Determining Your Wedding Budget
Unfortunately, wedding planning doesn't just entail pretty flowers and beautiful gowns. Your budget will play a large role in your planning process, and when determining this budget, you'll need to be precise, stern, and realistic. Determining a realistic cost that suits both you and your fiancé will be the key to making your planning much more enjoyable, and it will ensure that you stay on track. You can still have the wedding of your dreams, you may just need to get creative in certain areas. Here's some helpful tips for when you start considering different vendors and when determining your budget.
1. Do your research
It's as simple as googling the average cost of a wedding in your state, and making sure that number is recent. (The cost of a wedding has only gone up throughout the years.) According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $33,391. This number will help you be realistic about what weddings can cost, but it doesn't have to be how much YOU spend on your wedding. This is where you can get creative, and plan smart!
2. Don't book the first vendors you find
Speaking of planning smart, again it comes down to doing your research. If you get too attached right away to the first dress you try on, or the first photographer you meet with, you're limiting yourself to what else is out there. Shop around, and get a feel for what others are charging. Reach out to multiple vendors that you're interested in, and compare prices. Research how much wedding services cost in your area. Once you get to know the market, pinpointing which vendor best suits your budget needs will be that much easier.
3. Figure out what your priorities are
Of course, we all want the best of the best. You want to stay on track with your budget, but that doesn't mean you have to just settle for everything. Figure out what's most important to you, and invest in those things. The services or details that you can be flexible with will allow you more spending for the things that mean the most. For example, if your dress is the most sentimental thing to you, invest in that, but then settle for a more affordable DJ, or cut out the charcuterie boards at cocktail hour. Every little thing helps!
4. Negotiate and speak up
The wedding industry is a happy one, and most companies want to accommodate you the best they can. Speak up and tell them what your budget is, chances are they can present other options to help stay within that budget. Ask a lot of questions so that you are aware what additional expenses may be added later on.
5. Plan for unexpected costs
Even if your budget is planned to a T, unexpected costs do come up. Work with a buffer so that you have some leeway if you need. We recommend adding on 5% of your budget to work with. This will come in handy, we promise!
BONUS POINTS FOR PUTTING EVERYTHING ON CREDIT
Literally, bonus points. When making all your wedding purchases, it's smart to cash in on any rewards that you can get. Many credit cards work on a point system and you can receive cash-back or vacation miles. It could even pay for your plane ticket for your honeymoon. Who would say no to that?