, but you need to be honest about what you are hoping or not hoping for.

Well, that is all I have for PART I (Why Your Wedding Budget is Important). In two weeks, I will have more for you on your wedding budget, including advice on how to come up with the numbers and figures.

As always, I hope that all is going well with your planning! And please share your planning stories with me, so that together we can help more brides.

Sincerely,
Kelly Kons, kelly@bwedd.com
http://www.Bwedd.com/TrueCompanions/

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