TO the Feathered Arrow blog. I'M Kari! A WEDDING PLANNER, PODCAST HOST, BIZ EDUCATOR, AND A LOVER OF COFFEE, ALL THINGS OUTDOORS + A SUCKER FOR A GOOD LOVE STORY.
Before you become caught up in Hollywood’s extravagant take on nuptials or the mile long Pinterest page of Haute Couture gowns and dazzling venues- take a step back and listen very carefully. Weddings are not only for those with deep pockets. Even the most money-conscious love birds can bring their romantic fairytale to life without setting themselves up for a rocky start financially. Keep these tips of saving for your wedding day in mind when planning to keep both you and your partner’s sanities and bank accounts stable.
You’ve already made the biggest decision by spending the rest of your lives together. By comparison, deciding how to plan your wedding should be a breeze! There are difficult questions that need answers, such as date, venue, and budget. Take time to get on the same page- the process will be much less taxing once you employ the help of a professional planner. You’ll have a clearer idea of what will make both of you happy and will have more energy to spend on simply enjoying the ride.
Sure, you can’t plan for absolutely everything that may come up during the planning process. Did you ask to fall in love with those pricey lace invitations? Of course not! But, sometimes, love just happens. Keep in mind, however, that there is a difference between a little leeway within your budget and a budget that is “open to interpretation.” Don’t simply set an overall budget for the big day. Establish budgets for each category, like dress, food, venue, etc. This will help you stay more in control of spending.
Pro tip: Turn to money management tools to maximize saving for your wedding day and stick to your budget once your funds are built. An easy-to-use online bank provides an accessible option for making your saving and spending easily trackable throughout the months of planning.
In an ideal world, you’d leave it all up to the pros. Unfortunately, this may not be the best option for the couple on a budget. There are so many parts of your wedding that can be DIY’d. Don’t be mistaken- doing it yourself doesn’t mean you’ll be cheapening your event. Providing your personal touch to things can result in some beautiful additions to your wedding and make things feel even more meaningful. However, there are certain things that shouldn’t be DIY’d and you should just leave up to the pros. Plus, you’ll be able to save on the aspects that you definitely don’t want to skimp on, like music, catering, or the bar.
Pro Tip: Employ the help of your closest friends and family to help out with DIY endeavors. Not only is it the perfect bonding opportunity but dividing the work so that it’s not all on your shoulders relieves stress.
You may be tempted to DIY your entire wedding just to save a dime. However, where you may be saving financially, you could be spending in time and emotional investment. DIY has the potential for many mistakes, and the materials needed to start-over can add up to where you’ve not even saved after all is said and done. Also, do you really want to be spending your wedding day putting things together and cleaning up after the party has died down? Of course not! That’s why you hire a wedding planner and a team of pros to make your wedding day happen. For the heavy duty tasks, like catering or manning the bar, florists or a DJ, fit professional vendors into the budget. Period.
Pro Tip: When considering DIY or Buy, list out all the materials you would need and their associated cost. Realistically hash out the probability of mess-ups that could occur and the time it will take to complete the project. Compare these factors to the price and effort of buying.
From your cheeky second cousin to that college acquaintance you only see once a year, you’re tempted to include everyone. However, paying for a large guest list will drain your budget. Not to mention entertaining a mass of people may overwhelm you.
Pro Tip: Ditch the guilt of excluding people and ask yourself some hard and honest guest list questions about why they should be included to begin with. If the answer is no, include them in the engagement party or bridal shower. This is a perfect compromise for sharing a small part of your excitement without sacrificing financially.
Yes, you can take your “last hurrah” as an unmarried couple to an unhealthy level. It’s tempting to book an extravagant getaway for you and your closest friends and family. After all, you only get married once, right? How else are you going to have fun after you tie the knot! Destination parties can really rack up a bill that could otherwise go towards your actual wedding. Or, even better, your savings for future trips down the line with your soon-to-be spouse. There are so many alternatives to celebrate your tying the knot, and your future self will thank you.
Go into your marriage with less stress and more money to begin your lives together. With the help of these dos and don’ts, you will look back fondly on your wedding planning experience!