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.
Hello everyone! I know we’ve covered starting and managing your wedding budget before (plus a FREE spreadsheet to stay on track), but recently the big question I’ve received is about adjusting your wedding budget. If Covid affected your wedding plans, navigating postponement or new deposits to secure changes in your planning can be overwhelming. So today, I’m sharing my top 3 tips on adjusting your budget for your wedding.
Pour over the contracts with your planner to understand the payment schedule for a new date/guest count. Pay extra close attention to your venue’s contract, especially their postponement policy. If you had a previous wedding date hat has been postponed, ensure your vendors are available for your new date and when payments are due. If your guest count is going down, touch base with each vendor individually if their services are affected by count like your caterer or rentals. Most vendors I know have been very cooperative with clients and not assessing a rescheduling fee if the client reschedules within a year of their original date, but we still want to avoid surprises. If that vendor is not available, then reach out to discuss any final payments expected before booking a new vendor. Likewise, if you book any new vendors be sure you completely understand their cancellation/postponement policy before signing.
I get it. This situation has been tough for everyone and maybe your adjusting your budget to decrease as many costs as possible. However, I would highly encourage you to not ask for discounts services at this time. More than likely, it’s a small business owner who has been hit financially by this virus and is trying to support themselves and their families. Again, I know a lot of vendors who are cooperating with clients on changes. This may affect their service price, but please keep in mind we’re all trying to stay afloat. Talk to each vendor specifically about services that have been rendered, what hasn’t been rendered and what is fair for all parties involved.
If a certain vendor is no longer needed, often times you can utilize your deposit/retainer towards another service with that vendor down the road. Find another way to utilize the money you’ve spent and still get value from that vendor and support their business. Most retainers (also known as deposits) are always non refundable and most likely that vendor has done some type of work already and may have turned down other clients in the past because they were booked with you. Those deposits cover costs like that and business operations and any communication and work already fulfilled.
Here’s something I feel can bring an extra special moment to your day! Especially if you feel disappointment about changing your original plans or having a smaller wedding. Which is valid and completely understandable. Something I tell my clients is this may be a perfect opportunity to splurge on something that wasn’t in the original budget since your guest count is much lower. It doesn’t have to be elaborate (or even “expensive”). However, is there a pair of shoes you were eyeing, or a favorite restaurant you want to cater? Maybe you always dreamed of a royal wedding style floral installation or personalized guest favors? Look at your budget and see where you may have a little more wiggle room. Dedicate funds for one special item that will make you and your partner smile despite all the changes!
I hope these tips are helpful whether you’re newly engaged or planning phase 2 or even phase 3 of your big day! Always remember to have contracts in place with each and every vendor. It’s very important to protect all parties. Secondly, NEVER, and I repeat NEVER pay a vendor in full up front when booking them. That just leaves room for you as the client to get taken advantage of especially in crazy situations such as this pandemic. We’ll have more tips to share on planning during Covid so be sure to check back! Remember, you’re not alone! If you need help, contact me on my homepage and I’ll guide you through the planning process!