Planning a wedding is work, and budgeting and maintaining expenses, is a job in itself. Weddings can be expensive and get out of control very quickly. The first and most important step for you in wedding planning is to develop a budget – Within your means, and stick to it. Understand your costs, but budget accordingly and then list by importance. Let’s figure out how…

Article by Cathy Z:

A typical average wedding can cost in upward of $30,000. While this total can seem overwhelming, there are ways to organize your budget that may even help you reduce costs in the end.  The first step would be to figure out who is going to be contributing to your wedding fund. Once you know how much family contribution you and your fiance will be getting, you then can determine what your own financial responsibility will be. Once you have some idea of how much money you will be able to utilize, you then should comprise a list of how this money is going to be divided up. Remember, this list should include ALL expenses, big or small, in order to keep to an accurate budget.

Here is a breakdown of what a general wedding includes:

  • Wedding dress and accessories
  • Invitations and wedding stationery
  • Food for reception and wedding Cake
  • Flowers
  • Music (Ceremony and Reception)
  • Venue (Ceremony and Reception)
  • Wedding Favors
  • Gifts for attendants
  • Officiant
  • Photographer and or Videographer

Once your list is complete, the easiest way to start working on a budget is to organize the items by price. For example, the reception related items usually end up costing the most, so they should be considered top budget priority.

If you can group things together you put yourself in a better position to ask for discounts. Ask your wedding venue if they offer any packages with third party wedding vendors. You can possible get a much better rate this way. Remember in working all these costs, ask for the best rates you can get, the worst thing that can happen is they will tell you no. Nothing lost but perhaps a large gain.

The trick here is to know where you feel comfortable cutting corners, and where you don’t. For example (according to Bride & Groom Magazine), “When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.” For most people, the two biggest things at a wedding are good music and good food – everything else is icing on the cake (pun intended!)

You do not have to sacrifice your dream wedding, but you do need to be rational and look for places that you control the costs. Breaking down each category, and developing sub lists of choices for each will help you to understand the range within each group. You may find that flowers for example might range from low hundreds to high thousands just by changing one flower type. Taking the time to really evaluate each of these sections can save you thousands of dollars. So it is very important that you give yourself time to plan, rushing can create chaos for you and your budget. While you can sometimes get great last minute deals, that is normally not the case in planning a wedding.

In future blogs we will look deeper into each category for ways you can save money. Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Ways To Save Money On A Wedding!”

~Cathy Z