He proposes, you say yes, and then it’s time to PLAN your dream wedding day! You sit down to create a list of the many aspects of this exciting celebration and realize it’s becoming a very long list: your venue, photographer, caterer, florist, invitations, decor, dress, videographer, DJ, coordinator, hair & makeup…yikes! We know creating a wedding budget can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to keep you up in the wee hours of the night.
From planning our own wedding and being in the wedding industry for over 7 years, we want to share 3 helpful ways to prioritize your wedding budget:
1. Prioritize What Matters Most to You
This is key. We consider this to be the most important step of the process because it will help you allocate your actual costs according their significance to YOU. This wedding day is unique to you, your fiance and your families, so plan it that way. Let it represent you and don’t worry about how your wedding compares to anyone else’s.
Ask yourself: Do I care more about a rocking dance party or delicious food? Are you willing to spend more money on a photographer or a coordinator you really trust if it means sacrificing some less significant things on the list? We encourage couples to create their individual ‘Top 3’ categories and then talk about it together to decide where you’re willing to splurge and where you’ll choose to save.
Some things to ask yourself about each vendor category:
1.Is this an important category for us personally? Is it what we want, or are we doing it because others expect it?
2. Will this have any lasting impact? Will we regret not including this in our day?
3. Is this a place we can save money and add value elsewhere?
2. Be Flexible
As you move forward talking with vendors, you will have to have some flexibility with your expectations. Yes, you want to respect and steward your budget well, but remember your priority list. If something or someone is a little more pricey than expected, think of where you can save elsewhere. There are a lot of people who will tell you what they think “this or that” costs, but you can’t know until you actually hear back from those vendors. This is new for you, so create a general idea of a budget based on priorities and then see what things actually cost when you start reaching out to vendors.
3. Think of Where You Can Save
This part can take thinking outside the box a little or asking for help from those who love you. There are so many ways to save by borrowing from people who already planned a wedding, looking on Craigslist instead of buying things brand new, using what you already have, or asking friends to get a little creative with you in DIY projects.
Does your grandma have beautiful jewelry you can use as “something borrowed?” Do you already have gorgeous shoes waiting in your closet? Can you go on a thrift store hunt for floral vases, furniture, linens, etc.?
We hope this helps you take a breath as you begin your wedding plans. At the end of the day, just remember this day is more than just the details, but about committing and celebrating your relationship with friends and family. Although it’s easier said than done, try to remember to prioritize the wedding—not the wedding details. And have fun!