Head Over Heels: Prioritizing Your Budget

You’ve watched the reality TV shows and you’ve perused every bridal magazine.  You have the exact idea of how you want your wedding to look like.  But the harsh reality of the cost of a wedding starts to hit you as you begin to talk with wedding vendors.  Little did you know that the tables-cape you’re dreaming of costs $3,500 per table!

So how can you plan your perfect wedding while keeping your wedding budget under control?

The #1 mistake that couples make during the planning process is going over budget.  It’s not hard to do.  You could have a budget of $15,000 or $115,000, but you can still fall victim to spending more on your wedding than you budgeted.  Unless you have a professional wedding planner…

Perhaps you struggle with your own household budget.  It’s ok to admit you need help with your wedding budget.  A wedding planner will talk with you about your “need to have” products/services at your wedding versus your “nice to have’s”.  That is how you can prioritize where to put more of your budget.  A dedicated planner will also be the neutral third party that will help you stay on track with your budget.  Finally, a wedding planner lives and breathes the industry, which means they know the real cost for your dream expectations.

    "a wedding planner lives and breathes the industry...they know the real cost for your dream expectations"

Maybe you want the $3,500 table; however, your actual budget will allow for only a $900 table.  A wedding planner will work with you and your vendors to utilize your $900/table budget to its full potential.   This includes using flowers that are in season or less expensive, using provided linens, or creating your own menu cards, table numbers and placecards.

What if you’re not comfortable with deadlines or are not familiar with the wedding planning process.  Many costly mistakes are made when you do not follow the timeline for planning a wedding.  By not ordering your dress in time to have alterations done or not attending your tasting before ordering invitations are just a couple of the things that can quickly put you over your wedding budget.

Perhaps you’re not comfortable negotiating. This can mean not only negotiating your vendor prices, but also being comfortable negotiating the alternative choices you may need to make in order to stay within your budget.  A professional wedding planner is trained to negotiate pricing with other wedding vendors.  They are also trained to work with your wedding vendors to provide you with the alternative choices that will help you stay on budget.

A wedding planner has a fee that you may not have originally budgeted for, but for the above reasons, you should see your return on investment in hiring a professional to help you navigate not only your wedding budget, but your wedding planning process.  And if your budget is more around $15,000, do not fret.  You can still afford a wedding planner to help you with your budget, as many planners offer hourly rates to offer their assistance in budgeting.

"Your GUEST LIST has the biggest impact on your budget"

In addition to hiring a professional wedding planner, there are two items that can quickly impact your budget.  Your GUEST LIST has the biggest impact on your budget and if you are willing and able to limit the number of guests at your wedding, you can navigate your budget more easily.  Your WEDDING DATE can affect your budget and if you are willing and able to get married during the off-season or not on a Saturday night, you may have some room in your budget for your need to have’s.

As you fall head over heels into your wedding planning process, remember that your wedding budget does not have to get out of control or be the source of stress, frustration and disagreement.  Review your guest list, your wedding date, hire a professional wedding planner and your budget will not be an issue.

Author: Nicole Zenner - Professional Bridal Consultant, Premier Planning Services Inc.

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