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Planning a wedding can seem like a daunting task.  But that shouldn’t equate to you pulling your hair out because of missed steps and sweating over money overspent or miscellaneous things that may go awry in the planning stages. No matter how big your Big Day is–a low-key, family and friends event, a grand soiree or a destination wedding–your BFFs at Slice we want to help you stay on track and within your limits in the planning stages so the final celebration is just that: a joyful occasion to remember (for the right reasons).

Make a budget (and stick to it!). Getting married shouldn’t have to mean dishing out money extravagantly or spending outside your comfort zone. With weddings there will always be tempting (and derailing) add-ons…that draping, the photo booth, those ceremony decorations… and they are hard to resist! But think about it: if you stick to what you know you can afford you won’t be stressed to pull together funds or worry about how you’re going to pay for all that. A tip: if everyone is contributing to fund the event, pool all the money together before you start making decisions so you know just how much you can spend. Real Simple has made a planning spreadsheet with budget suggestions you can fill out along the way.

Watch out for those pesky extras! Be aware that certain extras, like overtime costs or cost of cleanup, will only come up the day of and might be inevitable. If you factor them into your budget ahead of time and maybe even make a separate account just for the unexpected, no nasty surprises will come your way.

A budget doesn’t mean you can’t splurge! The gown of your dreams? You can still consider it a possibility – that is, if you adjust your other wedding needs to fit a tighter wallet. For example, could you plan your wedding to take place January-April? This, bridal expert Sharon Naylor explains, is when weddings packages are cheaper. Also think long-term – if you splurge on gorgeous Louboutins, could you wear them again on some other occasion(s)?

Time flies (when you’re having fun). It’s great to be in love and bask in the excitement of the moment (and so you should!), but the big day will be here sooner than you expect, so get planning early on (i.e. months). Avoid upsets by setting goals (“I want to have the invites sent by…”) and keeping a calendar with important dates – meetings with vendors, calls with locales, dress fittings – where you can see it. The Knot has a calendar countdown you might follow.

Talk! Planning independently can be incredibly time-consuming. If the groom is involved in the planning, you will have a monumental shared experience and probably nail down all the details faster. Just make sure to keep an open line of communication – sit down and set out, clearly, who’ll be doing what to avoid double-bookings or missed reservations.

Buy online, outsource stress.  Keeping track of everything you’ve bought and managing returns can be a big pain, and if you aren’t organized, it can’t be costly. Buy online and let Slice organize your receipts, track those shipments, help with returns and even save money with price drop notifications.  No offense to your Maid of Honor, but the Slice app will be your BFF as you manage the growing pile of small details.

Planning for a wedding non-stop can be exhausting, so take a break. Hang out with friends, read a book, get a massage – you deserve it!

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