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According to WeddingWire.com, Valentine’s Day is the second most popular day to get engaged. Of course it is! It’s the day of love!
While getting married will be one of the most important days of your life, it is easy to fall in the trap of debt when preparing for your big day. Even if you don’t go into debt, overspending is very common. Some people have a budget and desire to meet or come under it. A budget for a wedding does not mean a cheap wedding. It all depends on how smart you plan your wedding.
When my husband and I got married, my parents had a budget that they told us and a budget that was their reality. I’m so glad they did this. My husband and I were caught up in the moment and had very different ideas on what we wanted. I wanted something small and intimate while my husband wanted to go big. Because this was also the desire of my parents, we had a fairly large wedding. However, that didn’t mean we had big money. 😉
There are many ways you can cut the costs of your wedding expenditures. However, you should pay attention to every line item so that you will not sacrifice the quality of it. Here are three ways you can easily bust your wedding budget but it doesn’t mean you have to go cheap:
1. Wedding Photography and/or Videography
A professional wedding photography can charge you anywhere between $1000-$3000. You might think that you can just ask your friend or relative to take your wedding pictures. Absolutely Not! Wedding pictures and videos are the only things that you can see or view to relive your wedding moments in the future. These are precious moments that you don’t want to leave even to an amateur. I was at a wedding one time where the photographer was socializing more than actually taking pictures. She almost missed the kiss. I was mortified for the bride. You also want a photographer to bring a second person; however, this is not necessary. I have a photography friend who does an excellent job by herself. She doesn’t socialize and is a total professional.
If you really need to cut your budget, try asking around from some photography clubs. There is also Facebook. You can find a lot of photographers in your area that offer very decent prices. There are some members out there who really have a hobby of photography and would not mind to give you lower prices. One good practice is to pay them first to do your pre-wedding picture or video. If you are satisfied with the results, you can contract him/her again for your wedding day.
2. Wedding & Reception Venue
This is an area my husband and I went back and forth on because we were planning our wedding in three months and didn’t want to do much. We preferred going with a venue that did everything. But, remember that budget I was telling you about? It wouldn’t allow for it. So we decided to get married at the new chapel my school just built. It was gorgeous! At the time, the church we were attending could be converted into a reception hall and that’s what we did. All they wanted was for us to make sure we cleaned up after ourselves and the church was ready for service on Sunday. We made sure we honored this request.
I love the movies where you see people getting married in homes. You can have a very beautiful wedding in the back of any home with a decent sized yard. If you think that you could save money by having your wedding in your home, make sure that it is comfortable enough for guest to gather around. You want your guests to be comfortable so that they would stay longer. Try to find good venues that match your theme. Also, consider getting married in the middle of the week. You would find that there’s lower prices for those days.
This is one area that is still painful for me because we lost a lot of money here. We hired someone to do all of our arrangements and on the day of the viewing, what we saw was horrible. I was so disappointed and hurt. We had to scramble to find another florist but we ended up getting a wedding coordinator that helped us through the rest of the process.
You MUST ask around to find out how much it will cost you for arranging wedding ceremony flowers? The cost of wedding flowers can exceed $4000 even for simple arrangements. Some flower vendors are cheap, but cheap is what you will get. Be careful of vendors that will show you a good sample of flowers, and when it is time for your wedding day, he/she will arrange the flowers with some “not so fresh” ones. Our new vendor had lots of pictures and when the flowers started arriving for our wedding, she would text me images of them. Another way you can cut your cost here is by ordering the flowers that are in season. Or, you can have a garden wedding without adding more budget to flower decorations.
4. The Cake
If I could do it all again, I would have done just cupcakes. I wasn’t too pleased with my wedding cake; however, I also didn’t do the necessary preparations to ensure I would be happy. You can blow your budget here but now there are also some inexpensive options. Some local grocery stores now make beautiful wedding cakes. If you get a friend of a friend to make your cake, you need to make sure that you have seen what they have done in the past. When I walked into the reception hall, it was the first thing I saw and I was disappointed. As I look at this picture and think back, it’s not so bad.
5. The Food
Get recommendations here! Make sure your vendor can deliver on what they promise. Set an amount you are willing to pay per person and stick to it. Have the vendor provide you with their menus and make the necessary adjustments. Some people even opt for finger food as opposed to a full dinner. Depending on the size of invited guests to your reception, this will be an area where you will definitely spend some money but you don’t have to blow your budget on it.
Remember while you want to have a beautiful wedding, it is more important that you have a beautiful marriage. There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding but you can stay on budget. There are also other ways to bust your budget. Let’s not forget the dress! Overall, the important thing is planning according to your budget and referring to it often with updates of your spending. You can cut the costs significantly of what you have budgeted.
If you are married, how did you make sure you stayed on budget for your wedding?