Weddings are all fun and beautiful, until you get down to the knitty gritty: how much is it gonna cost? Like most things in life, it comes down to who is paying for what, and how you can best manage your budget. We all have big dreams for our day, but other than love (which is still the most important part!) very few of those things come for free. So where do you start?
1. Where is the money coming from? We all know it is traditional for the parent's of the bride to pay for the wedding, but did you know that in this same tradition, the groom's side pays for the bridal bouquet, the groomsmen boutonnieres and the ladies corsages? Nowadays, couples are contributing or even paying for their own weddings, and it is not uncommon for the groom's family to give a monetary contribution. Whatever your scenario may be, figure this out before planning. As uncomfortable as these conversations may be, they are much easier than cancelling vendors or overspending down the line.
2. Be realistic. No matter your budget, you could always have more. I have worked on $80,000 weddings that are pushing the budget, and I have worked on $25,000 weddings. It doesn't matter what your budget is, even millionaires overspend sometimes. It is all about relativity. Make sure to hire vendors that are in the correct price range for your budget.
3. Set your budget guidelines. Work with a planner to give you an outline of how you should expect your expenses to go. And stick to it. If you go over in one area, cut back in another.
4. Choose your priorities and be willing to let other things slide. Sadly, not everything can be a priority. If you have a budget, then you need to choose the top 2-3 things that you want and be willing to compromise on some other items.
5. Don't let the money eat away at you! There are beautiful options in every budget, so relax a little and don't get frustrated. Don't forget, you are getting married and it should be fun!! Plus, you and your fiance are going to have to deal with finances for the rest of your life, so consider this your training course.