Figuring Out Your Wedding Budget. {Featured Bride, Kendra S.}

When Antonio and I first got engaged, the naïve side of me decided that we would have a $5,000.00 wedding. Reality quickly brought me to my senses when I realized that $5,000.00 would barely cover our food/drink costs. I needed to figure out how we could still have the wedding we wanted without going over-board. Sure, the ‘average wedding budget’ is over $25,000.00, but I did not wish to become part of that statistic.

Figuring out your wedding budget.

Luckily, Antonio and my parents are contributing to the wedding, which has relieved a lot of stress. Even so, we did not want to spend an exorbitant amount of anyone’s money. In the end, we decided on $10,000.00 as our average wedding budget. While I still struggle with accepting this number, I know it’ll be worth every cent. After you get engaged, it is easy to get carried away with ideas of your ‘dream wedding’.  Sure, you deserve an amazing day. It is your wedding after-all. Even so, it is important to remember that extravagant wedding favors or elaborate centerpieces aren’t necessary. So many people get caught up in the planning that they forget the true meaning of the big day.

Wedding budgeting tips:

Here are some steps we have taken to maintain OUR average wedding budget without eliminating every dream we’ve had for the wedding:
- Establish your budget immediately. Don’t wait until you’ve already found a dream venue, photographer, etc. Sure, you can pay a little bit more for the food than you anticipated, but make up for it somewhere else in the budget. - Figure out what’s most important to you. Are flowers not high on your list? Don’t waste the extra money on getting ‘the best’ florist in the city. At the end of the day, flowers, in general, are beautiful. Elegance can be found in simplicity. - Use your networks. Do you have a relative that loves photography? We decided to ask my aunt to photograph our day, asked a friend to be the wedding singer, and asked a grandparent who is a pastor to officiate... you get the idea. I’ve read article after article about how a family member shouldn’t be the photographer, but I love that personal touch. Many people disagree with me, but these steps have helped us stick to our budget. - Be a bargain hunter! While I was eager to find my perfect wedding dress right after we got engaged, I knew about a sample sale that the Wedding Shoppe was having last June. It was worth the wait! I got my gown at my budgeted price, $500.00, although the dress was originally $900.00. Not only was I happy to find the dress, but I felt better knowing that I didn’t pay the full-price. 
If you have a $20,000.00 budget, you wouldn't have to cut as many corners as I am. At the end of the day, I am simply trying to see the big picture and keep in mind that no matter what, I will be marrying my best friend that day.

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