Planning a wedding is a fun and exciting time for the bride-to-be, but we know how expensive and difficult the planning can become. Many brides want to go “all out” with the glitz and glamour for their once-in-a-lifetime event; so I can tell you that you CAN have all of that, but you really need to accurately plan what you want and how you are going to get it! The first and most important thing that you must do is set a practical budget.
The more and better informed you are, the more money, time and headaches you’ll save. Get in touch with your family and friends who have recently gotten married and try to learn from their experiences. These are people that you can trust to give you practical ideas and help you make informed decisions.
As an FYI, the average Canadian couple spent more than $23,000 on their weddings in 2014 according to some recent surveys. This did not include their honeymoon expenses or their rings. As you can tell by these numbers, a budget is absolutely essential in planning your wedding as most couples really under-estimate the actual costs.
A good step is to go on-line. You will find more ideas and be able to learn from the experts. A web full of useful information is available from your keyboard. Google will be your BEST friend. Make sure you check out different wedding blogs, forums, articles, Etsy and other websites to help you plan your big day!
First, make sure that you have some sort of budget planning tool! There are lots of options such as our Free Wedding Budget Excel spreadsheet, PDF forms or the ones that come in the Bridal Books that you can pick up at a Bridal Show or book store. What I have learned over the years (and not necessarily just about weddings, is that if you don’t write things down, the budget can get completely out of control before you even realize it) and that it not a surprise that you want to receive just before all the payments are due for your wedding!
After everything is said and done, you do not want to be in a financial mess from the wedding costs. Marriage is hard work … why add a large financial burden to that!
Keep a wedding book or folder with all your information in it. You and your fiance know your financial situation. Set the budget total to a number that you can afford and write that in the box at the top of your Budget Planning Spreadsheet. Start subtracting from the total each time you add something to your budget. You will be surprised at how $100 here and $200 there quickly add up. Your budget plan should include everything: decor, transportation, venue, food and beverage, wedding dress, photographer, accessories, music, and so on. If you start seeing the budget dwindling faster than you originally thought, you will need to make some changes and may be able to save in one are to make up for another.
When you have decided on booking your vendors, be honest with them about your budget. Don’t mislead them in believing that you have a champagne budget for a “royal wedding” when you actually have a “beer budget.” You will probably be very disappointed when you get the quote. As a wedding photographer, I always ask about the budget and then do my best to fit our services within that budget. Sometimes, we just can’t and we may lose the business in the end but it is part of what we do.
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Cheers ’til Next Time!