He pops the question as you both gaze into the sky hand in hand to usher in the New Year, what a great way to start 2012 and look forward to spending the rest of your life with the one you truly love to share your dreams and aspirations with.
Your wedding dates are set and the reality starts to set in now knowing there is no going back again now as you both start to think seriously about how much you would need to spend. You really wish you could hide away from the money talk at least till the big day and suddenly reappear when all is set but it is not as easy as you wish knowing that you “can’t make it disappear” so get talking with your spouse now and be open and honest about where you both stand financially as individual and how much you plan to save towards the wedding costs.
In Nigeria today, the tradition of the bride’s family solely responsible for the wedding expenses is becoming history as parents of prospective couples are jointly picking up the wedding expenses and more over more couples are also paying for their own weddings themselves today with little or no help from family members which perhaps gives them the spending or saving freedom.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU SET A-SIDE?
Sounds like a business proposal, but in reality if you look at your wedding budget and expenses the same way you scrutinize your business dealings you are more than likely to spend wisely in those areas you both see as important and cut down in other areas and still have savings to live on after the ‘I DO’.
Before you book your venue or embark on a your fairytale wedding spending spree, it’s important to figure out how much you can both afford to spend on your wedding outside what your parents or sponsors are ready to contribute if you are paying for your wedding yourselves.
Your personal budget should play a major role in determining the style of wedding you can truly afford and how much you both want to spend. The size of your wedding really does not determine how much you spend, you can have a small intimate affair and still spend extravagantly on little details without cutting cost and you can also stage a big fabulous wedding and spend less.
The most important factor is to try and stick within your budget either big or small and start planning ahead which gives you the time to compare prices and find bargains too.
FAMILY CONTRIBUTION FUND
It is important to be clear from the beginning where your wedding funds are coming from and who is contributing how much to the wedding budget. This information will go a long way in helping you to reach your financial goals for your wedding and meet all the expenses involve. Often intending couples tend to rely on family members without actually asking them how much they intend to contribute and what ways they want to be involved and eventually disappointment sets in at the final stages due to lack of clarification. It is important to let them know how much you intend to spend and how much you both have to put down and base on this information, they will know how much financial assistance you need or the different elements of the wedding you want them to be financially responsible for.
PLAN WITHIN YOUR FINANCIAL MEANS
The best way to set the wedding budget rolling is by putting a percentage of your monthly incomes aside to offset the expenses before the much anticipated contributions from your families. First and foremost plan around your own personal funds and try to limit yourselves on those elements that your money can accommodate rather than base your wedding budget on contributions from your which may or may not come when you need it.
Also you need to agree on how you both intend to save towards the wedding, it is not unusual for the bride to decide to save more than the groom as most men do would rather save to buy a dream car than splurge on their wedding while his bride would more than likely prefer to make a big impression on her day.
Be honest with yourselves and make a list each of those things you would like to spend your budget on and see those elements that you both see as important to both of you rather than spend your money lavishly on details which will only impress your wedding guests. Think about the style of wedding you would like to have and see if your wedding budget can justify the expenses involve.
It is not uncommon for prospective couple planning their dream wedding to have different opinion on where, what and how to spend their wedding budget but they always eventually arrive at a point where they both have to make inform decisions to perfect their big day.
A bride would usually want to spend more on items that are of great importance to her, she is often torn between choices, fantasies and emotional confusion over certain details especially if surrounded by family and friends who have an high expectations of her, but it is also important to fit all those expenses into the wedding budget for clarity and transparency.
TIPS FOR MY DIVA BRIDE
Honestly, you and i know that every bride desires to stage a fairytale wedding of choice without compromising on her expenses. Not a big deal if your rich parents can pay for it or even better if your spouse rolls in money but if the truth be said, not all that glitter is gold and a grand extravaganza style of wedding does not determine the success of the marriage itself.
Your parents are perhaps the best people to ask for contributions if your budget is running low but sincerely it is equally unfair to impose on them if they really cannot afford to fund your wedding, either wait until its convenient for them or work with a budget that you and your spouse can afford and only invite your closest family members and a few good friends to a small intimate affair.
You can also seek financial assistance from your family members and close friends but remember to give them enough time to work towards the support and be grateful whichever way or form the support comes even if you know that they can afford to do better than what they intend to do.
Remember that the success of the day will be determined by your abilities to work and plan together as a couple by making certain sacrifices which will be beneficial to you tomorrow when all your guests leave and the reality finally sets in.
Elizabeth Badejo Dip WP(Inst WP)
Senior wedding planner
Africa Dream Wedding Company