Fall is upon us and winter is not far behind. This colder season is often when newly engaged couples begin their planning for spring and summer weddings. Kansas State University Research and Extension saw that planning a wedding is huge event and often a large investment. Cindy Williams, extension agent, and Elizabeth Kiss, Ph.D., extension specialist, put together a helpful guide, “With This Ring … We Plan!” It’s about how to plan the perfect wedding celebration on a budget. 

Wedding planning is wonderfully exciting, but also stressful. Weddings are expensive. According to one source, the average 2014 wedding in the U.S. cost $30,000, and 45 percent of couples went over their initial budgets, according to weddings.about.com

Deciding on the budget up front and sticking to it will avoid the extra anxiety along the way. Sit down with your future spouse and decide on two to three must-haves for your perfect wedding. For example, do you want the perfect, dreamy venue? Do you want an expert, high-cost photographer? Do you want an exotic honeymoon destination?

It is always important to consult parents or other family members about what is affordable if they have offered to foot the bills. Continue open and honest communication with family members if they are paying a specific part of the wedding. 

There are 10 major expenses when it comes to celebrating nuptials. In order of most expensive to least: reception, photographer/videographer, attire, entertainment, flowers, ceremonies, gifts, rings, stationary and transportation. Rate where you want your money to go because the budget will go quickly.

This helpful fact sheet gives tips to managing wedding costs. Establishing a healthy relationship with budgeting starts with your wedding. Couples who learn to manage money early on in their marriage can avoid extra stress later on including accruing debt. 

There is a fun, supplemental resource, “The Wedding Spending Game,” that you and your fiancé can use to decipher what is most important to each of you before you get started. 

If you would like your own copy of “With This Ring … We Plan!” or “The Wedding Spending Game,” please stop by the K-State Research and Extension – Leavenworth County office at 613 Holiday Plaza in Lansing. For other questions on this topic or others, call our office at 913-364-5700 or email Chelsi Myer at chelsim@ksu.edu

A wedding celebration is special. Avoid extra stress by planning proactively with your future spouse.

Chelsi Myer is a family and consumer science agent with K-State Research and Extension – Leavenworth County.