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The Wedding Budget

Setting a Wedding budget, particularly during the Credit crunch might be a painful exercise, but it's a necessary evil if you are to avoid a post-Wedding debt hangover.

Follow these tips from The Chief Bridesmaid to put together your Wedding budget simply and quickly:

Work out an overall Wedding budget

First of all, you should sit down and work out what you can both afford to spend. Then find out if your parents will be contributing at all. Your parents will most likely offer this information if they plan to help out in any way.

Traditionally, the bride's parents foot the bill; but with people waiting until they're older to get married, more and more couples are paying for weddings themselves with a small contribution from the parents on either side. 

Prioritise what is important to your big day

Once you've worked out your overall budget, it's time to list out your priorities - work out what's most important to you and those areas you're happy to cut back on.

Do you want to be able to invite lots of guests, but aren't too worried about having a sit down meal? Or are you keen on an amazing ring, but not so worried about a lavish ceremony?

The Guest List

More on this in the Guest list section, but how many guests you want will be a big determining factor on how lavish you can afford to make your wedding. The quickest way to cut your wedding budget is to cut the amount of people on your guest list, so think carefully about exactly who you want to invite.

If you're happy to keep it small and intimate, then you'll have more money to splash out on the catering, or your dress or whichever part of the day is most important to you.

Track your Wedding spending

Wedding budgets made easy with The Chief BridesmaidPut together a spreadsheet TODAY showing your overall budget and a running total of money spent to date. Allocate estimated costs to those areas that you don't have costs for - make these amounts the maximum you'd be willing to spend - and to stick to them!

Check out AOL's wedding budget calculator - you type in your overall budget and it suggests how much you should roughly allocate to each aspect of your wedding.

Little Wedding "extras" can add up

Beware of the little extras - these can really add up to big money. Whether it's Wedding favours or gifts for your parents - make sure you account for these upfront in your budget.

Protect yourselves

Put aside 10% of your wedding budget as a contingency fund - for the unanticipated extras. This should just act as a buffer to protect yourselves if you do go overbudget slightly - or are faced with costs you didn't expect. And if you manage to get through the Wedding planning process without spending it - congratulations - you can always spend it on your honeymoon! 

Now you've sorted out your wedding budget - you can start looking into where to find the best value Wedding dresses, how to save money on your wedding cake and who to invite to your Wedding.