Budget, budget, budget! Ah! The dreaded decision of what your wedding budget is and, more importantly, how to not go over! Let’s be very clear here, a wedding should never put you into debt. You do not want to take out a mortgage for your wedding. This is a celebration and ceremony to unite your new family, the worst thing we see is happy couples beginning their nuptials with the weight of debt on their future together. Having a wedding planner to keep you in budget is one of the best decisions you can make when planning your wedding. While everyone else is influencing you to splurge or make your big day an extravagant affair, we are here to keep the books balanced when you see that $5,000 ice sculpture centerpiece. It is very important to have a neutral third party to keep you on track and reduce the stress of booking quality vendors with pennies in mind.
In case you missed it, here is my Facebook Live video talking about budgets and some key points to take away from it.
How much can you afford?
Be careful. Don’t base your budget off of future, hypothetical income. Be wary of family members offering money as well, make sure you can rely on them! The budget you set should always be what you can afford today and what money you have in hand. The subject should be open, honest, and to the point.
The budget impacts venue and guest list!
I’m going to repeat: put the Pinterest DOWN!! If you want the dream venue, you may not be able to have the Saturday wedding. You may book the dream venue, but that only allows you to invite half your guest list. Understand the budget drives everything. This should be your first decision for a reason. Be willing to compromise for the other items you want. There’s nothing wrong with a Thursday wedding if it means you can have the venue and guest list you want.
1. Guest List
You don’t have to invite everyone! Over inviting can quickly hurt your pockets. As a planner we talk about trimming down a guest list to eliminate the stress of covering too many people seating and food wise. I recommend to avoid posting too much on Facebook so you can truly select your guest list.
2. Unrealistic Expectations
We’re budgeting around many factors. When you see inspiration pieces keep in mind they are often styled shoots. You are seeing one table that could easily cost $5,000. Now think about the 18-20 tables you need for all your guests. It adds up! You may not be able to get the exact florals, but the key factors such as the color or types of flowers can be remixed for a lower budget.
3. Poor Planning
Prioritize what is important to you, in a numbered list. Food is important but linen may not be. Where do you REALLY want your money to be spent. You have to do your own research. As much as your planner will help you, you need to be aware of your own taste, aesthetic, and overall needs. This starts with the budget conversation and is then followed by your priority list.
Be careful with wedding planning websites that may have incorrect estimates on pricing. Have a conversation with your wedding planner and contact local vendors to find out what things truly cost. Your planner ultimately will be the honest neutral source of information regarding costs, budgets, and overall tips to keep you in budget and in a reasonable expectation of what you are looking for. Budget=happy!
Until next time, happy planning!