Become the CEO of Your Wedding Budget

"Why is it so difficult to spend money on my wedding when my fiance and I make a fair income?" This question has been asked by many a bride. Sure! All brides want what is best for their wedding day and they are willing to spend whatever is needed to give them the wedding of their dreams. In a time of stock market roller coaster rides and fluctuating hours and pay at work, it may be difficult to think about wedding budgeting when groceries, bills, childcare, etc. seemingly -- and should -- come first. So, how do you fight the wedding planning blues to get the ball rolling on budgeting for your I Do? Become the CEO of your wedding planning!

Sometimes in life, the only path through an issue at hand is to face it head on and trudge through it. In order to become the CEO of your wedding planning, you must first think with a marketing mindset. Set up a spreadsheet, track your expenditures -- both for the wedding and apart from it -- and set realistic goals for your wedding budget. You don't need a $30,000 wedding, if your budget says $5,000. You can come up with plenty of DIY options to cut costs where needed.

Next, be sure to brand your wedding with an email address dedicated to your celebration. This will help to ensure that all wedding communication is located in one spot and will not clutter your personal inbox with wedding offers long after your big day has passed.

Think about a designated credit card used solely for wedding expenses. Try to find a card that offers perks like airline miles or cashback bonuses to capitalize on benefits that you can dedicate to your wedding. (Think airline miles to put towards your honeymoon).

Analyze how many guests you realistically need at your wedding. This may seem like a no brainer. Of course, close family and friends should be at the top of your guest list, but your kindergarten teacher may not be a necessary addition. My general rule of thumb when planning my own wedding last year was that if I have not heard from, nor seen, the person in more than 2 years, they should not come. Be sure to agree to a guest list number and stick to it. If the right people are invited first, you can limit the hurt feelings from others.

Track everything. Keep tabs on your subscriptions, coffee, entertainment, etc. and figure these things into your spending when considering your budget. You must be fierce and unwavering, just like a CEO. It won't be easy, but your wedding is worth it.

Look for coupon codes. Groupon or coupon sites like RetailMeNot sometimes offer deep discounts on the wedding items you need. Shop the sales, hit the resale shops, even check out garage sales for items like decor pieces. Every little bit helps you to budget your wedding planning and budget.

Use your dedicated email address for your RSVPS. This helps to brand your wedding and keeps everything in one centralized location while cutting down on stationery and stamp expenses.

Ask questions to each wedding vendor as you plan. As we mentioned in last week's blog post, the relationship between a couple and their wedding vendor is not that much different that your relationship as an engaged couple. In order for your relationship to grow to this point, you had to ask each other questions. The more you find out from the vendors ahead of time, the more you can hone in your budget to those things you truly need. If your venue offers certain packaged services, they may be a better deal than buying separately -- or they may not. You won't know unless you ask.

Think needs vs. wants with your wedding registry. If you ask for what you need moreover than what you may want, it will save you time in having to return items later. Creating your registry to include gift cards that will help you to buy the items you need also helps you to save on your wedding budget.

Don't be afraid to ask for discounts. It never hurts to ask. The worst someone might say is no.

Lastly, with tax refund season just around the corner, you may be lucky enough to have money coming back to you. If you do, add this money into your overall household budget and then realistically look at how much of the refund amount you can spare for your wedding planning. Every little bit helps when planning and budgeting. If you take charge of your wedding budget and own your necessary expenses like a CEO would run his company, the "business" of planning your wedding will be less burdensome.

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Minister Lynn Turner and Associates

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