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Wedding Planning: Prioritize to Stay Within Your Wedding Budget

So you're planning your wedding and a thousand decisions must be made! It can be an exciting, but tiring experience to pull off the wedding of your dreams, especially within your budget.

The best way to evaluate how and where to allocate your wedding budget is to determine exactly what your priorities are. What do you deem important for your Big Day? What specific areas or elements of the wedding ceremony and reception do you value the most?

Remember: there are no right or wrong answers! The priorities you and your fiancé place on various aspects of your wedding simply reflect who you are as individuals and who you are together as a couple. Price, however, is an important factor in determining your priorities in many instances. You may choose some elements of your wedding to be practical and affordable, thereby allowing you to indulge in certain items or areas that are your "favorites".

When you decide to sit down and pinpoint definitive priorities, you've won half the battle. It's easy to delegate money and tasks when you understand what is the most important to you, as well as what is the least important.

Task: (Note: You'll probably want to set aside 30 minutes to an hour for this.)

1. Grab two pieces of paper so you and your fiancé can each create a separate list (no peeking!) of the top 20 places to which you would like to assign money. As well, include a rough estimate of what amount may be spent for every item on your list. When you are finished, add up the total of your estimates to ensure that it does not exceed your budget's allowance.

2. If you are having trouble coming up with dollar amounts, try using percentages instead. Set aside 10% of your wedding budget for miscellaneous expenses, and using the remaining 90%, allocate a percentage to each item on your list. This will put your priorities in order.

3. Compare lists and discuss.

You may find that you value some things less than you initially thought...good! This means that you're closer to deciding what parts will or will not play a big role in your wedding. If you and your fiancé have conflicting top choices...even better! Talk about where you can compromise or meet in the middle. This is the perfect opportunity to amalgamate your ideas and expectations to create a wedding that suits both of you perfectly.

When you fully understand what your priorities are as a couple, you'll be better prepared to make honest decisions that will get you closer to the wedding of your dreams. By properly identifying and understanding your priorities, you'll be more satisfied with your choices and will more readily stay within your wedding budget.

About the Author

Jennifer Benson is Vice President and cofounder of Wedding Websites, a leading online wedding service provider. WedQuarters offers complete personal wedding websites, enhanced with online and toll free wedding RSVP services.

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