Starting your wedding planning process can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but if you aren’t careful with your spending, it can get out of hand fast. While it’s natural to want to make everything you’ve envisioned for your special day a reality, it’s important to also stay fully aware of your finances and avoid putting yourself on a path toward monetary disaster. To help you stay on track, here are a few tips for making your wedding dreams come true without losing control of your financial life.
This might be difficult to hear, and it might not dissuade you from wanting to throw an extravagant, once-in-a-lifetime event. But for the sake of your future, take a serious look at your current financial situation and determine how much of your dream is actually possible to execute without putting your finances at risk. It’s possible to still throw an incredible and memorable wedding that doesn’t require tens of thousands in additional expenses– in fact, avoiding an
overly expensive wedding could be better for your marriage.
Place your focus primarily on the post-nuptials life that you and your spouse are going to be building together rather than this singular event you’re throwing. With that in mind, you might find it less of a challenge to keep your wedding plans within financial reason.
There are several ways to fund a wedding, but be sure you know well in advance that your money sources are completely reliable. Are you and your spouse going to be paying for it out of pocket, and if so, what are some ways you could temporarily cut back on expenses in your personal lives while you’re planning your wedding? Take some time and evaluate where you’re currently spending your money.
In this day and age, you’re likely paying back student loans. If so, do some research and find out if you are able to refinance your loans to save money. Once you’ve established exactly how much money you and your spouse can contribute, take it upon yourselves to figure out if you will be receiving additional money from elsewhere. For example, are the parents from either party planning to make any financial contributions? Or are you maybe considering asking guests for financial gifts rather than creating a registry?
However you choose to finance your special day, make sure you know at least the minimum amount you’ll have available to you so you can make plans accordingly. Once you’ve definitively established how you’re going to be paying for the event and how much money you’re working with, it will be easier to set a concrete budget and stick to it.
As you begin researching booking options for your wedding, you’ll find that there are a number of areas where it’s fairly easy to save money. For example, you could potentially consider throwing your wedding on a day that isn’t a Saturday to cut cost, or you could get hitched during a season or month of the year when it’s less busy (and therefore less expensive). If you know anyone, directly or by extension, who has a business that could be useful to your event (a
photographer, a caterer, a DJ) and would want to help, seize the opportunity!
If you have connections to any local venues that you could strike a deal with for your ceremony or reception, take advantage! By utilizing your connections and being strategic with when and how you schedule your event, you’ll be able to cut a surprising amount of cost from your budget.
While you hopefully won’t have to cut too many things out of your wedding vision for the sake of your budget, it’s helpful to establish with yourself what things are absolute necessities and what could realistically be removed from the event without feeling like you’re decreasing the quality of the day. For example, if you’ve found the absolute perfect venue, but it’s a bit more expensive than you would’ve originally liked, explore other areas of the planning process where you can reduce cost, like music or decorations. If you’re looking for your perfect bridal gown but don’t feel the need to keep it forever, consider renting the dress rather than buying it outright. Once you’ve determined what the non-negotiable items in your planning are, it will be much simpler to determine what items you can do without and still feel like you’re having the day of your dreams.
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box while planning your wedding! If you have friends with skills that would be helpful on the day of your wedding (think: musicians, photographers, bakers, officiants, etc.), they’ll more than likely be willing to help you if you were to ask them. Get a group of loved ones together for a craft night where you make DIY decorations for the ceremony and reception. If you don’t have your heart set on hiring a DJ or band for the event, sit down with your fiancé and create a massive playlist with all of your favorite songs.
If you want to give your guests wedding favors, go with something simple but sweet. Not only will utilizing your creativity make it easier to lower costs, but it will also make the day feel even more personal and special knowing that you and the people you care about most had a direct hand in creating some of the magic.
Congratulations, and happy planning!