Everyone dreams of having a perfect wedding, but with the escalating costs of suppliers nowadays, is it still possible for you and your other half to walk down the aisle without the burden of debt?
Fortunately, it is. Creating a budget for a wedding may not be easy, but when you have it all planned out and you are able to stick to it, the result will be spectacular. Here are a few suggestions for planning and realizing your dream wedding without breaking the bank.
Draw up a budget. You’d be surprised by how much you can end up spending for your wedding day. Aside from the location, the venue, and the food, you may be spending money on music, flowers, dresses, decorations, gifts, invitations, and photography, among other things. You also need to include tips for the caterers and other people who helped you organize the event. Without the help of a wedding coordinator, you will need to budget the wedding yourself, but it is a good idea to have your partner or a friend or family member help you as well.
Shop around. Attending a wedding expo is a great way of getting new ideas from other wedding suppliers. Just don’t get caught up in the excitement of the expo and settle on the first supplier that catches your eye. Bring a trusted friend along to help you decide what you want, and don’t sign any contracts; instead, get the contact information of the vendor and research the company first. Also, create another email for your wedding needs so that your personal email account won’t get bogged down.
After you have decided on a vendor, make sure that you put everything in writing. Contracts should specify the deposit and payment terms, products, prices, liability insurance responsibility, dates, and so on. It is also a good idea to pay with a credit card so that if there is a problem, you are protected while it is resolved. Review your credit report to ensure that your credit is in good standing and you can afford to pay with your card.
Play it safe. Although not directly related to saving money, getting wedding insurance (which can protect you in the event of family illness, severe weather, and other situations that can result in a canceled or postponed wedding) can be a big financial help in certain circumstances. Ask your insurance agent about the services rendered as well as what is and isn’t included in the insurance coverage. You can also avail yourself of liability coverage in case something happens to you or one of your guests.
Here are some other miscellaneous tips for sticking to your budget for the wedding:
- Limit the guest list. Make sure that only the people you are close to are invited. Remember that the more people there are, the more mouths you need to feed and the more food you need to buy.
- Consider the date. It can be cheaper to get married in a month unconnected to weddings rather than getting married in the typical wedding months of June and December. If you don’t care about being a June or December bride (or groom), choose a cheaper month.
- Consider daytime weddings. The cost of a daytime wedding can be relatively cheaper than that of a nighttime wedding, so you might think about having your wedding in the morning or afternoon.
- Consider less costly venues. Instead of renting a hotel, why not consider a less costly venue? Museums, community centers, parks, and clubhouses can be good placesfor a wedding. Before renting, however, ask if these places have their own lighting systems, chairs and tables, and other wedding equipment.
- Be smart about food. Going for a buffet dinner instead of a plated dinner can save you money. You can save even more if you host an afternoon reception with lunch rather than a dinner.
- Shop second-hand. For the dress of the bride and the groom’s suit, consider buying or renting second-hand clothing rather than new outfits. If possible, you might even use your mother’s or grandmother’s dress and father’s or grandfather’s suit for the wedding. All you need to do is to have the times cleaned beforehand.
- Personalize invitations. Print and design your own wedding invitations instead of going to the printer and having them design your invitations. The personal touch the invitations have will make them even more meaningful for your guests.
- Save money on music. If you don’t want to spend too much on music, you can hire a disc jockey rather than a live band. Another option is to have your friends sing for you.
Amy Johnson is an active finance blogger who is fond of sharing interesting financial management tips to encourage people to manage their personal finances.