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My good friend Garth will soon be walking down the aisle, and over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to observe all his preparations – trips to the tailor, talking with different caterers, etc. What I’ve also observed the amount to spending he has done already – and the wedding is still over a month away. He says nothing, but I believe he never anticipated that a wedding could cost so much money and it’s beginning to stress him out.

Soon Liuda and I will be going down the marriage road, but unlike my friend Garth – we’re aware that happiness and hopefulness of any wedding can also be stricken with the jitterness from bridal budget. Too many times I’ve seen here in Dominica, brides and grooms create elaborate plans that don’t truly reflect the real cost of wedding and that the end causes stress.

Here are five tips I believe anyone who is getting married on a limited budget to avoid getting bridal budget jitters – whether the wedding in two day, two weeks or two months away.

Balance your bridal budget. If you already have a budget in place, go back and start cutting out expenses to give yourself a 25 percent cushion for unexpected costs. This will eliminate the stress that comes with aiming too high with your budget. You will also erase future stress in you knowing that you have planned for unexpected costs. Also you can get friend or family members whose great at finance (and married) to help.

Let Others Help With wedding Expenses. If you don’t have the money you thought you would have for your wedding, delegate one of those items on your budget to a friend or family member. Brides are always being asked, “What do you want for a wedding gift?” But remember: Don’t assign an item on your budget list (flowers, cake, etc.) unless you are asked first. Please don’t ask your friends to help with finances for you wedding – thats just not good manners – wait to be asked.

What are your real budget goals? Is your budget designed to impress friends, family members and co-workers? This is your wedding, and an over-stressed bride can ruin a happy occasion – erase those peer pressure expenses and focus on being relaxed to look your best, without the worry lines and sleep deprivation that comes with bridal budget jitters.

Simplify. Having too much on your planning plate can increase the stress levels of any bride and groom. Reception buffets are less expensive and stressful than formal sit-down luncheons or dinners. Just keep it simple, and watch those bridal jitters disappear.

Finally, stay on track. Now that you’re in smart budget mode for your wedding, every time you revisit your bridal budget is a new opportunity to find a fast way to eliminate an unnecessary financial expense. If you can manage to do this, you won’t start this new chapter in your life suffering from bridal budget stress. Relax. Enjoy your marry life. 🙂 Celebrate.

Photo by:kamele.com – A Maui Wedding Hawaiian Style.

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