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The 11-Step Guide to Planning Your Wedding Budget! *Bookmark Now!

BY Sakshi | 04 Mar, 2017 | 3176 views | 6 min read

A budget. Yes, that's a word that scares a lot of people, and whether you're good at it or not, fact is that you will have to sit down and prepare one- especially if you don't have unlimited finances and want your wedding a certain way. But don't start hyperventilating yet- we are here to help! Here are some super cool tips and tricks to make sure that you prepare a kicka** budget to set the right foundation for your upcoming wedding!

Image via Memories By Rahul Prakash Tilokani

Step 1: Decide who's paying

Although the norm in India is for the parents to pick up the tab for the wedding, a lot of couples these days are choosing to break that thought and fund the wedding by themselves (read about one such couple here). Communication is the key here- make sure to discuss with your families about who will be paying for what (whether it's splitting costs or the onus being on one family). You as a couple can even choose to pick up the whole tab for one function- like say the Sangeet or Cocktail.

Step 2: Count the money, honey!

Yep, the most obvious and the deciding factor for a lot of things. How much you have to spend on the wedding is directly proportional to three sources of money: the contribution from your loved ones separately or combined, your fiancé's and your individual savings if you're pooling in. Figure out a realistic budget (low and high end) to stick to while planning the wedding budget.

Step 3: Prioritise!

This might not seem like it, but this is one of the most important steps- designate a certain priority to all that you want for the wedding. Decide what's negotiable to you and what is not- like you might be willing to check out a less luxurious venue, but you have got to be a Sabya bride! So choose wisely.

Step 4: Draft an estimated guest list

You might have a small wedding on your mind, but what if your fiancé's family has a lot of people to invite? Drafting an initial guest list or having an estimate in mind is a good idea- that will play a huge deciding role in your wedding expenses too!

Step 5: Do your research

A necessary evil, but has to be done if you're not hiring a wedding planner (actually you'd have to research that as well :P). Make sure you have done enough research to make the right choices for things in your budget.

Step 6: Create Lists

Create multiple lists of the different aspects of the wedding ranging from personal to family expenses, decor to entertainment expenses, accommodation to catering expenses. These lists are then further divided to help track what expenses each of them include. Like for example the ‘Personal’ list could include your wedding outfit, cost of hair and make up, cost of accessories while the ‘Entertainment’ list could include costs of hiring a DJ, the band for the baraat etc.

Step 7: Track the spending

Yes, you will have to keep a tab if you want things to happen within budget- make sure to keep all records on a shared spreadsheet that not only your partner and you, but even the parents have an access to. Make an expense spreadsheet with three columns- Estimated Costs, Modified Costs and Actual Costs. First do some research and fill up the estimated column, then the quotes by the vendors go in modified and then the final amount you end up paying will go in the actual column- that way you will know how much you're overshooting your budget, if you are at all.  And yes, include the taxes- they're pretty high these days!

Step 8: Bargain and ask for discounts

Do not forget that a wedding is a fairly lavish affair with a lot of money involved- that is why a lot of vendors will either be willing to discount their rates (even more so in off season) or offer some freebies- especially if you're booking rooms and the venue at the same place. Some more tips and tricks on that in this article.

Step 9: Prepare yourself for (bad) surprises

Yep, this can be a rude shock in the form of hidden costs that you might not have accounted for at all in the wedding costs. This article here tells you what all you should keep an eye out for in the fine print when signing up with the vendors. Make sure to leave some buffer money for these unexpected costs. Here are 20 of them which might crop up out of the blue!

Step 10: Make some small tweaks to save big

Yes, with a little patience and good planning that is very possible. There are some small tweaks that you can make to the wedding prep here and there to save some big bucks. Here and here are some simple ways to ensure that you can save big and stop unnecessary expenditure.

Step 11: Get more for less!

It is not necessary that a pretty wedding has to cost a lot. You can do simple upgrades to your wedding to make it look luxurious. Here are some tips and tricks on how to do that.   We asked the experts for some tips, and this is what they had to say! The Wedding Co★ 4.9 says, "Budgeting to many can be the most tedious and stressful part of wedding planning. Do plenty of research, meet vendors to know what things cost. If you don’t know what amount to begin with then we suggest working backwards. Aim at creating a rough estimate based on the total costing of all the things you would like to include at your wedding. Time and again we stress the assistance of a wedding planner to help you through your big day because we assure you it’s a battle half won. Professional wedding planners not only assist you with creating lists of what all needs to be budgeted but their strong network of vendors also means better costs and guaranteed quality of work." Wedding Planners Royal Elephants★ 4.6 say, "Wedding budgets are all about balance. Start your budget planning by making a checklist of the crucial details like photographer, venue etc and assign a number to each on the basis of their priority." So, feeling a little less overwhelmed now?  
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