As long as you know your budget, you can design your dream budget without breaking the bank. If you haven’t yet figured out your wedding budget, you may want to read my post on creating that before diving into this. Now, if you are still reading, I’m assuming you have your budget ready to go. Let’s dive in to how to work in those splurge items without going over budget!
Sit down with your fiance and break down all of the categories for your wedding. You can use the budget planning tool that I gave you on this post to help create your starting point. Figure out which categories the two of you believe your wedding will feel less than without and which categories are less than important to the overall event. My husband and I agreed that music, drinks and venue were the most important parts of our wedding. These were areas where we wanted to splurge on our wedding budget because we felt like those categories would really set the tone for our big day. It’s different for everybody, and that is what will make your wedding represent the two of you as a couple and make the day feel uniquely and authentically yours.
Once you decide on your top 3 categories, you can allow for more of your overall budget to go to those areas, and you can pull from areas that seem less important to you. Again, for my husband and I, we decided not to go over the top with food, flowers or ceremony decor.
In the beginning of the planning process, you should interview multiple vendors and get quotes from them all so that you can make an educated decision. You may end up going with the least expensive vendor, or you may realize after talking to several vendors in the same field that one of them is worth paying a little extra for.
Another way to get that wedding of your dreams is to be open and honest with your vendors. Most vendors want you to be over the moon with their work. While they most likely won’t slash their prices just because you are on a budget, they may be able to offer a smaller package that you can afford.
Also, they are the experts in their field. They will be able to show you options that can help you pull off your look without paying the hefty price tag of some of the higher ends options that you may have originally fallen in love with. A good example of this is with flowers. While peonies are beyond beautiful, there are types of roses that have a very similar look but could cost half as much as the peony.
Don’t we all want to feel like a queen, if only for just one day. Finding THE DRESS is a big part of that feeling. But the dress doesn’t always have to be the most expensive. Shop in less well known bridal stores, They will still have designer dresses and may be more willing to negotiate. Also, look for trunk shows, sales and floor samples. Another great way to find a knock out dress for less is to buy it used. Most brides only wear their wedding dress for one day, and while it can be a long, fun and sometimes messy day, the dresses are usually still in incredible condition. It’s a amazing way to get a top designer dress for way less. And finally, one other way to save on your wedding dress is to by a dress that isn’t considered a traditional wedding dress. Instead of thousands of dollars, you could spend hundreds with a top of the line dress that will make you look and feel incredible.
While music was one of our top 3 categories, we ended up saving quite a bit by hiring an amazing 80’s cover band instead of a traditional wedding band. Almost anything marketed specifically toward weddings will come with a bigger price tag. Sometimes it’s a justified increase in cost because they know weddings inside and out and will make it a seamless process from planning to your big day. But other times, you don’t necessarily need to pay that price tag. This is where your prioritization will come in handy so that you will know when to cut corners and when to step it up.
Doing anything yourself will always save you money, but it definitely won’t save you time. There are things you may be good at like putting together your own welcome bags or printing your own invitations, but not everyone is good at this stuff and most people aren’t good at all of this stuff. So you should definitely play to your strenghts and pick and choose want you want to take on yourself and want will save you in the long run by hiring a professional.
The MOST important thing to do to make sure you are staying within your budget is to keep track of all of your expenses. That is where the budget spreadsheet really comes in handy. Hold on to invoices and receipts until you record them and then file them away to keep your organized and your life uncluttered. And make sure to keep all quotes so that you can reference them when working with your vendors. You never want a surprise bill right before your big day!