Money is the primary thing that married couples feud over. But do you realize that the pressure surrounding money starts long before the joyous couple say “I do”. Wedding costs can quickly spiral out of control which is why it’s so crucial to begin the planning by creating a realistic, and manageable budget.

Newly-engaged couples must talk about how each envisions his and her special day. Women work on the assumption that guys don’t care about the details but that’s not always true. It is, after all, the man’s big day too, and he has a family to please as well.

Once the excitement of the engagement wears off, go somewhere quiet and talk about what’s significant to each of you in regards to your wedding day. Listening to your partner’s viewpoint is as vital as talking so be certain to do both. Then, put together a list of what you both wish (to arrive in a horse-drawn coach, lobster, renaissance theme, color scheme, etc.) and what are absolute necessities (for instance a photographer, caterer, wedding attire, rings, etc.). You’re going to use this information when it’s time to allocate your budget.

Once you both have an idea of what’s important, it’s time to crunch the numbers. You’ve got to decide how much money is available now (for instance, in savings accounts, stocks/bonds, real estate, trust funds), how much you’ll have to commit to saving from your ordinary income streams, and how much you can realistically anticipate others to kick in. Depending on how far out the actual wedding date is you may wish to contemplate opening a higher-interest bearing account for the money so that it can earn interest.

When considering what others may be able to put towards the occasion it’s really important that you don’t make unreasonable demands. Take whatever others are willing to bestow graciously and try not to belabor the issue. Getting angry or disheartened in the amounts you are being given isn’t a very mature way of handling the situation.

When you know where the money’s coming from and how much is coming, you’ll know how much you’ll be able to spend. Now make another register of all wedding-related expenses and apportion a dollar amount or the percentage you’re willing to spend next to each item. This will help when you’re actually contracting for these services. Bear in mind that if you go beyond your budgeted amount in one category, you’ll have to scale back another so your budget will stay balanced. Because budgeting is so very critical for most couples, you’ll discover that wedding budget worksheets, software and other tools are available everywhere, so go find one and start using it right now!