Brides rely on you, as their wedding planner, to be savvy about the best ways for them to use their wedding budget dollars wisely. Here are the 10 tips you can share with your brides to help them:1) Actually have a budget, not a vague idea of how much you have available
Put this amount in a separate account and pay all of your bills from it so you can easily see how much you have at all times. Track expenses in a notebook, wedding app or use the budget worksheets that you can find on most wedding websites.
You might also want to dedicate one credit card to use for all wedding-related expenses.2) Don't keep secrets from each other about how the money is being spent
Both of you should be aware of how much things cost and be sure you make decisions for major purchases together. You don't want to start your marriage with financial secrets.3) Understand that if someone else pays for your wedding, they may get to have the last word
When parents, or anyone else, pays for your wedding, you could lose control of how the money is being spent so be prepared to be flexible.4) DIY isn't always cheaper or better
If you are making things such as centerpieces, favors, or escort cards, remember to figure in the cost of the materials, the gas and time it takes to run around shopping for them (or the time it takes to find them online), and the time you will spend actually putting them together.5) Ignore the pie charts that tell you how much to spend on each part of your wedding
The two of you should decide together what is most important and splurge on those things. For example, it could be the photographer, food, flowers, or the band. Then prioritize your other expenses around it.6) Don't open a lot of store credit cards
Many engaged couples open store credit cards because retailers give perks such as 10% discounts when items are charged to their cards. This works if you have good control of your spending. However, many couples take the discounts as opportunity to spend more and often end up in debt. If this is you, don't do it.7) Find out the cost of making changes to your wedding planning decisions
Any time you make a change with a vendor you could be subject to additional charges. If, for example, you want a different flower in your bouquet or an additional photograph taken at the reception, you could be incurring additional costs so always ask before you make changes to any of your wedding plans.8) Don't get stressed out by the images on Pinterest
Use Pinterest to get inspiration but don't compare your wedding to what you see on the boards unless you have an unlimited budget. You should strive for a wedding that reflects your personalities and not try to duplicate anything you find on the web.
9) Be aware of "hidden costs" - here are some examples:
• Invitations need postage and if you have an envelope that isn't a standard size or have a lot of inserts, you will be paying more than the standard first class postage rate.
• Your wedding gown will need alternations.
• If you provide your own wine, there are corkage fees.
• Your caterer may charge a cake-cutting fee.
• Almost everything is taxable.
• You will want to tip some of your vendors10) Use a wedding planner
Tell brides how you can help manage the wedding budget, negotiate contracts, find the best deals, and direct them to the vendors that are right for their wedding so they spend their money wisely.
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