Setting your budget is not only the first task on your I Do List but the most important. As you probably know, your budget controls everything and you shouldn’t do any planning until it’s set. However, even with a set budget we find that most couples make these five mistakes….

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#1 – Not Being Realistic. The number one mistake most couples make is not being realistic about what they can get for their budget. While I’m a big advocate for having the wedding you can afford, it’s important to be realistic about what your funds can get you. Before setting your guest list and making one of these other planning mistakes, do some research of average costs in your area to be sure you’re being realistic.

#2 – Overspending. Overspending is common. Rarely do you match your budget down to the penny. However, the mistakes comes when you consistently overspend, even by a couple hundred dollars here and there, without underspending somewhere else.

#3 – Not Having a Contingency. Contingency funds are the key to every wedding budget. While they can cover overspending in certain areas, there are also last minute expenses that always pop up.

#4 – Forgetting the Smaller Items. You may remember to budget for all the bigger expenses – venue, attire, catering, photography, etc. – but the small items will kill your budget. You’ll want to be sure you’ve got room in the budget for things like wedding party gifts, accessories, candles, cake cutting set, cake topper, guest book, candles and so much more.

#5 – Getting Estimates on a Low Guest Count. A huge budget killer comes the final weeks before your wedding but it’s 100% avoidable. When gathering estimates for your wedding, base your estimated guest count on a higher number than you think will actually attend. For example, if you invite 100 people, industry percentages state you should expect around 80 to attend (18-20% decline rate). If you base all your estimates on 75-80 guests and 90 end up attending it means you’re spending even more money in the last couple of weeks. While theoretically you should have contingency to cover it, chances are you’ve already spent that elsewhere. If you base your estimates on a higher than expected guest count, you’ll know you’re safe.

Have you made any of these budgeting mistakes? Do you have a budget tip to share with other couples? Continue the conversation with us in our Facebook group!

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