Wedding day ranks as the Big Day in a couple’s life, but also their introduction to how to plan a big event. One is much more fun than the other, but you can keep the wedding budget in check with a few steps such as deciding early what you want, researching costs, adjusting priorities and then creating the (realistic) wedding of your dreams.
Just those first choices can prove tough. Some couples agree on what they want. Others don’t and need to spend more time working on a plan. Here’s a closer look at the choices you must make. You can still have the big day you want. It just takes effort.
Don’t set a wedding budget first. Doing so makes some couples set too small of a budget that ends up doubled or tripled. Instead, think long and hard on what you want. For some, it’s the beach. For others, it’s the 50-yard-line at Raymond James Stadium. Some want formal wear. Others are cool with jeans and shorts.
Whatever the case, sit down as a pair and hash out a dream that includes some of what you both want. Now’s the time to dream. But also, keep one eye on the cash you might need and stay realistic. Most of us aren’t getting married at the top of Machu Picchu, for example.
Now, the research starts. For some, this can prove a shock. Wedding items can get a tad pricey. Flowers, chairs, tables and bands may cost far more than you thought. That’s OK. Millions have had this experience. It’s not like you’re professional event planners. You simply didn’t know.
Now is when the wedding budget talks begin. This situation offers good practice for your marriage. You will have many talks like this about money. Now that you know what things cost it is time to talk about what you can Again, stay realistic. The last thing you want to do is start off your marriage in a deep debt hole.
It’s also time to find out where cash might come from to help you pay for the wedding. Talk to parents or others who have offered to help. Now is the time to ask them for how much they are willing to spend – at the very least, a ballpark number. That way you’ll know how much help to expect.
Now is when some things you might have dreamed about might have to go. But it’s not the end of the world. Again, this is great practice for your future. These are the type of decisions you’ll face when buying homes, cars and other big items. Try to think of it as a good thing!
There are also plenty of compromises you can make that will help with the wedding budget but keep it fun. Hire a DJ rather than a band. Have a sit-down dinner for 100 rather than the 200 you first planned. Little sacrifices can trim costs without ruining the big day.
Once you reach this point, the main trick is to stick to the wedding budget you’ve created. Even more practice for the future! You will find the work you do together to plan the wedding brings you closer. And once the details are settled, you can focus on the most important thing – enjoying the first day of your new life together.