The moment you announce that you’re engaged, everyone you know (and their uncle, and their mother) will have opinions for you on what you should do. Before getting inundated with those, take some time alone; sit down with your future spouse and talk about what you envision your wedding being. Set clear expectations about who will be involved with making decisions and who will handle which tasks in the planning process. Here is a brief checklist you should be able to fill out before looking at dollar amounts:
What kind of event do you imagine your wedding to be?
How many people would you like to invite?
- Less than 50
- 51 to 100
- 101 to 200
- More than 200
What time of year or season would you like to have your wedding in?
- Specific Month _________________________________
Don’t even worry about things like what colors you imagine the backdrop being and what the centerpieces should look like until you’ve got some parameters set. After you’ve filled out this checklist, the next thing you need to do is find out who is contributing.
- What are the two of you able to contribute toward the wedding?
- Are either of your parents (as a set or individually, depending on their marital status) able to contribute toward the overall budget? If yes, in what way: as a specific amount or by paying for a particular element of the wedding?
- Is there anyone else who is planning to contribute or is able to contribute?
You should, at this time, have a solid idea of what your wedding budget amount is, and what you’re looking at spending it on. These are the absolute foundations for a wedding budget!