When you first start planning your wedding, the temptation to dive into dates and styles, color palettes, attire, florals, and so much more is very real. But, before you explore all of the fun details that will allow your vision to come to life, there is an important step and a very important piece of the puzzle to set into place first: your wedding budget.
One decision typically begets another while planning an event, and in the case of your wedding budget, the number you set will guide every single choice you make. With so much riding on the amount you and your partner are comfortable spending, I cannot express the importance of deciding on (and sticking to!) a budget that feels reasonable to you and the event that’s on your horizon. But, there is so much more to wedding budgets than setting one. Keep reading below as I share the eight ways you can easily bust your budget and how to avoid going off course.
Create a Budget:
The quickest way for your wedding to veer very off course is to not take the time to set your wedding budget. As I mentioned, knowing the amount you would like to spend is paramount because it will enable you to decide everything from your guest list and your wedding venue to your season, florals, and wedding team. Plan to meet with anyone who will be contributing financially toward your wedding day. Encourage your group to be honest. Then, have an open discussion. Once you’re ready, set your amount with this in mind: there is a difference between what you can spend and what you’re comfortable spending. If there’s a difference, know that that’s common - stick with what’s comfortable.
Track Your Budget:
After you have taken the time to set your wedding budget, another important thing to do is to actively track what you’re spending. Consider creating a Google Doc or Google Sheet everyone contributing financially to your wedding can easily access or email an Excel spreadsheet as decisions are made (and money is spent). One of the perks of working with me is that I offer budget tracking through my online planning tools. Staying on top of your spending and being open about where the money is going is key to creating an environment where communication is encouraged and emotions stay in check.
Mind Your Guest List:
Other than your wedding budget, your guest list is another key factor in your wedding day. Though it may seem obvious, it’s important to remind you that the more guests you invite, the more expensive your wedding day will become. Keep in mind, guests require obvious things, like places to sit and meals to enjoy. But, there are also less obvious things too, like the size of the dance floor, the number of invitations needed, and the number of centerpieces required to adorn each table. By keeping your guest list in check, you will be able to properly allocate your budget.
Rank Your Must-Haves:
The temptation to feel as though you need to have all the things at your wedding is very real. But, it’s also highly unrealistic. So, instead of feeling as though you need to hire the top professional in every area, consider ranking your must-haves. When you’re thinking about what you would most like to enjoy on your wedding day, consider what excites you. Do you love flowers, photography, and great food? Those areas may be ones where you opt to spend a bit more and then choose to save in other areas that don’t feel as important to you.
Choose Your Date Wisely:
There is far more to choosing a wedding date than simply deciding to get married on a specific day. Instead, you will want to keep in mind that certain days of the week and certain seasons during the year are more popular than others, in terms of events. Late spring, early summer, and peak foliage during the fall are all some of the most desirable times for weddings. Plus, most couples want to get married on a Saturday. Venues take note of all of this, and factor in these details when setting their prices. If you’re hoping to save even slightly, consider tying the knot on a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday and inquire about dates during your chosen season that may seem less desirable to some but perfectly fine for you.
While you’re planning your wedding, you will likely attend other events. Plus, friends and family may also voice their opinions about your wedding day. The key to both is to limit the voices you allow to influence you. Either may spark your imagination or cause you to start comparing one couple’s wedding to the event you’re planning. The key thing to do is to try to block out those voices. Plan your wedding and stay excited about the details you have on the horizon at your event. You can always opt to share less about your day with those who you feel may try to sway a decision you have already made.
Pinterest is a wonderful source for visual inspiration, but it can also be a site where you can slip into comparison. Once you have decided on details for your wedding, stop scrolling through Pinterest and pinning new things. Now is the time to trust your original instincts and lean into the expertise of the professionals you have hired.
Leave Room for the Unexpected:
We all know anything can happen at any time, so don’t spend your budget within an inch of the money available to you. Venues charge taxes and gratuity, invitations require stamps, a florist may have delivery and breakdown fees, and none of these costs are incorrect. By setting a portion of your budget aside, you will help to ensure you don’t overspend when little things start to add up.
What are your questions about wedding budgets? How are you planning to keep your budget in check? Let me know in the comments (or shoot me an email)!