Decide how much you want to save from each paycheck.
First figure out how much you think your wedding will cost. Say you want to go with the $30,000 mark and your parents and his are chipping in equally. Everyone must come up with $10,000. And say you each get paid twice per month. $10,000 divided by 24 is $417. Divided by 2 (for you and your fiancé) means you’ll each have to save $200 per paycheck, or $100 per week. You can play with the numbers how your budget dictates. Remember to build in a buffer, as wedding budgets typically go over. See the hidden fees section of Budget Hacks for details.
Pay “yourself” first.
I subscribe to the Suzy Orman philosophy of paying yourself first when trying to save money. She advises her followers to set up an automatic transfer into a savings account when saving money. In this case your automatic transfer will go into your wedding checking account. If you need to save $200 per pay-period, than have $200 automatically transfer into your wedding checking account before you do anything else.
Cut back on little unnecessary expenses.
OK, this might not be over-looked in the sense that you didn’t know about it. Rather, it’s overlooked because it’s difficult and not so fun. But at the end of the day, you know this is true. I know this is true. Magazines know this is true because you see it everywhere: Eat out less, brew your own coffee in stead of going to Starbucks, paint your own nails, forego pedicures in the winter months, etc. Normally I would say cut out one thing at a time, but if you need a bunch of money to get married in a year, and you have your heart set on certain pricy items (and what’s not pricy in wedding world?) than you’re going to have to big-girl up and save the money through sheer sacrifice. But better to do it for one year, than for the rest of your life as you struggle to pay off wedding day debt.
Audit your bills.
Is there anything else you can cut back on? Have magazine subscriptions? Don’t renew them. Cancel cable and watch Netflix instead, or better yet read books from the library. If you’re one of those folks who hates reading, well, then rent videos from the library. Downgrade your cell phone plan and regulate long conversations to nights and weekends, when they are free.
I subscribe to Frugally Wed’s philosophy that you have one of two choices (especially if you’re paying for the entire wedding yourself) You can have a budget wedding quickly, or you can wait, save longer and have a so-called typically-priced wedding with all the trimmings.
But for Pete’s sake, Don’t go into debt over this!