Engagements are exciting. Right off the bat, you might be imaging yourself spinning in a twinkling ball gown envied by everyone in the room. And while this might be fun, riding off into the sunset across a beach on horseback isn’t cheap. You’ll need to set a budget.

Here’s where to start:

Figure Out Who’s Paying

Traditions aside, knowing who will be contributing to your wedding and how much is important. It might be awkward to talk about with your family–and especially with your future spouse’s family–but it’s a conversation that is critical to your budget. Theknot.com says, “Ask both of your folks if they’re planning to contribute to the cost of the wedding. If so, have them commit to a specific dollar amount, and then add up all the contributions to create your budget.”

Keep Track of What You’ve Spent

As you begin preparations, it’s very important to keep track of what you have spent. Keep a thorough record of what everything costs and what you have yet to purchase. It’s also a good idea to allocate part of your budget as a back-up plan or “just in case” fund right away. You never know when a wedding day blunder can occur, and you’ll be happy to have it if it does.

seating plan

Make a List–and Check it Twice (or More)

Your guest list is one of the biggest factors of your wedding cost. The Knot explains, Food and beverages are often the biggest expenses, so trimming or adding to the list will drastically change the price tag on your big day. Smaller items will be affected by changing guests as well, such as invitation stationery, decorations, party favors–maybe even your venue.

Simple Ways to Skim if You’ve Gone Over Budget

If you begin planning and notice that you’ve gone over budget, you’ll have no choice but to begin trimming your plans. Here are a few tips to help out your pocketbook:

  • Go with a buttercream cake. It’s cheaper than fondant and much tastier. If you want a fancier version for you and your new spouse, keep it small and use sheet cakes for your guests
  • Downplay decor. Choose subtle flowers and fewer ribbons to cut costs
  • Pay for your dress in cash. Paying upfront leaves the opportunity for discounts
  • Buying it off the rack will also save you a pretty penny on your dress.
  • Simplify your invitations. Yes, invitations with two font colors look pretty and might match the wedding theme well, but they also hike up the cost

One major decision on your wedding day is the venue. Whatever your wedding size, Earle Brown Heritage Center has the amenities and space to host the wedding of your dreams. Book a tour today!