Ok, so don’t immediately think that I am going to tell you that your ideal, dream wedding is not possible. Because, I’m not! What I will say is that a lot of couples don’t fully understand the expense of a wedding when they start planning. It’s not totally your fault… Some of it is the media. Yes, I know, it’s always “the media’s” fault! But seriously, it is! You see a cover of a bridal magazine or an episode of “Four Weddings” and you see what looks like a relatively normal wedding and think, that has to be “doable”, and by doable, you mean less than a down payment on a house or the total cost to pay off your car loan. Here’s what I am saying to you. You will do yourself a favor by following these tips when beginning to talk budget:
1. Look at your wedding, from the beginning, as a large expense! It will ease the pain for your groom when he heres that a peony is $12.50 per stem. Now, I am not saying it has to be over the top expensive to be spectacular, but prepare yourself, your groom and your family that proposals for vendors will come back in the thousands. Whether you spend $5,000 or $100,000, for you, it will be a large expense.
2. Start with budgeting the MUST HAVES! Maybe you are a foodie and the most important thing is exquisite cuisine, but you are not really a “dance party” person, so a kickin’ DJ isn’t as important. Or, maybe its just the opposite. Whatever it is that is most important to you, write that don’t and try to put most of your money in those areas. Of course I am not saying have food and no music, I am simply saying… prioritize.
3. Be realistic about what you are looking at on Pinterest. It’s easy to see a photo and think something looks so affordable, but find out that it is actually quite costly. Don’t get too attached to your virtual pin-boards or dog-eared pages of magazines until you know what those beautiful ideas are going to cost.
4. Talk with a professional FIRST. If you are considering hiring a wedding planner, and in the most unbiased way possible, I say that you should, talk to them before making any choices. We see it all the time that a couple comes to us with a budget of X, but the have already promised more than half of it to a venue for food and beverage. In some cases, the wedding can still be done for their original budget. However, in a lot of cases, it leaves them very little to spend on the remaining necessary items. If you consult with a professional planner first, they can give you a good idea of how your budget will be broken down so you can make choices accordingly.
Now, I am not telling you how much the average wedding costs or what you need to spend to have your dream wedding, I can’t tell you those things until we get to know each other better and I know what is important to you. I am simply trying to set you up for success when you begin the preliminary budget talk with your fiancé and all other parties that will be contributing!