Congratulations, you just got engaged and now you get to plan the wedding of your dreams! Time to go shopping for the prettiest wedding dress, book your ideal wedding venue, and select the most gorgeous floral centerpieces to tie everything together. But wait, let’s not forget to book the DJ and the photographer. Oh, and what about the invitations? Oh, yea and then there’s the food and of course your guest will want an open bar!?
Needless to say, weddings can get very expensive, very quickly. Setting both a concise budget and clear expectations early on is the best way to limit stress and overspending while planning your wedding. To set a realistic wedding budget, here are a few helpful tips to follow:
Don’t wait to a have that conversation with whoever will be contributing financially.
Whether it is just the two of you, both sets of parents, or a single family member, the first thing to do is to have that conversation early about what everyone is willing to pay on so that everyone is on the same page once payment is due. Perhaps everyone can be assigned certain aspects to pay. Who will cover the floral, the bar? Will payments be made in full or installments? These are all things to decide upfront.
Once you know how much money you are willing to spend in total, now is the time to decide what you are willing to spend the most money on. If food is most important to you, maybe you will can send out e-invitations and save-the dates and use that money towards premium entrees or extra hors d’oeuvres. Pick the top 3 most important aspects that you are not willing to budge on, and 3 the things that you wouldn’t mind skimping on.
Do your research
You never want to assume pricing for any service in the wedding industry. Perhaps It may come as a shock to you that flowers alone can cost upwards of $2000. Doing research on specific vendors in your town to get an average of pricing for each vendor is a great way to start to allot a realistic amount towards each category.
Always reach out to multiple vendors who offer the same services so that you can compare prices. You may be surprised to learn that some vendors may offer other services that aren’t normally advertised. For example, some DJ’s offer lighting and photobooth services. And some florist also do drapery and linens. It may be cheaper to minimize the number of vendors you hire in total.
Don’t forget fees
It is important to remember when putting aside money that you also account for fees such as delivery and breakdown fees, taxes and service charges, and any other ancillary charges that can really eat into your budget. Being prepared for this will ensure that your aren’t forced to limit special details to account for these pesky charges.
Budget your expectations
When setting a realistic wedding budget, it is best to understand early on that weddings are expensive. It is even more important to understand that your weeding doesn’t have to have a floral wall and fireworks to still be great. Be willing to compromise on certain things and know that no matter what, your day will still be perfect!