Photo by Aaron Watson Photography
There you are with your head in the clouds…you are engaged and about to embark on a very exciting journey. But (unfortunately), first things first…come down from the clouds because we need to talk “budget”. While it is safe to say that creating a wedding budget is no walk in the park, it is necessary and having a budget will preclude you from saying “yes” to everything.
Whether you plan on spending $5,000 or $500,000; a budget is necessary for every size wallet out there. Without one you are bound to get a bit over your head and having a budget will help you focus on what is really important and narrow down all the “stuff” you can (and can’t!) live without. So before you begin to dream about all the wedding details you want to include in your celebration, let’s chat about what you need to consider when creating your budget.
Venue and Catering
This should definitely take the top spot when beginning to prepare your budget. Oftentimes this one piece of the budget will take up a big chunk of your money. But don’t stress, you need a place to celebrate and you need to feed those hungry guests. While this is the priciest of all the wedding must-haves, it is also the most important. Make sure you fall in love with the venue you choose, never settle because the one you really want is not available. Your wedding venue will set the tone for your entire wedding, so we recommend not cutting corners here.
While the memories will last a lifetime, having something tangible to help you reminisce is so important. Make sure to leave room in your budget for a photographer whose work speaks to you. Loving both the photographer and his or her work is crucial. From your vows to all the little details that you worked so hard on…you will want to relive your wedding day through all of the perfect moments caught on film. Loving the way your photos came out is key to a happily ever after…in terms of memories, of course!
Depending on cultures and traditions, sometimes the wedding gown and tux are not even a part of the budget. However, if you plan on footing the bill for your wedding attire, it is important to budget it in. No matter how extravagant you plan on going, from custom to hand me down…having the funds you need for the dress you love is significant. Knowing you have room in your budget to make sure you are perfectly primped will leave you feeling like the most beautiful version of yourself. PLANNER’S TIP: Make sure to also leave room in this part of your budget for any added details such as shoes, jewelry and bowties.. And don’t forget those sometimes pricey alterations!
When you think about the details involved in a wedding…it can get pretty overwhelming. However, the one detail that seems to be significant across the board is flowers…both bouquets and centerpieces. Blooms can be expensive and many couples sometimes choose flowers that are not in season and are not in a proximate location, “cha-ching”! The best advice we can give is to make sure you know what you want (or at least have an idea) before you plan your budget. If some far off, flown in from around the world flower is the only option for you, make sure that it is reflected in your budget early on! But rest assured, there is a beautiful bloom for every wedding budget out there.
When people attend a wedding, they are typically expecting some form of entertainment, sitting in a big quiet venue does not give off the intimate dinner party vibe, instead it can seem a bit eerie. Whether you plan on hiring a DJ, jamming with a band, or switching on a hand made playlist of all your favorite songs, the key thing is to decide what will work best for your party and your budget.
I know what you are thinking…we are totally biased. Wedding planners come across as someone that caters to the rich and famous, however, on the contrary that is very untrue. Of course the rich and famous have a brand of wedding planner they use, but to put it simply, there is likely a wedding planner out there for every budget, as well as, a package that suits every bride and groom’s needs. While we can’t make any promises, a wedding planner is probably one of the best resources you can have to keep you on budget all while making sure you get your dream wedding. They often also have business relationships in the industry and access to exclusive discounts that can ultimately end up saving you money. Wedding planners are not only a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the details, but he or she is also a great negotiating tool. We urge you to meet with a couple of wedding planners before you take this one out of your wedding budget. You might just be surprised!
There is no doubt that while determining your budget is a process and can be tedious at times, you will find that it is totally worth it in the end. Your wedding budget will be your guide as you make every decision about your soiree. So while the idea of a wedding budget may take the wind out of your sails…we promise you will be happy you did it and then all the fun can start up again! Happy Budgeting!