So you have come up with your wedding budget, the funds have been allocated across the board, and you’re ready to start planning (and purchasing) away! Let me be the first to congratulate you on reaching this point as I see so many people jump into wedding planning without truly understanding how much they have to spend. Couples who do this will face a lot of frustration later on down the road because they don’t set financial limits and expectations from the beginning. Check out my previous post on what to discuss once you're engaged to help set you in the right direction!
Now, if you are ready to roll I want to share a few budgeting tips with you. I think anyone can benefit from keeping these pointers in mind regardless of how much they have to spend on their wedding day.
KEEP A CUSHION FUND
Having a small reserve of your budget set aside for those “just in case” scenarios is always wise. You can be extremely pro-active with your budget and situations will still come up that nickel and dime you along the way - it’s inevitable. Of course having a wedding planner in your corner will help avoid a lot of these financial annoyances, but I still advocate for a small cushion fund to ease the blow in case something unexpected does happen.
INVESTIGATE REWARDS CREDIT CARDS
I’m by no means telling you to go into debt for your wedding day! But if you and your fiancé have set your financial limit and are responsible enough to pay things off as you go, then I highly recommend looking into a credit card with great travel benefits. The points you accumulate during your engagement can go towards your honeymoon airfare and that is a huge savings.
Not only can you make your vendor deposits and payments with the credit card, you can put other wedding related expenses on there as well. I was recently at a bachelorette party and one of our girlfriends on the trip was planning her wedding. She would pay for all of our meals and outings on her card (to get the points) and we would immediately divide the check and venmo her our share so she could pay it off. By the end of the trip we were all shouting, “For the points!” each time a waiter brought us our bill. It was hysterical but also a great financial move on her part!
SELECT A VENUE THAT DOESN'T BREAK THE BANK (So you can splurge elsewhere!)
In general, your venue, food, and beverage total should be no more than 50 percent of your overall budget. If the cost of a particular venue is going to blow the majority of your budget then you’ll inevitably have other areas that are financially neglected. I suggest keeping an open mindset during your venue search; with the right amount of preparation and vision you can transform a space into something completely unique and beautiful.
If you’re hosting an at-home or private estate wedding and don’t have a traditional venue cost you won’t necessarily be spending less, your budget will just be allocated a little differently to make up for the amenities and services a traditional venue supplies. While you don’t always save money going this route it does add a wonderful personal element to your day. Weddings at home or in unique spaces are always some of my favorites to work on with my clients!
I hope you find these wedding budget pointers to be helpful as you set out on your planning journey. As always, feel free to reach out if you are in need of wedding planning services! I love helping couples allocate their budgets!
Cover photo by Ashley Largesse Photography