One of the first questions you and your fiancé should ask each other after you get engaged, is one that may seem a bit too awkward and premature (but trust us, it's not): how much money should you spend on the wedding? If you wait a couple of weeks or even a few months, you may find yourself using every ounce of your savings account to afford things you never knew you needed or planned to spend your cold-hard cash on. So before you're pulling pennies from your couch cushions, here are five ways to decide what your wedding budget should be.
1. What Kind of Wedding Do You Want?
The first thing to decide is what kind of wedding do you want to have? Are you looking to have a black-tie or destination wedding? Determining the style is something that help you know how much you're going to spend.
2. How Many People You Plan to Invite?
Will you keep it small or invite more people than you ever imagined you knew? The more people you invite, the more you'll spend upfront on the wedding.
See More: 50 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Budget
3. Use an Online Budget Tool
Reference an online budget tool that will show you the main things you'll spend money on during the wedding and an estimate of how much it will cost.
4. Find Out Who Is Chipping In
Ask to see if any family members are going to chip in for the wedding. That will determine how much needs to come out of your pocket.
5. Make a List of Must-Haves
Start by making a list of 10 things you definitely want to have at your wedding and the max amount you will spend on each. That way, when you are talking to vendors you have your max price that you'll pay and you can negotiate from there.
*Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of *All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.