Twig & Olive Photography - mywedding Magazine Summer 2016
Photo: Twig & Olive Photography

Depending on where you get married, a wedding may cost just as much as one's annual income. That's pretty scary to think about, right? But it doesn't have to be. With the right planning tools and these tips, you can manage your wedding budget with ease.

First things first, set your wedding budget.

Once that pretty little ring is on your finger, the next step involves establishing the cost. Start by talking to your families separately about how much they're willing to contribute. Traditionally, the bride's family would cover the tab, but now it's more common to split costs between both sides. Aside from families, determine how much the two of you need to contribute to your overall budget (if at all) throughout the planning process.

A smart way to take it step further: put your money in a separate account. This way, you can easily track any deposits, withdrawals and changes in your wedding spending.

Break it down.

Now that you have your budget, create an organized system. Sign up for a wedding planning checklist and budget planner to figure out how much you should spend and manage your vendors all in one place. Make sure to include your families or anyone else helping cover costs, too. A great way to do this involves using Google Docs so all parties can keep track of payment deadlines and who owes what.

Remember there will be hidden costs, gratuities and other details like marriage license fees. In any case, it's always best to plan to go over budget so you won't be surprised by any unforeseen costs.

Bridal bouquet from mywedding magazine
Photo: Rachel Havel via mywedding Magazine

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.

Every Pinterest-perfect detail may not align with your wedding budget, but that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice your style for cost. Between the two of you, decide what you value most and what's the least important. Do you prefer to spend more on a great photographer than your florals? Would you mind shelling out a few extra bucks for that down you've always dreamt of? From there, work your way down the list to decide which vendors you're willing to invest in more than others.

Cut back whenever possible.

It's not always an easy decision, but one of the best ways you can cut major costs starts with narrowing down your guest list. If you can save even just a little money by DIYing centerpieces instead of buying them, go for it. Use the leftover money for a contingency fund in case you need any extra boutonniere for a family member, or last-minute spot removal for your dress.

For more resources, check out our planning tools and free wedding websites. Happy planning!