Your budget is one of the first things that you should sit down and discuss when planning your wedding. It also has the potential to cause the most stress during the planning process. Below are 3 things that could significantly affect your wedding budget and add to your wedding planning stress – location, time of year, and guest count.

1. Where you wed. The location of your wedding and reception will play a huge role in the creation of your wedding budget. Well-known venues or those that are located in popular areas will generally charge more than smaller venues or those outside of major cities. Venues also have different packages and policies that you’ll need to consider. For example, some venues might require you to use their vendors, some of which might not fit into your budget. Many venues also have minimum headcount requirements for catering that may exceed your guest list. It’s important to look at the average cost of the cities and venues in your area before you make a final decision on where you want to celebrate your marriage.

2. Time of the year. Wedding seasons make a huge difference in cost. Planning to get married on a Saturday in the summer? There’s a good chances are you’re going to end up paying a lot more for your wedding. Review your budget and see how it fits within the venue and location you have in mind. Then, consider hosting your wedding in another season or on another day of the week to save on costs. Fridays & Sundays have become more popular, cost saving options. Vendors might also be able to offer you discounts for off-peak days and seasons.

3. Guest count. This is the one area that can easily get out of hand. Between both of your families, your friends, coworkers, and parents’ “suggestions”, your guest count can skyrocket before you know it. The fact is, your guest count is going to consume the largest part of your wedding budget. So it pays to be strategic about who you’re inviting. Most venues will charge you for everything from food, drinks, & cake even to the chair your guest will be sitting on. So think twice about inviting that aunt you haven’t seen in 3 years or that friend from high school you haven’t spoken to in 10. Sit down with you’re your spouse-to-be and agree on how many guests you want to invite and stick to it!

If you truly want to hold firm to your wedding budget and not be knee deep in debt when you get back from your honeymoon, carefully plan your finances before you even begin planning your wedding. Working with a wedding planner can also be an asset, as they should be able to help you find more cost effective options and keep you on track financially.

Check out our blog You’re Engaged, Now What? for more tips on what to do before you start planning your big day. For even more, check out our blog home page.

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