Questions you must ask when setting up your wedding budget.
Weddings cost money. It’s a fact of life.
The weddings you see in the bridal magazines are featured to dazzle and entice you. These weddings are NOT your typical wedding, nor are they realistic for the majority of engaged couples. They feature very wealthy people, having expensive weddings. Or, they are a designers inspiration showing what is possible and done only for photographs in the magazine.
The marriage should be your focus, not the party. The party is secondary.
Set a budget and be realistic. You need to know what the cost of food, music, flowers, invitations etc. will cost in your area and you need to be prepared to pay for the services. If you save money in one category, roll the money into another category.
Cut items you don’t really need. Set your priorities.
Ask yourself the following crucial questions to determine what you can cut from your budget without sacrificing the look and the mood you want:
o Do I need a couture wedding dress, or can I be just as happy with a quality gown from a lesser know designer? There are some amazing dresses that are affordable.
o Do I need favors?
o Do I need elaborate invitations? Will I be happy with a basic invitation? Do I have the ability to make my own? Am I willing to dedicate the considerable amount of time to taking on that task?
Do we need to send save the date cards or can we make an online card and send it out to our family and friends?
o Do I need a sit down dinner? Will I be as happy with a buffet (which is always less money)? Do I need to serve dinner or can we serve finger foods?
o Do I need an open bar? Can I have a champagne fountain instead? Or can I have bottles of wine placed on each table? What about spiked punch? Do I need to serve alcoholic drinks at all? Please note: a cash bar is a social no no! Serve NO alcohol rather than asking your guests to pay for their drinks.
o Do I need a live band? Will I be as happy with a good DJ?
o Do I really need to spend thousands on a photographer? Can I get a smaller package from a good photographer? Will the photographer give me the negatives or memory disc and give up copyright rights so we can have any photos we want reprinted?
o Do I need a videographer or can I depend on a family member of a friend to take my video?
o Do I need expensive centerpieces and flowers at the church and reception? Can I make do with potted fresh plants or cut flowers?
o Do I need to rent the bridal arch?
o Do I need chair covers?
o Do I need a desert bar or can we just serve wedding cake?
o Do I need a candy buffet?
o Do I need an elaborate wedding cake like the ones in the bridal magazines or can I go to my local bakery and be as happy with their creations?
Simple money saving idea: Have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday night. Most reception halls aren’t booked for weddings on a Friday or Sundays. They discount prices on their off nights. Saturday night is the most expensive night. They need to keep their staff working, so they are willing to work on prices.