For most couples, a wedding is the first time you’ll ever have to think about planning a huge event, let alone creating a wedding budget. This usually means lots of people start planning in a similar way:
- First you think about the wedding you want.
- Then you think about how much you’re comfortable spending.
- And then you hope really hard – finger-crossed – that the two concepts match up.
The problem is, it’s almost impossible to know how much the event you’ve envisioned is going to cost until you start getting into the nitty-gritty of planning.
When couples overspend it’s thought they just got caught up
in the expectations of the wedding industry. But you know what? The culprit was that they thought chair covers cost $2 when they really cost $4. Or they found out their parents would be terribly upset if they just served chicken instead of the lovely surf and turf buffet they imagined. Then it turns out that the only wedding photographers in their area who did the type of pictures they wanted, charged $4,000 instead of the $2,500 they were hoping to spend. Next thing they knew, the combined total of those surprises was $6,000 and rising.
Creating a wedding budget for your special day is an integral part of the planning process, because the size of the budget helps you determine the size and grandeur you can afford. Typically, most weddings no matter big or small, all have certain elements that are required. That means a venue, catering, flowers, photography, entertainment, music, a cake… If you fail to keep a track of it, your spending could spiral out of control or you could overspend on one element at the expense of something else. A realistic budget provides you the balance of quality in the exchange for goods or services. In other words, your budget will reflect in the quality of the vendors you choose as well as your guest’s experience. And most of all, by staying within your budget, you protect yourself from going into unnecessary debt.
While it’s not the most fun, or the easiest of conversations to have sometimes, sitting down and figuring out your bottom line is important, whether it’s $10,000 or $100,000.
- Where is the money coming from?
- Are there restrictions on how it’s allocated?
- And the most important question: what do you place the most importance on when it comes to your wedding day (food? venue? alcohol? dress?)?
When you know how much you want to spend on every different aspect of the wedding day, you’ll find searching for venues and vendors to be a lot more streamlined and you set yourself up with options you can be excited about.