A wedding is one of the biggest purchases a couple will ever make. Some people might hear that fact and think it makes complete sense. Others might be more skeptical: why should a wedding be such a massive, financial commitment? Of course, weddings have been around for quite a long time and they are an important and treasured ritual for those committing to a partnership. Still, they are pretty expensive…
At David Sklar and Associates, we’re always here to help those who need professional advice and guidance on how to regain full control over their financial life and future.
Whether your wedding budget is $10,000 or $1,000 or even $100,000, it’s crucial that you know how to budget for this special day. Weddings have a reputation for being stressful and expensive experiences. How many horror stories have you heard about fighting fiancés, meddling relatives, and the dwindling bank accounts that come with the whole shebang?
There have even been public news reports about newlyweds who have been so wiped out from the wedding that they turn on their guests for not giving generous enough gifts. The just-married folks contacted their guests to express that the gift they received was insufficient to cover the costs so they demand more money. But that’s not really the spirit of a wedding, is it? The point is to have a wonderful day with friends and family while celebrating your new commitment to your partner.
Wedding planning, however, does not have to be such a burden. With a thorough and thoughtful spending plan, brides on any budget can reduce their wedding planning stress and make it as fun as can be. Summer’s here and that means that wedding season is upon us. It’s a great time for engaged folks to take a look at what other couples are doing and take notes.
To make sure you know how to make and stick to a wedding budget for your upcoming nuptials, we’re outlining some of the common budgeting mistakes that people make when getting married. Get in touch with a bankruptcy trustee in Ontario today and start preparing for your dream wedding.
1. Being Too Afraid to Ask Questions
Ever heard someone say, “no question is a stupid question”? While it might be hard to believe, especially when in situations with lots of social pressure, you really gain nothing by being too afraid to ask for more information.
Weddings come with a lot of costs and there are many different traditions and ideas about who will pay for what. It can surely be awkward to be the initiator in a conversation about who is paying for what, but you can’t avoid those talks.
Talk with your partner, family, and your in-laws-to-be about who is paying for what. Try talking to each family separately in order to have the most productive discussions — getting all the parents together for the first time and then bringing up the costs of the wedding can quickly make your life complicated.
If you have family that is contributing, ask them for the dollar amount or make it clear what they’ll be covering. Maybe they are willing to pay for the open bar, the band, or the venue rental. You might not know exactly the dollar amount, but you can still plan around their contributions.
Not sure what kind of questions you should be asking yourself as you make your plans? Here are a few key points that you need to have in mind when making plans for your wedding.
Since there is a cost per head when it comes to planning out a wedding’s food and drink, the number of guests you have will greatly affect how much you have to spend at the end of the day. Food and drink typically make up the biggest expenses of an entire wedding, so a carefully planned guest list can keep you from blowing your budget.
If you live in a major city, then you know that city life usually comes with a higher price tag than the suburbs or country. Remote wedding destinations, however, come with their own set of costs. Your flowers will be delivered from a far-away distance, and entertainment and guests will have to put in the extra time and effort to get to the venue.
Date and Time
Some times of the year are just so popular and desirable for hosting a wedding that you might have to pay a premium to get what you want. Evening receptions typically cost more than brunch or afternoon receptions, both in regards to rental costs and overall wedding costs since people tend to eat and drink less during daytime events.
2. Not Dividing Costs Correctly
As the master of the wedding budget, it is your job to figure out how much you need to spend to meet your wants and needs. You should set your expectations accordingly since many couples find themselves continually shocked by the prices they encounter while making their wedding arrangements.
For reference, the average wedding costs $33,931, which is a pretty significant number. Your budget will be yours to decide since the total amount you spend will reflect your financial constraints as well as the things you truly prioritize. Take a look at the following percentage breakdown that you can use as a reference point when creating your wedding spending plan.
- Reception, 48-50%
- The ceremony, 2-3%
- Attire, 8-10%
- Flowers, 8-10%
- Entertainment, 8-10%
- Photography and/or videography, 10-12%
- Invites and thank-you cards, 2-3%
- Rings, 2-3%
- Transportation, 2-3%
- Gifts, 2-3%
- Miscellaneous, 8%
Of course, these numbers will be specific to your vision of the Big Day. For instance, if you are having a destination wedding or want to take care of your guests’ overnight costs, you will need to factor in accommodation. You should also build a contingency fund into your budget.
Put 5% of your wedding money aside to cover any emergency expenses. If you want to do a honeymoon right after the wedding, you should budget for that, too. Many couples take a break between the wedding and the honeymoon, giving them a little bit of time to recover from all their major spending.
3. Losing Track of Spending
It can happen in a second and before you know it, you’ve completely lost track of how much you’ve spent and what you’ve already bought. To make sure your spending stays where it should be and that you and your to-be spouse know exactly what’s what, follow these tips.
Make a System
Come up with a plan for tracking costs as you go. You can use budgeting software to stay on track or write things down with paper and pen — whatever works for you.
Explore Hidden Costs
Will your caterer charge for overtime? Do you have to pay extra for unedited photo files? Ask your wedding vendors as many questions as you can to avoid that feeling of getting an unexpected bill.
Know You’re Probably Going to Go Over Budget
Ever heard anyone use the phrase: “budgets are meant to be broken”? Like rules, budgets are not always going to keep everything under control. It’s likely that you will go over budget since you simply can’t predict every single cost that will come your way. To make sure this doesn’t cause a crisis, plan your budget with plenty of breathing room. Ideally, you overestimate your costs and are left with some money to spare.
4. Not Knowing When You Need Help with Debt
Planning a wedding is stressful on its own. If you’re living with debt and struggling to make progress with your finances, then you need to take action. It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge the difficulties in your life and take action to change them. When it comes to getting relief from difficult debt, one of the best things you can do is visit a credit professional like a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
These professionals, who formerly were called bankruptcy trustees, are federally regulated professionals who give financial advice and services to those who are experiencing problems with debt. A bankruptcy trustee will never tell you what to do or make you go forward with a method of debt relief that isn’t right for you. They are there to facilitate your debt recovery by helping you make the most informed choice about how to regain control over your finances.
Book a consultation with your local bankruptcy trustee and they will help you make sense of your financial future. Sometimes when living with lots of stress from debt it is possible to lose sight of long-term goals. We get tunnel vision and only live in the here and now of worrying and stress. A bankruptcy trustee can help you recalibrate your perspective on your financial situation and start to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
When Debt Is More Than Debt: Insolvency
Everyone’s level of comfort with debt is different. Some people are okay with having some “good debt” in their lives because they are trying to build their credit score. Others would rather never sign up for a credit card, and don’t like the idea of buying with credit at all. The thing about debt, however, is that it is not something you should leave unattended.
If you are living with the fear that you are insolvent, we understand how hard it is to be going through what you’re going through. Especially if you’ve never had to confront your debt head-on, it can be extremely intense and difficult to do so.
Debt Relief Options
There are two forms of federally regulated debt relief that are both meant to give a person a second chance. There are all sorts of reasons why someone might be unable to meet their financial obligations and find themselves in a position of insolvency.
Don’t discount the ways that bankruptcy affects aspects of your life aside from your bank account. Your personal relationships might be incredibly tense under the pressure of insolvency. You could be struggling to focus at work or constantly dodging irritating calls from collections officers. You might even experience the physical symptoms of stress such as fatigue, insomnia, or tummy troubles.
All of this is to say that the personal aspect of debt recovery is going to be a big part of how you get back on track. As a result, it’s important to team up with a trustee with whom you have an excellent rapport, whose company makes you comfortable, and who really takes the time to get to know you and your situation. Bankruptcy trustees are the ideal professional with which to consult when you’re trying to assess your potential next steps. Here’s why:
- They will provide you with a full scope of your options. Their credentials and authorizations make them incredibly knowledgeable about consumer proposals, bankruptcy in Canada, and Division 1 Proposals.
- They deal with creditors directly on your behalf, which means that you don’t have to lose any sleep over calls with credit card companies.
- They are qualified to give the advice they give. Every bankruptcy trustee has demonstrated their knowledge, experience, and skill to the Office Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB).
- They are federally regulated (and so are their fees). For starters, Licensed Insolvency Trustees are subject to ongoing oversight by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). You can trust that they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to work within those regulations.
Friendly and Supportive Financial Advice
We are credit professionals who have serviced a diverse body of clients, so we are familiar with the emotional and personal tolls of difficult debt. Those who need to go through a federally regulated debt recovery plan are going through a difficult time, and we never lose sight of that.
Your trustee can teach you about a bankruptcy vs consumer proposal and how the different methods of debt relief would work for you. In some cases, credit counselling is enough to improve a person’s spending habits and get them on the right track.
We also understand how much work has to go into getting back on one’s feet after something like a bankruptcy or consumer proposal. Our credit professionals are skilled in offering the counselling and support that individuals need when planning out how to bounce back after bankruptcy.
Want to educate yourself a bit on what it’s like to recover from a debt relief plan? Follow this link here for a quick bankruptcy recovery guide that covers all the major points of what it’s really like to get back on your feet. Don’t let debt cast a shadow over one of the most important days of your life.