The one thing that will set the tone for your wedding more than themes or colors or even the reception hall you choose is how much money you have to spend. Although sitting down and creating a wedding budget might not seem like the most romantic first step in planning the wedding of your dreams, it’s never a good idea to start clipping photos out of bridal magazines or trying on wedding dresses until you know your wedding budget.

Know Where the Money Will Come From

While it might be the tradition for the bride’s family to provide the wedding funds, this doesn’t have to be the case. In today’s society of blended families, unique living situations, and marriages happening later in life, it’s not uncommon for the money to come from different places. Before you set your wedding budget, know how much you can expect from various sources. Never depend on income until you’ve spoken with family members and your spouse-to-be.

Determine How Much You Can Spend

Utah weddings run a wide variety of ranges, but $8,500 should get you an incredible day from start to finish. This can include everything from a top-of-the-line reception hall to a wedding dress, flowers, photography and food. However, because every wedding is a little bit different (and the size of your guest list will have an impact on total cost), don’t feel too pressured to adhere to this number. Great weddings can (and have) been planned for less.

Choose the Right Venue

The dress. The food. The photographer. The flowers. All of these things are important—but not nearly as much as the venue. If you’re looking for the most cost-effective way to throw an elegant wedding, find a reception hall in Utah that provides more than just a physical location for your guests to sit down. All-inclusive wedding venues include options in catering, music, decorations, seating, linens, and even an event planner to help it all come together. This will substantially cut back on how much money (and time) you will have to spend. DIY events almost always cost more financially in the end and the physical and emotional costs are always greater creating an event where the bride, her family and close friends are exhausted emotionally before it begins – let alone the clean up!

Keep Track of Everything

Some couples set up a bank account just for wedding expenses in order to ensure they stay on budget. Others keep close track of their spending with receipts or by entering everything into a spreadsheet. Still others rely on wedding planning apps that allow you to make the most out of your smartphone. Whichever platform you choose, make sure you’re consistent with it. The easiest way to overspend on anything is to neglect to keep good records.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

With a little advance planning, most brides and grooms are able to stay on budget for the big things: the dress and the reception hall, the caterer and the honeymoon. It’s the details that tend to creep up on you. Last-minute DIY wedding projects almost always end up going over budget, and those small touches to the wedding favors or your desire for matching bridesmaid shoes can end up pushing you over budget. While the details can make the wedding, try not to fixate too much on things that most people won’t notice anyway. As long as you have the big pieces in place and on budget, the rest of your wedding should come together exactly as you want it to.