This post goes out to all my recently engaged couples out there who have begun to plan their wedding. First and foremost, congratulations! This is the beginning of an amazing journey! As someone who’s married and is a wedding planner on the side, I know a thing or two about planning a dream wedding and the hefty price tag that can come with it.
I totally get it too, this is one of the most important days of your life and you want it to be everything you have ever dreamed of and more. However, sometimes we dream a little bigger than our bank accounts. I mean, my dreams consisted of Versace dinner plates and rare flowers that only bloom once a year in the deep Amazonian rainforest. I can tell you right off the bat, neither of the above I got, not even close…well maybe, I did wear Versace perfume. That counts, right?
So, amid your daydreaming and planning, I want to give you my two cents on budgeting and planning for your big day.
Here are my 5 tips on wedding budgeting and planning
1. Don’t go into debt for your big day. I know a lot and when I say a lot, I mean a lot of couples that charge up their credit cards with wedding expenses and then realize that they are in debt to their eyeballs for a party that lasted a couple of hours. Don’t compromise your financial goals for your wedding day. Starting off your life as a married couple thousands of dollars in debt is going to put a strain on your marriage right from the get-go.
2. Know what you are not willing to compromise on and start saving for those big-ticket items. For Alex and I, food and beverage was the most important aspect of our wedding and we knew we were not going to compromise on that. So, we saved accordingly to the price the venue had for premium food and beverage. For you, it might be the location or the décor, know what you absolutely must have and budget accordingly.
3. Set a budget and stick to it. A budget shouldn’t be fluid, duh, it defeats the whole purpose of a budget. Sit down with your partner and discuss what you both are willing to pay towards the wedding, and if your family members are also contributing. Know the final budget and start breaking it out into sections. Your venue, food and beverage, and photography are normally the most expensive. Start with what you want to allocate for each of those and then work your way down.
4. Keep your expectations real. We all tended to get carried away for the big day, I know I did sometimes (still very upset I didn’t get stilt walkers and samba dancers), but we need to be realistic and honest with ourselves and our partner. For this tip, Pinterest is the devil and I highly recommend you look at it for some inspiration but do not feel pressured to recreate a wedding you saw on Pinterest when you know you cannot afford it. Most of the time the photos on Pinterest are staged shoots which means they aren’t even real! Be honest and realistic, you want a beautiful wedding day, but it doesn’t have to look just like the magazines.
5. Remember, the most important part about that day is your marriage to your partner. People will forget the table linens, the food and drinks, what songs the DJ played, but they won’t forget the love you and your partner shared that day. Your wedding day is supposed to be full of love, family and friends and joy, don’t stress over making it picture perfect because any day that has you and your loved one coming together in marriage is going to be picture perfect.
Bottom line is…
Getting married is one of the most memorable days of your life, the last thing you want to do is stress over how you’re going to pay for everything. Be honest with yourself and your partner, understand your limitations and be okay with them. Your wedding is all about you, you don’t need to go into debt to make it look like a Pinterest wedding.