Creating a realistic budget

Once you have a good idea of what you want you're celebration to consist of, you need to determined if your will have the money to create such a vision. Don't worry as you go through this section as you may need to revise your plans to fit your budget. This is a natural part of planning. Most of the decisions you will make regarding your Wedding will be determined by your budget. This may be a sticky subject for both of you but with the costs of weddings today. Every couple needs to have a budget unless you are like a few fortunate individuals and have an unlimited amount of money. Also, it's important as you start your life together to get into the habit of financial planning since you will have to continue this throughout your married life.

Knowing how much money you have to spend, and then staying within or less than that amount will make the whole planning process easier. No matter what amount you come up with there are lots of creative ideas and money saying tips to help you create a memorable, romantic and special affair.
Weddings can be an expensive proposition especially when you consider this expense is only for one day.

Today the average wedding costs between $15,000 and 520.000. The following is an estimate of the costs for different styles of weddings:
•    Informal    $5.000 or less
•    Semi-formal    $6,000 to 57.500
•    Formal    $10.000 to 515.000
•    Ultra-formal    $40.000 or more

In determining your budget, you will first need to start with a ballpark figure. You may be asking yourself how will you even get to a ballpark figure since you have never planned an event of this caliber before and are not    what's    in the process.

Who is paying

Traditionally, the bride's parents pay the majority of the wedding costs. Now with more couples working, over  70% of all brides and groom’s pay for their own wedding. How you determine who will pay for what is really up to you, your parents and the groom. There is no absolute rule on who pays for what. Keep in mind the bride should always let the groom discuss any finances with his family. Also, the more the groom's family is contributing to the expenses, the more input they should have in the planning. The groom's family should never assume the responsibility of paying any cost other than the traditional groom's cost without first asking permission from the bride and her family. The bride's family may decline the offer to share costs if they wish.

The following are different ways to divide up the expenses among the contributing parties:

•    The bride and groom pay for the entire wedding as mentioned above.
•    The costs are divided into thirds: the bride's family, the groom’s family and each couple pays one-third.
•    One-half of all the expenses are paid by each family.
•    Assign various expenses to the bride and groom, reducing the financial obligation of the parents or specify individual costs that each family pays. For example: the bride's family pays for the ceremony costs and the reception food while the groom's family pays for the cost of flowers, liquor and music.
•    All expenses for the ceremony and reception can be added together, to arrive at a per-person cost: then both sets of parents pay for their respective guests.
•    Groom's family pays for the entire wedding. This is normally the case when the bride's family is thus or this is the groom' s first wedding and the brides second.
•    If the bride's parents are divorced, the expenses can be paid for by the father, mother, or they may each pay a portion depending on their finances. Many times the wedding is hosted by whom ever raised the child.

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