Partnered Post: Budgeting for a Dream Wedding in 2013 – Be a goalGetter first!

The holiday season brings to mind mistletoe, popping champagne corks and popping the question. The holidays may be the best time to bask in the glow of engagement. But after the New Year’s festivities are over, it’s time to face reality and focus on creating a detailed wedding budget. Long gone are the golden days when the bride's parents paid for the whole thing. Today's couples are the ones footing the bill and going into marriage hoping to remain debt free with money still in the bank.

This is a Partnered Post

The holiday season brings to mind mistletoe, popping champagne corks and popping the question. The holidays may be the best time to bask in the glow of engagement. But after the New Year’s festivities are over, it’s time to face reality and focus on creating a detailed wedding budget. Long gone are the golden days when the bride's parents paid for the whole thing. Today's couples are the ones footing the bill and going into marriage hoping to remain debt free with money still in the bank.

Partnered Post: Budgeting for a Dream Wedding in 2013 – Be a goalGetter first!

A Good Start

Many couples have trouble knowing where to begin. Depending on your location, many experts agree that budgeting about $100 per wedding guest is a good idea. This allows $50 a head for catering and the remaining $50 goes towards everything else, such as flowers, venue and attire.

Plan Out a Budget

Using a wedding budget planning worksheet to figure out the basics helps keep things organized. If you already know some of the costs, put in the known costs and adjust the others based on your overall budget. While not a wedding tool per se, goalGetter by Advisor Software Inc. is a free app that helps couples visualize their financial goals. This easy-to-use tool allows users to select financial goals and place them onto a timeline, breaking down the necessary monthly saving amount to attain those goals. goalGetter will also tell the couple if the cost of their dream wedding exceeds their savings.

Cross-Cutting Measures

If additional money is needed, start by looking through the budget and crossing off anything you are willing to do without. If the numbers still aren't working out, ask yourself what's really important to you: Is it worth spending thousands on a particular item when low cost alternatives exist? For example, would you compromise getting married on a Friday evening rather than a Sunday morning or switching from November to January? Another common cost cutter is serving only beer and wine at the reception, or, as a variation, you can serve beer, wine and a signature drink. This variation gives your guests more choices but still keeps expenses down.

The most important thing to remember as a goalGetter is to have fun achieving your goal without breaking the bank.

For more information, log on to http://www.advisorsoftware.com/products/goalgetter.asp.

Neal RingquistNeal Ringquist oversees all aspects of Advisor Software’s operations and is responsible for setting and driving the overall company strategy. Most recently, Mr. Ringquist served as vice president of sales and marketing for Morningstar Associates, LLC, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. Prior to Morningstar, Mr. Ringquist was executive vice president of sales, marketing, and client service for mPower.com, Inc., a privately held San Francisco-based investment advisory firm that was acquired by Morningstar in July 2003.  He earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Middlebury College and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

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