The Budget. It’s Painstaking. It’s no secret, that one of the most stressful steps is the wedding budget planning. If composing it weren’t challenging enough, then there’s sticking to it. Most likely, you’ve never had to sit and ponder a cost to feed 100 people. Or how to gauge the invitation envelope to be “lighter” to be mailed at a lower expense.
When working with couples, we always recommend that the planning process should begin with the budget.
I know, not as fun and “pretty” as sitting for hours pouring over Pinterest. But wedding budget planning is difficult, and many choices that you make will of course affect your overall cost.
Here, we share our 5 wedding budget secrets from an expert wedding planner:
Expert Planner Secret #1: Have A Separate Account
Open a separate “wedding fund” checking or savings account. This not only streamlines the process, but also makes it easier to track what is available, and what is being spent. Plus, you can have both yourself and your fiancé’s name jointly on the account. After marriage, can have an already established account that just needs to have a name change (if applicable).
Expert Planner Secret #2: Discuss Ahead Of Time Who’s Paying For What
Tradition states that it is the bride’s family who should pay for the wedding; however, this is no longer the expectation. Today, contributions towards the wedding come from many different sources, but don’t just expect it to be this way. We worked with a bride who “thought” her mother was handling the centerpieces, only to realize that was not the case, and we had to choose another path for the centerpieces—thankfully with us on her side, we caught this early-on, and were able to-work the budget to compensate. I know it’s a tender topic, but you will really need to have this financial discussion with your family members, and more precisely, spell-it-out on a spreadsheet who is contributing for what.
Expert Planner Secret #3: Don’t Follow The Magazine’s Budget Advice
I hate to be the bearer of this, but please don’t follow those “pie-charts” or lists from the wedding magazines that advise allotting a certain amount or percentage for your wedding budget planning. Not only are they not realistic, but they aren’t specific to the region that you’re planning in, nor are they compensating for the time of year or day of the week, i.e., a Friday , Sunday or even a weekday wedding will be less expensive.
Expert Planner Secret #4: Stay True To Yourself
Focus your wedding budget planning around the things that matter most to you, and you’ll never go wrong. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a fortune to spend on your wedding—leave the extravagance to the celebrities, and infuse your celebration with creativity and simplicity that represent your personal togetherness. This not only alleviates a lot of stress in the wedding planning budget, but we apply this with our couples, and all of them report post-wedding how “wowed” their guests were, from the most simplest of things. Trust me, your guests will remember a hand-written personal note, a DIY-crafted cake topper, or a well-crafted speech over any lavish floral display.
Expert Planner Secret #5: Hire The Best Professionals Within Your Budget
A wedding is not only a celebration, but it is an experience to be lived and enjoyed. It is not possible to have the day you envision just by selecting the “cheapest” service professionals. Ask friends, family or co-coworkers for recommendations, or consider working with a wedding planner who is skilled in knowing the a variety of wedding professionals who are competent within your budget;not only are they familiar with the regional demographic, they can help you in deciding on your priorities so that you don’t overspend in one area, and not have enough in another area.
Remember: focus the wedding budget around the things that matter most to you. Does planning the wedding budget overwhelm and keep you up at night, not knowing what things cost, or how to compose a budget. Look no further, we can help!