If you are reading this, you are likely getting married or know someone who is about to say, “I do”. Either way, what you need to know is, a lot of people are going to share a lot of “do’s” and “don’t” and what you should do is, don’t do it. Do what you think you want your wedding to be like.

Let me tell you something that happened with one of my former colleagues. He and his fiancé tied the knot at a big ceremony, they went on their honeymoon and everything was great. But what they did to make their wedding dream come true was, they applied for a huge loan and of course the bank let them have it, so for example if they earned 100 per month, the amount they had to pay per month was 75 – which is great if you’re single. However, if you are a newly married couple it’s not the best of ideas since you are about to start getting to know each other and, having a financial burden like that doesn’t help your relationship. My colleague and the wife had constant banter because they couldn’t get everything they wanted (you can’t always get what you want, but in their situation, they were financially stuck). Random dinner dates were out, surprise flower bouquets were not possible, the only surprise was the salary delay they had to face. In other words, the ‘honeymoon phase’ ended soon. So dear reader, keep in mind that you should not prepare only for your wedding, but also your marriage.

There are great merchants who will work with your budget. Find them and stick to your gut and not what the ‘aunties’ have to say. Want a rustic wedding but your uncle doesn’t think it’s a clever idea? Who cares? He probably doesn’t know what a rustic wedding is to begin with.

You and your partner along with your parents (if they are financially helping you out) decide on a budget and don’t budge! There are great apps and websites which uses algorithms to show you how much you may spend on the venue, food for the reception, wedding dress, groomsmen’s attire, cake structures and everything else. So, use the power of modern technology to get the best for your wedding, because it’s your wedding – not your family’s, friends’ or neighbors’, it’s yours and your partners. Don’t get me wrong, advise is great but at the end of the day, it’s your day. If you feel unsure about anything get a good internet connection and research. Also, parents are very helpful even though sometimes it may seem like they are nagging. Trust the writer, the writer completely understands.

Don’t cut corners with important things, once again that could mean different things to different people. So if the décor is more important to you, do what you like and expand the budget in that area a little and reduce the budget you have for the wedding car; if it’s the jewelry you think is more important then increase the money you spend on that and get a lesser package at the wedding venue. But don’t forget to budget out things you may need for church/ temple etc. by this what is meant is the offertory or décor or any other expenses which are to be made on the big day.

Finally, budget out a small amount for the day of the wedding because there are small things you will need on that day to buy. Keep someone in charge of that money (not the parents or retinue as they will be busy), it could be a close relative or friend who will be around incase anything does come up and trust the writer, something will come up. But all those things are what will make your wedding unique. And don’t forget, your merchants will help you. After all, it is their livelihood and they have done a lot of weddings while this your first (or if you’re Larry King, your ninth) so ask them for suggestions and they will be more than happy to help. To sum up, it’s your wedding and you’ll only have one of those if you do it right and that’s the long-term goal. Therefore, make a comfortable budget and try not to invite people who will not be a part of your future because you probably can add that money to your honeymoon fund.

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