March 8th 2017 by Amanda Perkins
I was never really the person that dreamt of some big fancy wedding. I always thought I could keep things simple, non-traditional, stress-free and on budget (whatever that budget would be when the time came). Well here we are, wedding planning and boy did I get a wake-up call when it came to actual prices for venues and vendors, the number of small details and the unexpected costs that arise when planning the “big day”. However, with some well thought-out and detailed planning I have managed to stick to a budget and stay stress-free.
Here is what I have learned so far!
1) Do your research before setting a budget.
It’s very easy to say when the you start your wedding planning that you will only spend $10,000 on your big day, but if the venue of your dreams costs $15,000 you will quickly be overwhelmed by all the costs. I would strongly suggest looking around at different venues, different entertainment options and get lots of quotes! While things may seem expensive you may come to learn that’s the going rate when it comes to wedding planning is unlike any other celebration. Once you shop around and compare prices, it is much easier to set up a budget.
2) When setting your budget, give yourself some leeway – just in case!
When I was first given this piece of advice I didn’t think much of it. I thought “Okay, sure. But Why?” I’ll tell you – because it’s better to have a buffer when you see certain expenses rather than be shocked when you blow past your budget. Taking this approach, I have found where some things work out to be a bit more than I expected, others I can find for less or figure out a “DIY” solution. This allows my budget to break about even when all is said and done.
3) Don’t leave anything off your budget, even things you deem inconsequential
Every detail and dollar spent should be included in your budget and your expenses tracking sheet. Leaving small things out like the cost to buy a wedding website (anywhere from free to $50) will only leave you broke or stretched, stressed out and confused why your bank account doesn’t match your plan. Be honest with yourself. Writing (or typing) everything down is a great way to evaluate whether a specific feature or item is important to you, and what you are willing to pay for it.
4) Decide what aspects of your big day are the most important to you.
If photos or food are the most important thing, use your planning budget to make sure they are perfect. Prioritize your list making it easier to decide what items can be reduced or cut out altogether. These choices will be different for everyone, that’s why it is your budget and your day.
5) Planning something small and cheap is hard!
It’s very easy to say beforehand that you only want to spend a few thousand dollars on a wedding. But after considering things you may quickly find the only way to go about doing that is to get married at city hall and hold a small intimate reception with immediate family at a restaurant. Wedding Costs can add up quick. Be realistic, and choose a wedding plan that works best for you and your partner. Decide what’s important, what’s not and plan and save ahead.
Just remember, it is true when they say “you can’t please everyone, all of the time.” It’s your big day as a couple to enjoy any way you wish. By staying true to your beliefs, budget and wishes you will be on your way to a great and stress free wedding day!