Wedding Budget Planning (On Budget)

It is undoubtedly the problem child in the room.  The pesky thing that gets in the way of your wedding hopes and dreams. That’s right, the dreadful Wedding Budget.  It’s often daunting to plan the wedding of your dreams around a finite item like a “max budget.”  It’s easy to get lost in the extraordinary prices you often see for venues, vendors, rentals and more.  With each step you get closer and closer, but with so many more things you’d like to add for the day.  Below we’ll talk about how to achieve your wedding goals in two ways, which is one, to stay on budget, and two, to melt away the stress of your budget to enjoy your wedding day. 

  1. Setting the budget.
    More often than not, it is easy to “add to the budget as you go,” and that often turns into a regret of many couple’s who spend beyond their means and end up with debt, and/or little to no little savings left.  A Wedding is supposed to be a celebration of love and life, not credit card debt.  Set a budget you are comfortable with and do your best to stick with it. 
  2. Hire a Wedding Planner.
    This may come as a surprise, but hiring family or friends to do important jobs for your wedding day can end up costing you more.  If your friend is a pro-photographer and they are offering it to you as a gift, save the money and go with them, just remember they can’t sit down to enjoy your wedding, they need to work the whole time (goes for any vendor role working your wedding).  A Wedding Planner will pay for themselves by recommending where to save money in your budget, how to save on vendors, venues, and more.  A Wedding Planner with connections will be worth the time and investment alone.
  3. Remember that a wedding is a celebration, and while it is fun to go big, there are some elements that people simply won’t remember about your wedding day.  The important items are your venue, food, bar and dancing. Whether in a wedding venue or a backyard, you can have these things and people will still have a fabulous time.  The places you can save most are:
    • Linens – ask someone what color your linens were at your wedding, they won’t remember, so go with standard rentals or options that don’t cost to much. 
    • Centerpieces – you’d be amazed the pricing difference between difference florists, be sure to shop around.  They’ll brighten up the room, but they’ll be taken home by guests at the end of the evening, no need to spend a fortune.
    • The Wedding Party Outfits – The couple getting married should always feel they had their top pick, but their Wedding Party dresses and suits are likely only to be worn once or twice, no need to spend a ton of money on their outfits.  There are lots of places where you can get a bridesmaid dress for under $100. 
    • Flip the Space – instead of renting chairs for the ceremony and reception, if they are in the same place try to reuse the chairs and some of the flowers for your reception.  A few members of your wedding party and your Planner / Coordinator will help with switching it up during the cocktail hour.
    • Your VENUE – this is a big one!  Just because a wedding venue is popular doesn’t mean it is the best around.  We often see couple’s booking $30K wedding venues on a $40K budget only to realize the extra costs that come with venues like that (hidden fees like valet, security, cleaning, etc) will go up quickly, and before you know it you are at your budget with no wiggle room for food, vendors, etc…
    • Timing – No need for a 10+ hour wedding, most guests will be worn out after 8 hours between the ceremony and reception.  No need to pay extra hours (if paying by the hour).
    • Catering – Same as the venue, it’s easy to spend a fortune on catering.  You know your guests the best.  Will they only be happy with Filet Mignon, or do you think they’ll be OK with NY Strip? Either way they’re usually getting a free meal, so it’s not always necessary to go too over the top here.

Every Wedding is special and unique, and it is important that the recommendations above be taken in stride.  We understand that each person’s dream wedding has certain aspects, such as centerpieces to the ceiling or the world’s most famous wedding photographer, but it is also important to remember not to allow your budget to cause stress while planning your wedding.  Visit your goals closely with your partner and discuss what is most important, and where you can trim/save.  Doing this early on will create a peacefulness around the entire Wedding Planning process, and allow you to enjoy your engagement and most importantly, your wedding day!

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