The Big Day: Let's talk money
Ladies and gentleman we have a date: March 17, 2018! #aplusabigday is coming and it's coming fast... send all the good vibes please. Now comes the real stuff like planning and budgeting. It's safe to say I want ALL the things but don't have all the monies to spend, so I've been talking to my married gfs to get their advice on what to splurge vs. save. Thank goodness my gal, Alaina, just went through this last year when she planned her wedding, so she's dropping some "how to budget" wedding knowledge for us.
by EDP writer Alaina
First, let me say if you’re at this stage CONGRATS! Getting engaged is such an exciting moment whether you enjoy planning or not, this is one of the only times in your life that people celebrate you and only you – take advantage :) Once you’ve gathered your thoughts, taken a breath and processed that you now have a gorgeous rock on your finger the anxiety of where do I even start sets in. At least for me it did.
EVERYTHING seemed important, I didn’t want to make any sacrifices, and I felt like it all had to be perfect. Guess what, it doesn’t. You’re there because of the person standing next to you the entire night, regardless of the specialty cocktail or the amount of flowers you have on the table – that’s all “extra” just remember, no matter what, that day ends up being perfect for YOU.
Majority of us have probably planned weddings in our heads well before being engaged or even finding that special someone – it’s ok, Pinterest changed the game for everyone, but now that you’re at this stage you can make all your hopes, dreams and fantasies a reality – in some way, shape or form because let’s be real this can be one expensive day. So, let’s talk HOW TO BUDGET.
Create a spreadsheet. I don’t care how good you are at excel, make it simple. Create a list of everything you want at your wedding: Photographer, Videographer, Cake, Dress, Décor, Venue, Music, etc. then RESEARCH. Once you decide the location of where you want to get married, researching the average pricing on everything is extremely important. You need to have an idea of how much everything will cost overall, this ultimately is your ‘wish list’ and you adapt from there. Fill in the average pricing of each item on your excel and total it up. Depending on your budget whether it’s unlimited or just a few thousand you begin to prioritize. What is extremely important or a must that you and your significant other have to have to make this day YOU. If you’re all about partying, getting everyone out of their chairs, than maybe splurging on a band is meant for you. If you prefer mingling, enjoying a lot of time with each of your guests, than splurging on food and drinks is the route you should go. Numbering and prioritizing your list will help you figure out what you’re ok eliminating if you’re over budget or lowering costs that you originally averaged, can now be changed. Maybe instead of spending $1,200 on a dress you’re wearing once, you find one for $500. You just opened up $700. If you’re super excited about the overall ambience and appearance of the day a great way to save some money is to find a venue that already has the feel you’re going for. Then you won’t need to bring in lots of flowers or décor or candles to fill it which trust me, adds up.
At first it feels like everything is the most important thing that needs to be a “splurge” but really take the time to sit with your partner and agree on what feels right for the both of you. Working backwards is key, the rest will fall into place.
One of the best pieces of advice I received that stuck with me was, no one other than YOU knows what your day is “supposed” to look like. If something is missing or out of place, no one will notice. If you had to eliminate a photo booth last minute to cut costs, no one will notice. The best part is, you won’t even notice because you’ll be too busy dancing, laughing and smiling on the best day of your life.
Enjoy this process, and take in every possible moment!
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash