You’ve had the dream proposal, and you are elevated with fervour at the thought out the impending wedding. There is so much excitement when planning a wedding, and it can be easy to be caught up in the enthusiasm of planning without paying attention to costs that come with the wedding. Some couples are paying as much for a wedding as a deposit on a house for a traditional ceremony and reception, but don’t let that scare you. There are some simple measures you can take to make sure that you are on budget for the big day. We’ll discuss some of the things you can do to keep your costs down, and the things you’ll need to consider for budgeting.
One way to help you stay on budget is to hire a wedding planner. Some may view their role as unneeded, but in reality they are often aware of deals and discounts that others are not. So if you are planning a large, elaborate affair, a planner will definitely help you save in the long-run. Their fee will most likely pay for themselves, and it will also give you some peace of mind, as you can delegate much of the responsibility to the planner.
Both the bride and her bridesmaids and the groom and his groomsmen have expenses that need to be addressed. The bride’s largest expense will often be her dress, with other things to be considered like beauty treatments, accessories, hair styling, and makeup. The groom and his groomsmen may have less to worry about, mainly just the suits and the accessories. List all of these different expenses to get a better picture of your budget, and decide whether you have more money to spend on some spa treatments, or if perhaps you may need to cut some beauty treatments out in order to buy a better dress or suit. Alongside the attire, make sure that the rings are also a part of the budget, and decide whether you also need to take out insurance for the rings. Depending on your budget, you may go for simple bands without too much decoration, or if you love the luxurious look of jewels, you may decide to go for more extravagant pieces of jewellery.
Some couples may be inclined to host a traditional rehearsal dinner the day before the wedding. In tradition’s name, the dinner is paid for by the groom’s family; however, if they are not, this will also have to be included within the couple’s budget. The rehearsal dinner is meant to be the place where both families have the time to commune and get to know one another in a more exclusive setting, so decide if this is something you would like to do.
Moving on to the actual wedding day, there is the ceremony to consider, including the rental fee of the site (which you will not often have to worry about if you decided to get married in a public space like a park), the officiant fee (they may not require one, but it is a nice gesture, and a way to say thank you for them being a part of your special day), and the cost of the marriage license (which will depend on the city and state you live in). Budgeting these expenses out prior to the ceremony will allow this first part of the wedding to be stress-free.
After the ceremony, the reception will begin, and this can often be the most expensive part of the entire wedding. The larger the guest list is, the more costly it will be, so consider your guest list carefully when you are budgeting out your expenses. Some of the expenses you may need to consider are: drinks, food, rental of the facility, silverware and china, chairs and tables, photography (also ask yourself if you would like photo sessions outside of the wedding with you and your new spouse with/without the wedding party), and the list goes on and on. Be sure to research beforehand whether the reception location is all-inclusive or whether you will need to budget all of the expenses individually. As a part of the ceremony and the reception, you will also need to consider the cost of flowers which include bouquets, corsages, and other decoration the flowers will be a part of. If you are not too particular about the type of flowers you desire, choose flowers that are in-season, and that will ensure that your costs are also kept low. Seek some expert advice from a florist who can assist you better.
Keep in mind that there are other expenses not a part of the actual wedding you will need to consider. These will include stationary that you will need to send out for wedding invitations, and thank you notes for after. At the wedding, stationary will be needed for the programs and menus. Consider the type of stationary you choose, as stationary with higher quality paper and ink will cost more, if even a few mere cents. However, depending on the guest list, those few cents can rapidly add up. And don’t forget to add the postage to the list of expenses! Also at the wedding, you may desire some extras such as a guest book or unity candles.
What are some other things you might desire at your wedding? Many love to have some sort of entertainment at the reception like a DJ or a band. Others also love to have some sort of processional music at the ceremony, and may have a string quartet or an organist. If you decide to forgo the cost of a band or DJ, make sure that you have a good set of speakers if you decide to use a digital device or CD when playing music. Although not necessary (but can be regarded as a nice gesture), some couples also will budget for party favours at the wedding, and even gifts for those in the wedding party. These things are a sign of appreciation, and can be meaningful for those that had to travel quite far to come to the wedding, and spent time and money to take part in your special day.
Budgeting for transportation to the wedding is also something to consider, depending on whether you will be quite local or if you decide to have a destination wedding. So take into consideration car rentals or flights and ask the company beforehand for a quote to help you in your budgeting process. And for one of the most exciting and intimate parts of the wedding: the honeymoon! When budgeting for the honeymoon, include your accommodation, food, activities, transportation, and daily spending, amongst other things. And if you are travelling by plane, make sure that your passport is up-to-date, as that could really complicate your plans when you decide to go on your honeymoon!
Remember that your wedding should include the things you find most important, so be willing to forgo some of the extras you don’t really want to have a special day you will truly remember without breaking the bank!