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Article: Get organized, remain calm

(Thanks goes to St. Louis’ Best Bridal website for this article…you may read it on that website�HERE)

BridalCouplePlanningPCIt happens wedding after wedding. A couple plans the budget for the wedding, yet the numbers somehow seem to double.

The process really isn�t magical. For one reason or another, expenses don�t match expectations throughout your planning and unscheduled expenses pop up.

Therefore, it is imperative to be organized. A few management tips help keep planning in check and on schedule.

SAVE ALL RECEIPTS

Keep every receipt that pertains to your wedding, preferably in a large, specific envelope. Knowing where every nickel and dime has gone, you won�t be baffled to see the path your budget follows along the way. Also, saving receipts keeps you from forgetting minor expenses. Misplacing a few dollars here and there adds up as a sure-fire way to run over budget.

MAKE A SPREADSHEET

You can see every item as it is decided. Organize the spreadsheet to your taste by color coding, divide and title it any way that makes sense to you. A spreadsheet also helps track expenses when receipts are lost. Thus, if you accidentally misplace the paperwork, your budget stays up-to-the-minute electronically.

LIST AND ADD DETAILS

Not knowing what is due at which time disorganizes both bride and groom. What was purchased and how? Was it by check, credit or cash? Make a list of everything you pay and what it bought. Add columns to show how much is due, by when and how you will pay for it. Immediately list an expense as it is incurred and paid, fill out matching columns.

SIT DOWN AND DECIDE

Before setting plans in motion, decide who can pay for what. Becoming married takes an �I do.� The �I did it� party should be a wonderful memory. No rule about who pays for what at a wedding is set in stone.

Many couples contribute to their own wedding. Established or starting out, they must consider financial priorities when prioritizing how their wedding should look as it unfolds. Parents in a less traditional setting can offer to pay for specific items, such as invitations and flowers.

These traditional guidelines are simplified.

WHO PAYS FOR WHAT

THE BRIDE AND HER FAMILY

� Clothing for bride and her parents

� Wedding ring and gift for groom, gifts for bridesmaids

� Ceremony site, music, rented�equipment, such as arch and carpet

� Save-the-dates, invitations, programs, thank-you notes

� Bouquets for bridesmaids, corsages for grandmothers, flowers for�ceremony and reception

� Reception expenses: site, decorations, food and drink, music, cake, favors, photo booth

� Transportation of wedding party and others as necessary to various sites: preparation, ceremony, photo locations, reception, perhaps after-party

� Wedding photography/videography

� Accommodations for out-of-town relatives/guests

THE GROOM AND HIS FAMILY

� Rehearsal dinner

� Clothing for groom and his family

� Wedding ring and gift for bride; gifts for groomsmen/ushers

� Bride�s bouquet, mothers� corsages, boutonnieres for groom, groomsmen, ushers

� Marriage license and officiant fee

� Transportation for groom and best man to ceremony

� Honeymoon arrangements

Daily management of plan keeps budget within reach of goals.

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