It’s hard to make a blog about wedding budgets sound exciting. However, your wedding budget affects almost all of your wedding choices. So whether your wedding budget is $5000 or $50,000, you still need to think about how and where you’re spending your money. We reveal 8 wedding budget mistakes couples make during the planning process and the best ways to avoid them.
1 Budget priorities
Sit down with your fiancé and devise a realistic overall wedding budget. Then draw up a list of wedding priorities, in order of ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have.’ That way you can spend your budget on the higher priorities, and spend less on what is less important. As an example: A foodie couple might prefer to host a fabulous dinner for 60 that includes wonderful wine and local produce, whereas a couple who loves to party might invite 100 or more guests for a simple buffet meal, and splurge on great entertainment.
2 Stick to your budget
Yes, we know, you probably don’t want to think about wedding budgets – you’re too busy creating your own unique wedding masterpiece! However, it’s important to create a budget and stick to it. That Vera Wang gown might look amazing and fit like a dream, but if it’s way over your budget – keep looking. Better still, ask your bridal consultant to only show you dresses within your price range so your heart isn’t broken.
3 Be willing to compromise
Prioritise the things you want and the things you need. You need to feed your wedding guests, but you may also want a 10-course degustation menu that will cost a small fortune. Your wants may feel like needs, but let’s keep things in perspective and compromise wherever you can save some dollars. Ask yourself as you consider each detail of your wedding, whether it will be something you’ll care about in the future.
4 Scale your wedding
It’s understandable to want the best of the best on your wedding day and to share it with all of your friends and family. However, more people means more money, and if you’re on a tight budget, be prepared to scale things back if you need to. Estimate how many guests you can actually afford. Then draw up your guest list accordingly, splitting it among your own guests, your groom’s and your parents’.
5 Read the fine print
Always read the fine print, and if you have questions – no matter how insignificant – ask. This is vital when it comes to clarifying payment terms. You’ll want to know exactly when payments or balances are due, if there are any minimum charges, corkage fees for wine, cake-cutting fees – or any other possibly pricey unknowns. If your wedding is a year or more away, try to lock in guaranteed prices on catering and beverages.
6 DIY wisely
Everyone loves a challenge when it comes to DIY projects, but be wise with the projects you choose. The cost of supplies can quickly add up and sometimes turn out to be more expensive than items bought from a store.
7 Peer pressure
So you just went to a wedding that featured endless Champagne, lobster and caviar, and the bride wore a stunning designer gown. Stop right there! Avoid getting caught keeping up with the Joneses. Why? Remember, the couple may not have actually paid for their wedding (Think credit cards? Wealthy parents? Bank loans perhaps?). Even if the couple could afford to pay for every detail themselves, who says that they were any happier after spending loads of money? And importantly, who says copying them will make you happier? Avoid the urge to impress other people, and remember your wedding day is a celebration of the love you both share as a couple.
8 Look before you leap
Don’t simply fall in love with and book the first reception venue you walk into. A week later, you may hear about a place that costs less and offers more services. Then you’ll have to cut your budget in other areas. Instead, spend some time researching and doing cost comparisons for every wedding vendor whose services you are considering booking.