Now that you and your significant other have decided to tie the knot, you'll need to think about saving for your wedding. It's important to know what you want to save for and when to start setting money aside so your big day can be everything you've dreamed of. The average cost of a wedding is nearly $50,000, but you don't have to spend that much depending on where you have the wedding, what you want to wear, and how many people are participating in the wedding.
Here are a few suggestions for how and when to start saving for a wedding.
Your Wedding Venue
Once you get engaged, you should start looking for a venue as soon as possible. Depending on where you want to have your wedding, you'll need to book the venue a year or more in advance. Many venues will allow you to make payments toward the cost of the venue rental up until your wedding date, so you and your future spouse can start organizing your budget to make sure you secure the venue you want. It's also important to shop around for a wedding site so you can find a place with all the features you'd like at a price you can afford.
Pictures are a large part of your special day and may include your engagement photos, pictures of you and your spouse getting ready for the wedding, photos of the wedding party, and pictures of your family members. That's why it's best to research wedding photography packages offered by professionals in your area. It's usually cheaper to have one photographer document your entire wedding journey, so choose a photographer who can capture your special moments in the style you prefer. Once you get engaged, work with your future spouse to determine a budget for your photos. Photography packages are usually a few hundred dollars, and you'll pay extra if you want the photographer to capture video footage at your wedding ceremony and reception. Photographers usually require total payment upfront, or half up front and half once you receive all your photos. Start saving money for a month or two after you get engaged so you can pay for your engagement photos. Then continue saving for your wedding photos once you know the price of the total package.
A wedding dress can cost thousands of dollars. Depending on your budget, you may want to set aside a few hundred dollars each month until you can purchase the dress of your dreams. You may also want to take a look at some of the wedding dresses on the runway and find a more affordable option at a boutique or consignment store. Make sure your dress is completely paid for at least a month before your walk down the aisle and set aside money to alter the dress as needed or repair any beads or sequins on the dress.
In some cases, your parents or other loved ones may purchase the dress for you as a wedding gift. If someone is buying your wedding dress for you, shop around for the best price to show your appreciation. If you want to wear your mother or grandmother's wedding dress, you may have to pay to have the dress professionally cleaned or altered. This could cost a few hundred dollars, but it's usually cheaper than buying a new dress and will make your wedding day extra special.
It's also important to consider the wardrobe for the rest of your wedding party. If you'll be paying for all or part of the flower girl's dress, the ring bearer's tuxedo, and the clothing your bridesmaids and groomsmen will wear, discuss the cost with your spouse and determine a budget. The total cost could be thousands of dollars, so you may want to start saving about 6-8 months before the wedding to make sure everyone looks their best.
The timeframe that you start saving for your wedding will depend on several factors, but the more money you have saved, the better. Couples often underestimate the cost of the wedding and end up dealing with unexpected costs that can make wedding planning very stressful. Writing down all the features you want researching more affordable alternatives can help you and your fiance save money while still organizing a memorable wedding.
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