You hear it constantly: don’t go over budget! We’re pretty sure we’ve put a little line in almost every article about the importance of staying in budget. After all, if your wedding day is known for the day you blew your kids’ entire college fund on a cake and a dress, it’s going to be a sore subject for the rest of your life.
But exactly how do you stay in your budget, especially while planning an event where it’s generally considered okay to splurge? Your friends are telling you to just get the shoes; they’re gorgeous and you only get married once. Your fiancé is begging you to book the overpriced yet awesome band; name one other time when you’ll be hiring a band for a celebration? With all these pressures, it’s easy to go over. So here are a few tips to make sure you aren’t living in poverty for the next few years all because you decided to “splurge” a little.
1.) Determine your budget. This has to be done first and foremost. Don’t start looking at dresses before figuring out your budget, or you might be setting yourself up for failure before you even start. There is no worse idea than trying on a $4,500 dress right before learning you won’t be able to afford anything over $800. That’s going to be pretty tough to come back from.
2.) Prioritize. And this means both of you! You might think your wedding dress is the most important feature of your wedding, but your fiancé might think differently. And yes, he does get an opinion here, it’s his wedding too. Grab two pieces of paper and both of you create separate and individual lists of where you think your budget priorities lie. Make sure to add a rough estimate of what each thing should cost as well.
3.) Compare and compromise. Next, put your lists together until you reach an agreement. Try to account for everything you can think of, including the venue, flowers, clothing, invitations, favors, food, etc. And don’t be afraid so cross things off the list altogether. Part of living in the real world is realizing that no, you don’t have to have pink orchids as place settings for every guest.
4.) Keep a record. The first rule in maintaining any budget is to write everything down. If you’re spending more money in one area you’re going to have to cut money in another area. Things can spin out of control faster than you realize, and having a clear and current record of where all the money is going will be a lifesaver in the future. It might even be in your best interest to have your budget online. There are many services that allow you to type in the amount spent and it will churn out the amount left in each category.
5.) Start cutting corners. Chances are whatever budget you start out with will not be enough to give you everything you want, so you’d better learn to get creative, and fast. Is there anything you can make on your own instead of buying premade? Is there anything you can do on your own instead of paying someone else to do it? Does your wedding cake need to feed 250 or can you simply have a smaller decorative cake and a sheet cake in the back to feed everyone else? Surely there are some places where you can squeeze out an extra nickel or two.
Lily’s Bridal – Specializes in wedding dresses found no where else in Maryland. We offer wedding dresses in sizes 4 to 30. Our curvy women selection of wedding dresses is the best in Maryland.