Yay! You’re engaged! After the parties and whirlwind settles a bit, it’s time to create a wedding budget and plan! The first steps of wedding planning can be daunting, especially when trying to figure out the budget. Deep breath, we are here to help guide and give advice for easy budget-making for the big day! You got this!
Before you start crunching numbers, sit down with your fiancé(e) and ask yourselves some big picture questions! “When we think about our wedding, what is most important to us?” Maybe you want a more intimate wedding and an extravagant honeymoon. Maybe music means a lot to you both, so booking a great DJ or band has to be a big priority. Do you want that venue that looks just like the one you have saved on your Pinterest board? Whatever elements you feel reflect you both well, make a list! These will be what you want to put more money towards. It’s so important that your day reflects you as a couple!
Next, figure out how much you, your partner, and your families are wanting to put towards the wedding. Will it be you as a couple paying for most of it? Are your or your partner’s parents wishing to help out? It is always good to clarify this, not assume. When it comes to money, you rather over-communicate than under-communicate. Ask family members questions such as, “What amount of money would you be comfortable putting towards the wedding, and what are your expectations when giving this amount?” or “Is there anything specific you want to pay for, such as the gown or the venue?” can often help family members to tangibly see what their money is going towards rather than rattling off an ambiguous number. Keep the conversation intentionally kind and intentionally to the point!
While also designating who is paying for what, remember that sometimes, even subconsciously, this can mean that the person paying for the florals will expect to have an opinion on them. Keeping this in mind, know that it is okay to ask them how heavily they expect to be involved in the planning process, and how much they want their opinion considered. Whatever they may answer, consider if this is something you are comfortable with. If you believe their contribution will cause more stress than ease, not accepting their contribution is always an option. When it comes to wedding planning, too many opinions become overwhelming, and making your wedding focused around people-pleasing is never the answer. Let these conversations truly be a guide to not only budgets, but how many other voices will be wanting to be heard. Boundaries & direct conversations are key; not doing so will most of the time lead to far more awkward conversations down the road.
Keep in mind that who-spends-what traditions can be great, but are definitely not one-size-fits all. Sometimes, some people can give not as much, and that’s okay! Don’t get discouraged or worry about what other advice you see online. Different things work for different people, and that’s okay!
Next, consider some parts of a wedding that are not a big priority to you. Ditching wedding favors? Are you wanting a buffet rather than a served meal for the reception? Brainstorm some things with your fiancé that you want to designate less money towards. If it doesn’t spark joy, toss it. This will help you with moving forward towards budget-making.
Once a budget is starting to form, meeting with vendors is the next step. It is so important to maintain a strong relationship with your vendors and honor the quality of their work. If you research a specific vendor and find them to be out of your price range, it’s okay to look at other options. The pricing of all vendors is never to be unfair, but pricing represents time, experience, and reputation. Make sure to be kind in meetings with them, and not push them down in pricing. Vendors are here to help and have a passion for making your day special, and they’re essential. Connecting with them and being genuine makes all the difference.
While still in the brainstorming phase, we recommend creating a 3-5% emergency fund in the budget. In case you forget something when creating your budget, this portion allows for some flexibility and peace of mind. Maybe there is an add-on feature that would elevate a certain aspect of your day that your catering offers you didn’t think of, or maybe you budgeted for a gown originally but forgot to factor in alterations. Having an emergency fund is a game-changer!
Money conversations can be hard and stress-inducing. Take breaks. Creating a budget does not need to happen in one day. There is brainstorming that takes place, and that takes time. Be kind to yourselves, and step away from spreadsheets and bank statements. Go grab some coffee together, go for a drive, or watch a movie you love. Setting boundaries with money is needed.
At Something Blue, we know creating a budget can be scary! We are here to help! Take the process one step at a time, you got this!
Special thanks to Joy Shots Photography.