How to Create & Manage an Effective Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
There’s simply no getting around it: weddings are an expensive affair. With so many moving parts, how does one keep track of every transaction amidst the chaos and stress? That’s where your wedding budget spreadsheet comes in when you’re setting up your wedding planning checklist.
An organised spreadsheet will help you streamline the entire process, easing your stress and burden significantly. Let’s take a quick look at how you can approach it.
The Wiggle Room
For every couple, setting a wedding budget can be a challenge, considering how there’s so much fluidity involved. Rather than sticking to an exact number, it’ll be better to set a range.
Start by reserving 10% to 15% of the initial budget estimation for any unforeseen costs – whether that’d be last-minute additional costs or an increased guest count. Having a wiggle room will allow you to make purchases comfortably, so start with finding a range that you’re comfortable with.
Pro tip: Make a clear distinction between the fixed costs and malleable ones at the very start of the process. Services such as wedding photography and wedding videography services have set estimates, assuming that you don’t adjust the hours of service. Malleable costs are costs that can increase and decrease significantly, and such costs are usually tied to the guest count. Food and bar costs are some examples. Creating such a distinction will give you a better picture of how much wiggle room you will have.
Setting Up the Spreadsheet
As with all budget spreadsheets, yours will display horizontal rows and vertical columns. For the former, include all your wedding vendors in alphabetic order for better organisation. As for the vertical columns, you can use them to track costs and payment process. Some of the details you should include are estimated costs, final costs, the difference and balance.
Alternatively, you can organise them by how much you’re spending for each service, starting from the most expensive to the least expensive.
Ultimately, how you organise your spreadsheet is up to your personal preferences. Though it may seem overwhelming or tedious to note down every single purchase in one sheet, having a detailed spreadsheet will make introducing changes easier.
Managing the Spreadsheet
In order for your spreadsheet to be effective, update it as frequently as possible. Cultivate a habit of inserting new costs as they come in so that you don’t have to scour for receipts when you need to collate everything.
Pro tip: Consider setting your spreadsheet on Google Sheets, where you can share it with your partner and bridal party. If there are any changes that need to be made, anyone from your party can simply include it and it’ll be updated across the board. However, you may want to limit who has the editor privileges lest the numbers move without you knowing. Practise open and prompt communication among those that do to reduce any unnecessary miscommunication.
A well-planned wedding budget is one of the fundamentals of a successful wedding ceremony. Should it crumble, so may your big day. As such, be sure to plan and manage your wedding preparation checklist and budget spreadsheet so that you can enjoy a smooth process when you finally tie the knot!