January 16, 2013
There are no easy answers to the budget discussion because every couple’s situation will be different. I thought I would share some thoughts as you discuss and re-discuss your budget for your wedding.
I remember when I was planning my wedding, my first place of imagination began with the end in mind. I started thinking about how I envision my wedding day as many Brides do. With so many online resources today like Pinterest, online pictures, and more, there are so many ideas out there to help you with the look and feel. You begin to identify your wedding colors, bridesmaids dresses, and groomsmen attire. Now for the venue! Based on your theme, which venue in the city fits your style best? Then, you begin to think about how you see the ceremony? Are there flowers on the pews or chairs? Will you use a arch, columns, canopy, etc. for your altar? What does your table design look like for the reception? Are you going for the candle design or lots of flowers for your centerpieces? What color will the linens will be? Will you add uplighting to the space or maybe even drape the room? Are you going for a buffet or plated style? What kind of favors will I present to my guests? Where will you go for the honeymoon? Wow! That’s just a small snapshot to building your wedding vision, but that’s a general starting place in your mind and discussion with your Groom, family, and/or friends.
Once you develop the picture in your mind about the wedding day, a helpful tip is to really think about the top 3 most important elements of the wedding that is most important to you. Of course, you could list 5 or even 10 things, but the top 3 are the ones you will gravitate to and notice on the day of. Ok…we have a good starting point to make sure your main budget dollars are distributed in these three categories.
Now you have done the pre-work with the vision and the top 3 elements for the wedding. The big question next is how much can we spend on this wedding? This is a really important discussion between the Bride and Groom. Being clear about your budget will drive your decisions about your wedding going forward. In many cases, it will cause one to rethink elements of the original vision. Well, coming up with this number can be a challenge if you have not researched the range of cost from the venue to all the vendor services needed to craft your wedding. Each market is different. Keep in mind that working with a Wedding Planner can be helpful in identifying cost ranges in your market.
There are wedding traditions out there that identify who will pay for what. In my experience, it varies per couple. Today, many couples are actually covering the entire cost themselves for the wedding. There are some cases where the parents of the Bride and Groom are contributing a certain amount towards the wedding or event offering to pay for a particular item on the budget list. Other family members or even friends have stepped in and offered to pay for various items like the honeymoon or even the wedding cake. Again, every couple’s situation and family dynamics will be different.
Once you have discussed the wedding vision, three most important elements, identified the number, most likely re-discussed the vision again, researched vendor cost, discover who will pay for what or if it’s clear that the Bride and Groom will cover the cost, now you are ready to move forward. Book your Wedding Planner & Venue first! : ) Your Planner can help you along the way to make the best possible decision for your wedding. Leverage the relationships your Planner has built with local vendors. In the process, you may have to re-adjust your numbers and expectations based on budget changes. Know that is okay. What’s most important is that you will being saying I Do to your best friend on that special day!