Congratulations, you’re engaged! This is an exciting time filled with celebrations and planning. Before you get wrapped up in all the bridal excitement, you need to set a budget with your partner to know how much you want to spend. We’ve noted the common wedding budget mistakes to avoid to help you save money for the big day!
Mistake 1: Not Setting a Budget ASAP
You need to set a budget before hopping on Pinterest to search for fantastic wedding ideas or beginning to window shop. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement, and before you know it, you’ve spent a couple hundred dollars on decorations.
Sit down with your partner and decide how much money you have to spend on this special day. Your budget should account for everything, including:
- Bride and groom attire
- Food & beverages
You should also think about smaller details such as the bridal party gifts and the celebrations leading up to the wedding. Finally, think about how much money you expect to spend to make your vision a reality, then weigh this against how much you want to and can spend.
As you set your budget, it’s a good idea to also establish a “cushion” of money. In other words, set aside a portion of your budget for emergencies or unexpected expenses. A major blow could lead to forced sacrifices, and you want your wedding day to remain as perfect as possible.
Mistake 2: Not Knowing Who’s Paying
Before establishing a budget of your own, you’ll need to know if your parents or partner’s parents plan to contribute any money to the wedding. Talk to your families about the wedding; if you don’t know whether they plan to give you money, ask them.
There are a few ways to ask parents to help pay for the wedding. Before having this conversation with your parents, you should get an idea of how much things will cost. Avoid outright asking if they’ll pay for the wedding, and instead ask them to contribute. Talk about the anticipated prices and how you’d apricate their financial assistance. Remember to remain grateful.
Thank Mom and Dad
Remember to show your parents how grateful you are for their help. Money is important, and you should recognize how much their financial assistance means to you. Give your parents a sentimental thank you gift on the big day like an embroidered handkerchief to cry those happy tears!
Mistake 3: Not Prioritizing Items
Jot down everything you can think of when it comes to purchases. Think back on our list in Mistake 1 for assistance as you note these items and expand on them. For example, for vendors, you’ll need:
- Hair and makeup artists
- A baker
- A DJ/music
- A caterer
- An officiant
Some couples have more vendors than this, depending on their venue—another cost—and vision for the perfect day. You’ll need to create a list with your partner and decide what aspects of the wedding are most important and where you can make sacrifices. Your dress and venue may be priorities, but you may place entertainment lower on that list because you’re more open to flexibility. As you list out each area of spending, jot down an estimate for how much it’ll cost.
Mistake 4: Neglecting To Track Your Spending
You’ll want to keep tabs on everything you need for the wedding plus what you’ve spent so far so that you have a record of what you still need. Using a template, Excel table, or pen and paper, jot down your budget, each item, and the price. As you spend money, subtract from the budget so that you always know what’s left to spend. Keeping track of your expenses helps prevent overspending—it’s easy to buy too much when you don’t know all the prices.
As you track your purchases, you must also note everything, even minor items that don’t seem like a big deal at first glance. These purchases add up in a hurry. The last thing you want is to cut spending on a big-ticket item because you overspent on the small stuff. Even the postage on your wedding invitations impacts your budget.
Avoid buying on impulse. Everything you buy should fit into your image of the perfect wedding. If you feel stressed while shopping for decorations, it’s time for a break. Continuing to shop could lead to overspending or buying something you don’t need.
Mistake 5: Forgetting To Look for Deals
We all love great deals and freebies, especially when we would otherwise spend a lot of money. Before spending, search for great wedding freebies and how to get them. You can score free invitations, thank you cards, décor, planning tools, and more. Search for sales and talk to vendors about possible discounts they may offer.
Mistake 6: Overlooking the Power of Quality
Your wedding budget isn’t just about saving money, but instead, how to make the most of it. Don’t waste money hiring lower-quality vendors just to save, as this can lead to disappointment on the wedding day. Instead of hunting for the most budget-friendly vendors, see what each one has to offer to narrow your options. You may find a baker with a lower fee, but that doesn’t cover boxing, delivering, and setting the cake out at your venue. The more expensive baker may do all of this and include it in the fee.
Those additional fees add up either literally or by adding unnecessary stress to you. Talk to each vendor to find out what the fee covers and whether you’ll have to pay extra for things than you’d normally expect.
Although quality is essential, that doesn’t mean you should give in to pressure or let vendors bulldoze you into high prices. These individuals have a business to run, and your wedding is a profit to them. Instead of settling with high prices right off the bat, negotiate and see if the two of you can decide on a fair price. If you get married in the off-season, it may be easier for you to get your price.
Mistake 7: Buying When You Should Rent
While you can’t rent everything, there are a few things that you could. Rather than purchase linens, napkins, and dinnerware, rent them. Chances are, you won’t need all of it again, and this is an easy way to save some cash. Likewise, you could rent some of your decorations like flower vases and candles. Talk to your vendors to determine which option is the most budget friendly.
Mistake 8: Refusing To Be Flexible
While you want your day to be perfect, you have to remain open to flexibility. You may not be able to get your favorite flowers for the wedding if they’re not in season. Likewise, your dream venue may be out of your price range or booked up. Remember that you and your partner are most important on your wedding day. Some details you’d envisioned may change, and that’s perfectly fine; you’ve got a support team of loyal bridesmaids ready to provide advice whenever you need it.
Mistake 9: Not Narrowing the Guest List
Write an initial guest list with your partner of the people you’d like to have at the wedding. After doing this, step away for a bit before returning to your list. It’s time to see who you need and who you can cut, and knowing how to narrow your guest list is vital since it helps you save money. Cross off people you haven’t seen in years and aren’t close to and consider an adults-only wedding. This way, you can find the right venue and will have fewer plates to cover when hiring a caterer.
Mistake 10: Waiting Until the Last Second
The final common wedding budget mistake to avoid is procrastinating on making those purchases. Start shopping once you’ve created your budget to seek the best deals. This also helps decrease the risk of impulse buying since there’s less stress. Instead, you can take your time to get ideas, scope out deals, and buy the best items for your big day. It’s time to start shopping!