There you are, with a beautiful sparkling engagement ring on your finger, visions of wedding day bliss running through your head, you really can’t image being any happier to plan the most amazing day in your life. Then suddenly there it is… the dreaded and pesky “B” word, budget.
Budget is really one of the first and really the most important factors to consider when planning your wedding. Your budget will dictate every aspect of your wedding. From catering, to photography, to flowers, to venue, to dress, to wedding rings, to honeymoon… the list goes on and on.
Before you can commit to any of the above listed wedding necessities, it is extremely important to sit down with your soon to be spouse and determine a budget for your wedding. This will probably be your least favorite conversation because finances are not necessarily everyone’s favorite or most romantic topic. However, don’t despair! The whole premise behind our company – Your Perfect Bridesmaid - is that you don’t have to compromise your wedding, just because you happen to be on a budget, and let’s face it, technically everyone is on a “budget” of some sort. But what budget means to one couple is not necessarily the same to the next couple. The typical wedding we plan has a budget between $10,000 - $15,000. We know from experience that you can have the wedding of your dreams and not get into debt.
We are committed to helping our brides have their dream wedding minus the stress and debt that usually comes with that. The first few rounds of our blog are going to share some of our tips for coming in under budget without having to compromise your dreams for your big day.We firmly believe that the first crucial step in managing your budget is sitting down with your fiancé and agreeing on a final price tag for your wedding. Whatever that final price ends up being, you both need to be 100% committed to that number and making the decisions to keep you from going over. Remember, keep focus on the marriage. While your wedding is a day you will remember forever, it is only one day. Your marriage is your forever. The budget conversation definitely isn’t romantic but neither is a stack of credit card bills. Learning to talk about money, and finding a way to shed the feeling of “having to keep up with the Jones’, will serve your relationship years after you say “I do”.
Once you commit to a final budget with your fiancé reach out to family members to see what they are able to contribute. Once you land on a final figure from all possible sources, sit down with your groom and talk about the type of wedding you two want. We understand that most grooms turn a funny shade of green when you start discussing the more detailed aspects of the wedding. We have found that you can get what you need by discussing just four key questions:
What time of the year do you want to get married?
How many people do you want to invite?
List three adjectives you want to use to describe our wedding?
What are the three things we want to focus on? (i.e. food, alcohol, photographer)
Once these basic questions are answered you can likely move forward more confidently and more assured of your decisions. After you land on a final figure, grab one of the budget spreadsheets you find in most wedding magazines. Note: We have mixed feelings about these spreadsheets. On one hand they are a great tool to keep you organized, on track, and they keep you from forgetting important elements of your wedding. On the other hand the percentages they allocate for each element (i.e. 50% for you reception) do not take into account the priorities of you and your groom. We suggest using one of the templates to create your own spreadsheet that is representative of the wedding you and your fiancé are trying to create. When you are creating your spreadsheet indicate which aspects are most important to you and allocate your dollars accordingly.
Congratulations! You have just taken some crucial first steps to ensuring a successful wedding and marriage. Learning to “talk money” is a very important skill for any marriage. We will continue this series of budget saving tips with specific tips to save on the various elements of your wedding. Next week we are going to offer suggestions for saving on your reception. Stay tuned and stay sane!Kim and Melanie