I’m very excited to welcome you to the first blog post on our site! This topic is the result of some recent experiences and questions I’ve received during the planning process. So whether you’re in the midst of planning or just starting to plan one of the biggest events of your life, I hope to help paint a clearer picture of some of the things that may need to be factored in to your overall budget!
It’s often hard to wrap your head around the costs of all those hidden details that will bring your dream day to life in the whirlwind of all that excitement and – oh my God girl – that riiing!! But it’s important to consider all the little things so that getting hitched will go off without a hitch! So, without further ado, let’s talk budget!
So… You’re getting married!!! Congratulations!!
Was there ever a time more exciting or hectic?!? Before you know it, you’ll be immersed in the flurry of wedding activities such as venue tours, linen choices, floral selections and cake tastings. If you’re like most brides, you’ve probably dreamt about this day for as long as you can remember. The groom, the dress, the color scheme, the…. Budget?
Wedding costs can swiftly become overwhelming and though practical matters did not play much of a role in the wedding of your dreams, those dreams are now becoming a reality and so the time has come to face the music. You’ve done a rough cost analysis and it turns out that flying in that elephant for you to ride out of the ceremony on as a substitute for that “just married” limo is just not realistic, but with some clever budgeting, you may just be able to pull off a few miracles still. As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”, and planning out your budget and expenses is just as important as the big day itself!
At the first stage of the planning process, I’ll ask the couple to walk me through their vision of the wedding day, to help me determine their style. Being on a budget does not mean you have to compromise on all the important details you’ve envisioned, it simply calls for a little more creativity and an open-mindedness towards DIY projects. Conjointly, this can be a great way of getting your bridesmaids involved. C’mon! When else will you have the power to guilt your girlfriends into doing things for you?! Milk it, girl!
While no one can deny that it’s much easier to hire professionals to handle their respective tasks, a willingness to take some of the responsibilities onto yourself will help you stay within your financial parameters.
One of the more frequently asked questions I get is what area(s) I would recommend compromising on in order to save a few dollars. This is a pretty loaded question! I try to inform the couple that they don’t have to sacrifice all of the things which are important to them. Instead, adjust the areas of less importance and allocate those savings towards the must-have items, but ultimately, the decision lies with them. However, if you’re curious about what I would recommend NOT cutting a corner on, my first answer would be CATERING!
Think back to a celebratory event that you attended and thoroughly enjoyed. Were you satisfied after the meal? Did the cocktails hit the spot? I’m betting the answer to both questions is a big yes! The appetizers were abundant, the dinner was filling and the deserts were delicious. Perhaps there was a signature cocktail at the open bar?
Food is one of the most talked about components of every successful event. Sharing a meal brings people together and sparks conversations. We revel in each bite and feel a sense of contentment that only delicious food can bring. Regardless of your age, gender or culture, we all share a mutual love of fabulous food. Your guests will always appreciate the quality and abundance of it and the mood will always be pleasant when their pallets are satisfied and stomachs are full.
But no respectable meal is complete without its refreshments, and for the most part, I really believe that you should have an open bar, especially if you’re keeping your guest list small! It’s only proper hosting etiquette when you invite your guests to take part in your celebration. After all, some of them have taken time off work, may be commuting long distances, perhaps spent money on a gift and a new outfit, or maybe even hired a babysitter for the occasion. Chances are, they’ve incurred costs to be there for your special day, so the best gesture is to provide them with a wonderful meal and save them the added expense of overpriced drinks. Truth be told, I have attended a wedding where a number of guests left the reception for a lengthy amount of time to go have a few drinks at a cheaper location, leaving the room feeling empty in the interim. Even more upsetting was a wedding I attended where guests left early to accept an invitation to a home with a stocked liquor cabinet and frozen appetizers!
Sometimes open bar costs are a concern for the couple, who have already invested much of their savings into their big day, but after the event, most couples do say majority of their guests were respectful of an open bar. So for you, this may mean that you’ll have to buy your flowers in bulk and convince the wedding party to commit to an afternoon of making floral arrangements, but I promise you, your guests will love you for your generosity and will look back on your special day with fondness.
To conclude this post, do not be afraid or intimidated by budgeting! Keep track of the cents… and the dollars add up 😉 In terms of where to spend, my first recommendation and good etiquette are remembering that you are the host of this fabulous event, so give the people what they love! If you are expecting guest attendance and gifts, underfeeding or charging them for drinks may leave your guests with a bad taste in their mouths.
Check out our next post for my second recommendation!
Happy planning! xoxo