RECENT BRIDES OFFER BUDGETING ADVICE FOR YOUR WEDDING
That was the first bit of advice a recent bride offered when asked about her thoughts on budgeting for a wedding. “At the start, it may feel a little like you are playing with Monopoly money, but that will change once all the invoices start rolling in.”
More newlyweds offered their thoughts as well on how to budget for your wedding, and how not to get into financial trouble doing so. You can read all their sage advice below. If you are looking for advice on where to start with your wedding planning, check out this article as well.
SET YOUR OVERALL BUDGET
“Figure a budget out early! And don’t buy things until you have your vision set. I bought things early on that I didn’t end up using”
Talk to you partner, and decide if you are going to pay for this wedding yourselves, or if you are going to get some help from your family. Communicate openly and be realistic with expectations. Have a ‘real world’ figure – one that you can live with, without over-extending.
“It isn’t worth going into huge debt for! And if you are lucky enough to have parents that want help, keep in mind that you should accommodate some of their wishes! It’s a big day for Mom and Dad too.”
PICK YOUR PRIORITIES
“Make a list of what’s most important to you and splash out on those. Realize that spending a bit more on what’s important is not always a bad thing, if you can cut costs elsewhere.”
Unless your funds are unlimited, you will most likely not be able to do EVERYTHING you want for your wedding. Choose the things that matter most to you, and focus your budget on finding the best vendors you can afford. It means you may need to be creative with other areas of the planning, but that’s okay. You’ll be happy with your choices if you do your homework upfront.
FANTASIES ARE EXPENSIVE
“Those ‘Pinterest perfect pictures’? Take everything on there with a grain of salt. We did get the odd idea from Pinterest, but I found that most of their wedding inspiration was very unrealistic and expensive.”
Expectations can quickly spiral out of control, and the inspiration boards on Pinterest and Instagram don’t always help. Find yourself getting jealous over the things you can’t have? Maybe it’s time to log off and focus again on what your priorities are when it comes to both the wedding, and your goals for living life once the wedding date has come and gone.
“It is SO easy to get swept up in the romantic care-free attitude to spending more and more. Come back to the original plan of what is really important to you both on your day. What do you really want to invest in, what will be most memorable?”
SECOND-HAND IS STILL NEW-TO-YOU
“Join Facebook groups for decorations! I wish I had done that before, now I’m selling my stuff for cheap on these groups!”
Not everything you want for your wedding needs to be brand new. In fact, there are a LOT of used options out there, as people are getting married all the time! Centerpieces? Decor? Unique items? In all likelihood, someone with a similar style to you is looking to sell some of their stuff.
“For the wedding dress – you truly will only wear that thing for a day. Also, bridal magazine sales are great for wedding dress bargains, and you can sell your dress afterwards to help you justify the spend.”
You may have different thoughts about buying used, or about considering using silk flowers vs real flowers, but there are options for every budget if you are willing to do your research and think outside the box.
“We had family and friends pitch in with their talents where they could. My mom’s best friend used to teach baking, so we asked if she could make our wedding cake. My cousin is an amazing artist, and so we asked if she could make our guestbook. One of my bridesmaids used to work in a flower shop, so she knew where to get the best flowers for the centerpieces at a very reasonable price.”
This is a great way to get your family and friends involved. Just be careful you aren’t simply taking advantage of people you love. If they use their talents for their profession, and even if they don’t, make sure you show your appreciation (with a gift, or something thoughtful). You may save money doing this, but don’t be cheap. “You can’t place a value on friendship, but you can ruin a friendship by undervaluing your friends.”
“If you don’t invite anyone out of a sense of obligation and only have the people you really want there, that’ll help a lot with the budget”
Will there be anyone at the wedding you will be meeting for the first time? Have you ever spent time with them in a social setting, or individually? Use these questions to help guide your decision to invite or not.
Inviting a lot of people, especially for large weddings, will chew through your budget faster than anything else. Make sure you have an open discussion with your family early on – the guest list can be a source of frustration for many couples, and will have a direct impact on the overall cost.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR RSVP’S
“I wish I would had followed up with people who didn’t reply on our rsvp page. I texted some, I wish I would have called instead . We paid for over 20 plates of food for people who didn’t show and the venue didn’t offer a refund or even let us have any left-overs.”
There is nothing worse than wasting money, and paying for food for people who don’t show is incredibly frustrating. Pay special attention to who is coming and who is not. A good old spreadsheet works, but if you are looking for a more modern approach, check out this app.
DON’T CHEAP OUT ON THESE
“Do NOT be cheap for your photographer, when you’re looking back at your photos months later, you want to know you paid for the best quality! I am so glad we spent the money we did on our photos! In fact, don’t cheap out any vendors who have interaction with the guests”
Vendors who will be interacting with your guests will leave an impression that lasts beyond the wedding day. Carefully consider who you choose, and how you want your wedding day to be remembered.
In fact, here is the list of things that brides said you should NOT be cheap with:
One other thing – many couples choose to save money by having a cash bar instead of an open bar. But I’ve heard from a lot of people who have regretted their decision to do so. (click here to read about the biggest regrets from brides on their wedding day) Instead of having a cash bar, consider having an open bar and including a donation jar for those guests who feel inclined to help out.
These 2 quotes really stood out as great advice, so let’s end with them.
“Spend on experiences that will create the best memories for you and your guests.”
“It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of wedding planning, but at every step it’s a good idea to check that you’re still on budget. You may think you can put in a little more here and there, but that little more here and there can add up in the end.”