Hello and welcome to an all new Wedding Wednesdays Q&A! Today we’re talking about the dreaded wedding budget: I am in the midst of planning my wedding and I’m really struggling with my wedding budget. There are all these things I want, but I know I can’t afford them all and I’m not sure where I should be spending my money. I’ve read online for tips to cut your budget and I’m working on those, but I’m still feeling unsure about what is really important and I want a professional’s opinion. Can you help me?
Of course we can! But, stop stressing for a moment and just breathe. In and out…good. Now, the wedding budget is a stressful part of the wedding and it is difficult to manage it all, so don’t feel bad. Let’s get you to a place where it’s less stressful and you can start focusing on the fun parts of wedding planning. So, the first thing to understand with wedding budgets are that besides the normal tips to help cut your budget (like reducing your guest count), you want to think of your budget not just as a whole, but as individual items and then rank them on importance. One of your struggles was that you weren’t sure what was important, which is a legitimate question. There are two influences of importance that you need to think about, you/your fiancé and your guests.
Let’s start with the easier one, your guests. You want to make sure that you provide what your guests need to have a good time. Despite what those in the industry and the media say about weddings, there are only a few things guests really care about (besides you of course!). They care about food and booze (they want plenty of both), they don’t want to be bored (no long ceremonies, toasts or programs), they need basic comforts (bathrooms and weather items like heaters) and they want to have fun which means either great music and dancing or some type of entertainment. So, from your guests point of view, you’ll want to focus your money on the food and drinks, the entertainment and potentially some necessary items depending on your venue and wedding.
Now you need to think about yourself and your fiancé. What is important to you? Rank what matters to you. Are you a music buff? Do you love food? Are flowers one of your favorite things? Is photography a passion of yours? Do you have to get married in this special garden? Is having an interactive wedding really important? Think through each of the items of a wedding and rank what is important to you two. Pick your top 2-3 and compare those with the the guest needs. You may have a small list or you may have a longer list, but these are the items that are more important than everything else and where you should focus your time and money on. You’ll want to allocate more towards the items that matter and compromise or find other solutions for the others. Now that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on these important items, but it means you should make sure these items are taken care of to ensure both you and your guests are happy.
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