You just got engaged and the excitement is overwhelming. Where do you start?
First off, congratulations to you and your fiancé/fiancée on your engagement!
At this point, the initial dreamlike state of being newly engaged might be wearing off a little, and you are probably now overwrought with anxiety because your wedding ‘to-do list’ is probably accumulating with an exorbitant amount of wedding tasks that need to be addressed for your upcoming nuptials – and, the light that is supposed to be at the end of the tunnel, is nowhere to be seen.
But take a deep breath and slowly exhale. This too shall pass, my friend.
When planning a wedding, one of the first things that we recommend to the bride and/or groom, is setting up a budget. Budgeting for a wedding is rarely a simple task. There always appears to be more to buy, and everything seems to cost more than you expected. The whole job can be overwhelming and it’s important to get started sooner rather than later.
The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $33,391, according to research by The Knot, but that’s not to say you’ll have a below-average ceremony if you’re planning to spend less than that. You might just have to get a bit more creative and call in some favors.
You just need to be smart with your budget, by spending the cash on elements of your big day that are important to you and making savings on areas that are a lower priority.
Below, we suggest some expert advice for planning a wedding on any budget.
Determine What Your Priorities Are
Once you’ve worked out how much money you’re willing to spend on your wedding, the next step is to decide on your must-haves. For example, start with your guest list. Who hasto be there and who can you get away with leaving out? When you’re clear on your priorities it will liberate you from blowing your savings on things like party favours, and instead allocate a larger portion of your wedding budget towards necessary items like food and drink – because let’s face it, your guests are going to need sustenance if they are going to keep up with grandma on the dance floor!
Is it more important to have the perfect dress, your ideal wedding venue, or high-quality catering? Or are all these important pieces but you are willing to work with a slimmer budget for flowers or a DJ? Discover the cost of your must-haves before you start investigating the minor details.
According to The Knot’s poll, around 50% of a couple’s wedding budget is spent on the wedding and ceremony venues, roughly 8% was spent on bride and groom attires including hair & make-up, and catering costs averaged at $70 per person. The engagement ring ($5,700), musicians ($4,000), florists ($2,400), and photographers ($2,600) were among the other major expenses. These averages will be useful to help you realize what you can afford.
Being realistic about your budget and wedding costs helps you to avoid hidden fees, like those associated with banquet set up, staffing, or rentals that you might not be aware of. Having a detailed budget in mind allows you to discuss it upfront with vendors like caterers or florists who can help you to work within your means.
The following link from the Government of Canada, provides a detailed template for a wedding budget expense sheet that might come in handy when planning for your big day.
Identify Where you Can Cut Costs
Once you’ve arranged your priorities, the next step is to figure out how to fund the rest of your big day with your remaining budget. There are dozens of money-saving tips for weddings available online.
It’s common for brides and grooms to ask friends and family to pitch in with certain elements of the day. If you know a musician, photographer, or even an officiant, you may be able to hire them at a “friends & family” rate.
Many couples choose to use their own, or a family member’s, house for the reception in order to save money. Parks, beaches, hotels or the courthouse are all common ideas for cost-effective wedding venues and it can be more economical to have the reception in the same place as the wedding. You can save a lot of money on your dream venues by getting married on a weekday.
By doing this, you’ll have more cash on hand to spend on extravagances such as a professional musicians and necessities like reputable caterers.
If you have any questions or if you would like a free no obligation quote on your wedding day let us know.
Our commitment to our clients is based on our mission of Excellence, Elegance and Exuberance. Happy wedding planning!!