Thrifty, frugal, cautious, penny-wise, economical….any way you put it, no bride really wants to hear these words being associated with her dream wedding. A wedding is supposed to be glamorous, alluring and enchanting, a day that you’ve looked forward to for years as the one day that you can ‘go all out’. However, in these times, the ‘B’ word tends to pop up more often then we care for….no not Bridezilla…
So how can you achieve your dream wedding while still focusing on being budget friendly?
To start you must figure out how much you have to spend for you wedding, what is your overall budget? You can begin by finding out who will be contributing to your wedding. Are your parents going to be involved in the finances? Do you have close relatives that are willing to pitch in? Are you and your fiancé paying for the wedding yourselves? This is very important to have a handle on right at the beginning before you start any spending, or your budget may spin out of control quicker than you can say…I DO!
The next most imperative task that you must complete is to ask yourself and your fiancé what is important to you for your wedding. Sit down and take the time to list everything that you’ve always dreamed of having on your special day, go over your list and prioritize what is higher up on your list and what should be filtered to the bottom of your list. You and your fiancé must really be able to sift through and identify what is a need and what is strictly a want. To some of us a need may be a live band and for others this could be want, it will definitely differ from couple to couple and family to family. This can be a daunting task but will help out in the long run with the organization of your budget.
After you and your fiancé have decided on a budget that you can handle, you need to formalize your budget. You have to write it down! Giving your wedding planning team a visual of what your budget is and as time goes by where your budget stands will definitely contribute to keeping you and your fiancé on track. You can work with an excel spreadsheet, or for those of us who aren’t computer savvy, make a Bristol board display of your wedding budget and expenses. This will also help with keeping track of what tasks you have still complete.
Always ensure that you are documenting your spending along the way, just like you would with your day-to-day spending. You can achieve this by keeping a note book with you at all times so that if your out and about and see something that you ‘have to have’ for your wedding day, you can ensure that it will be tracked for your budget.
Make sure you are an educated shopper. The best way to do this is to ensure that you are researching all your options. Your best outlets for research can be your friends and family. Ask around. Network. Talk to those that have recently been married and see where they went, and who they used, what deals they achieved. The information you will gather can be priceless.
Of course we don’t all have the time to shop around these days, with our busy schedules, but there are many ways that you can do your research in one spot. For example, the World Wide Web is an indispensable tool. Many wedding shops and boutiques are ‘on-line’ and this gives you the opportunity to get around and see your options in the comfort of your own home. Definitely save you on travel expenses! Another way to reduce your travel expenses is to visit a Wedding Show….all the vendors from your area in one spot! Not only will you save on gas, but you will also save time, which in this day and age is worth more than money.
If you are looking for ways to cut down your costs there are numerous areas that you can approach. Of course the biggest spender of your wedding….your guest list! Instead of reaching for those 400 or so guests, why not have a more intimate affair. Scan your guest list over and over and over again until you are completely satisfied with whom you’ve invited. You want to make sure that you include your Aunt Bertha, but maybe your cousin’s, co-worker’s, mother can skip this event.
Another area where costs can be tastefully cut is by switching the day of your wedding. Many banquet halls have lower prices on alternative days and having a wedding on a Friday or Sunday is becoming more and more popular.
Overall you want to ensure that you are not sacrificing the total image of your dream wedding, but at the same time ensuring that you are being smart about your budget. You want to make sure that when you are saying your vows…for richer or poorer…you are not already at the latter part of your vow before you even walk back down the isle.