Want to have a debt-free wedding? Read on…..
Do you know the first question asked by vendors after “what is your date?” when talking to couples about their wedding?
….What is your budget?
And the most frequent answer?
Not sure or I don’t know yet!?
Brides and Grooms…..I have seen so many couples start out planning their weddings with no clue as to how much they can afford to spend. Yet these are the same people who knew exactly how much they could spend when they went car shopping, or when they looked at buying a new home.
So why does this ‘once in a lifetime’ event that can cost in the double-digit thousands cause the most rational person to bury their head in the sand when it comes to putting a dollar figure on their dream wedding?
And you know what? I don’t know if I know the answer to that.
I think it might come from reality meeting fantasy. We have this vision in our heads and if we start putting dollar signs to it, then it either won’t happen the way we want or it’ll cost way more than we expected and have to go into debt. Or have to change the plans … and that can be embarrassing.
You want a debt-free wedding don’t you?
So what’s a girl (or guy) to do?
Well the most obvious answer is to make a budget.
Well yes and no. “Whataya mean”??
I said that was the most obvious answer.
I didn’t say it was the correct one.
Budget versus Spending Plan
I think we have to change our mind set about the word BUDGET.
According to the dictionary, ‘budget’ means: an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time . This makes sense, right? Sort of?? Basically you keep track of the money you have and how you want to spend it and not go overboard.
But when we hear the word we think ‘inexpensive’. It is synonymous with words like:
discount – you get the idea
– words that give you the ‘bargain-basement’ feel. And that is not the vibe you want for your wedding is it?
Now this word BUDGET leaves a nasty taste in our mouth so then we don’t do one. Yech!! We don’t want to be cheap. We want a nice affordable debt-free wedding.
Alright, now that we’ve determined the very word “budget” fills people with dread and brings to mind restrictions. Then let’s turn that around and put a positive spin on it.
First, rather than a ‘budget’ let’s call it something different. How about a ‘Spending Plan‘ or ‘Dream Wedding Funding’ or ‘Nicole and Darren’s Dream Wedding Plan’ – your choice. What name will bring a smile instead of a frown when you say it?
Having a framework or some boundaries can be very freeing. Say What?
Knowing where you’re spending your money as opposed to having no idea where it is going – can be a very powerful feeling.
When you went to look at buying your car, you knew you had so much for a monthly payment, so you went out looking for vehicles that fit into that budget.
The same will be for your wedding costs. With your ‘Dream Wedding Fund’, you’ll allot so much for the venue, the photographer, flowers, attire, etc. Now you can research who fits into that price range.
How freeing is that?
No more guess work or disappointment when the photographer extraordinaire you had your heart set on won’t cut their price in half to accommodate your budget. And why should they?
You’ll either know ahead of time you can’t afford it or you’ll make other choices so you can.
I had one couple come to me after helping them put their Spending Plan in place and said:
“Budgeting for our wedding was the most freeing thing we had ever done”. Jennifer and Adam
It freed them of stress as now they knew how much they could afford without going into debt. It also helped them to avoid dozens of financial mistakes like booking a venue before researching it and choosing costly out of season flowers.
Let’s take that Dream Wedding Plan and optimize it with the goal of your future happiness – aka a debt-free wedding. With that in mind, this newfound awareness allows you to choose to spend your money on what matters to you most.
Sometimes we spend on things that don’t actually make us happy but rather what we think is expected of us or will make others happy.
How much of what you were planning to spend is for you and your wants?
What are you spending on your wedding that truly brings you joy?
Your next step is to sit down with your fiancé and decide what do you really want and need, and what your expectations are that will fit into your budget – Spending Plan. Will it bring you joy? Prioritize what’s important to you — splurging more on the food or music and spending less on the venue, for instance.
Everyone has an idea of what they can afford to spend on their wedding whether it’s large or small. Having it down in black and white gives you the freedom to negotiate and to eliminate choices out of your budget. This allows you to work towards a debt-free wedding and you’ll save money, while still being true to yourself, your partner and your relationship.
I don’t want to plan your wedding. That’s your baby. I just want to help you get the most from your plans and make you happy. Getting some guidance and support along the way will make the planning so much more fun. And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Check out my Offer. What have you got to lose – Stress? Anxiety?
If you need some help in getting your wedding planning on the right path, download my Free 6 Must-Have Tips to avoid the overwhelm in your wedding planning.