One of the most daunting tasks during the wedding process can be budgeting. It’s not as exciting as finding your dress, or as glamorous as designing your centerpieces, but it is an absolute necessity.

When Sarah and I set our budget for 2017, I’ll be honest: It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it. Being upfront and honest about what you can accomplish with the resources you have is a very important part of any project, especially for us with Grand Occasions. After wrestling with the numbers for what seemed like an entire day, we walked away feeling knowledgeable, accomplished, and ultimately motivated for the next year.

So ready or not, here are my 3 tips for getting down to the nitty gritty and creating a wedding budget:

1 – Set up a time to have the conversation.

Unless you and your fiance are both SUPER into budgeting, Excel spreadsheets, and pie charts, this won’t necessarily be a fun or easy conversation. So talk about setting up a time that you both will be ready to commit to figuring it out in its entirety.  Maybe it’s a Saturday morning brunch with cinnamon rolls and coffee, or a Sunday afternoon pow-wow at your kitchen table with a glass of wine in hand. Whatever puts you both in a good place, do that. Setting aside an intentional time, in a comfortable space, will create a safe and successful environment for this conversation.

That delicious Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake from Rise Grand Rapids!

2 – Talk through your priorities.

Come to the conversation ready to talk priorities. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having a couture wedding dress, an arch full of floral extravagance, or the most decadent chocolate mousse cheesecake you’ve ever tasted (my personal favorite). Make a list of your priorities, in order, and talk through them with your fiancé to make sure you both are on the same page. Let’s say that you both were set on a beach wedding, that would mean that particular location/venue was your top priority and you should devote a good chunk of your budget to that, and maybe not so much on the favors, rentals, or bouquets. Talk through your dreams, discuss your priorities, and narrow it down to a workable list.

3 – Stick to it! 

An on-budget couple is a happy couple. We’re pretty sure it’s the best kept secret in the wedding world.

To be honest…this is the hard part. Sticking to any kind of budget is a tough thing, but a wedding budget can be even more difficult.  Keep each other accountable: don’t spring “new” expenses into the budget, and make sure to keep that communication open! Maybe you discover that your chocolate mousse cheesecake is higher on the list than you originally thought. That’s ok, but you have to talk through the rest of the budget and see if you can move the numbers around first. It is YOUR wedding after all, you’re allowed to change your mind, but keep in mind that your fiancé (and whoever else is involved in the budget) should stay in the know.

Wedding planning is a wonderfully exciting time full of fabulous memories, but it can quickly become an unsure season of chaos if you aren’t honest and committed about where your budget stands. So have the conversation, talk through your priorities, and stick to it!


Happy Budgeting!

These memories are captured by Alyssa & Drew Wagner Photography

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