Set A Budget (duh!)
First things first, set your budget. As a planner, it’s common to hear, “we don’t really have a budget, but we plan on making decisions as we go.” Honestly, I don’t even know what that means, and I know you don’t either. SO have some coffee and a convo, and set a realistic plan together. Your budget serves as a guideline throughout your planning process to ensure your spending doesn’t break the bank and get the better of you.
Create a Checklist
Create an itemized checklist of wedding related expenses. These expenses include big variables, like your venue, and small variables like pens for your guestbook. It is entirely up to you what goes on this list. Most people include: wedding planner, venue, entertainment, venue, officiant, photographer, videography, stationary, flowers, decor/rentals, wedding wardrobe, catering, bar and cake/desserts. Consult with a planner, or take advantage of online resources, to ensure you don’t skip over the important stuff.
What’s Most Important To You?
This is a question I ask all my couples, and a question I’d like all brides to ask themselves. So, what is it?! Is decor and floral most important to you? If so, contribute more to this budget in your checklist. People equate the word budget to sacrifice, when it’s not about sacrificing what you want, it’s about spending what you have to get what you want, both efficiently and mindfully.
Consider the “Must Haves”
Back to the word we all love to hate- sacrifice. As a planner, I never want to tell my clients no. BUT there are some expenses that you cannot avoid. These expenses are related to the “must have” variables of your wedding day. These items vary for everyone, but I usually include: venue, food, bar, entertainment, officiant, photography, flowers and wardrobe to this list. These are the items you cannot avoid by cutting them out of your wedding day, in order to save some money. These items MUST be included in your checklist and you MUST reserve the appropriate amount of money to obtain them.
Open A Separate Account
For those who need to set a few extra safeguards to ensure you stay on track, open an additional checking account, exclusively for your wedding deductibles. This is a great way to track your spending and monitor what you have left. Nothing serves as a better reminder than a declining bank statement. Brutal, but true!
Stay Off Pinterest
For those brides on a tight budget, proceed with caution on Pinterest. With elaborate images, styled to perfection, it will lead you astray and set unrealistic expectations. Stay true to your vision and do not get discouraged. Their are several ways to achieve a glamorous wedding, without spending out of your wheelhouse. If you find yourself in a bind- hire a designer! Sometimes, you have to invest, in order to save, and our Wedding Design and Month Of Coordination Package, will be a great fit for you.
The Guest List
Your guest list carries a lot of wieght when it comes to your budget. More guests equals more expenses. Think about it- you’ll need more tables and chairs, you’ll need more centerpieces for those tables, you have more mouths to feed, a higher volume of paper goods to print, AND a larger space to accommodate it all. SO, unless you’re getting additional help from family members, it’s okay to tell mom that her friend of a friend isn’t invited. Keeping it small and intimate is just as fun!
Don’t allow the planning process to become a series of trials and errors. Making budget-related decisions as you go, is very stressful and hard to manage. Hire some help, so you can enjoy your engagement and the planning process. Wedding planners are a perfect resource to keep you on task and within your limits. Our knowledge of industry standards and costs will help you set an achievable and manageable budget. At the end of the day, you will be investing a large sum of money on this day. A planner will allow you to enjoy it.