$10 here; $20 there...it doesn't seem like much until you take a look at your wedding planner and realize - you're way over budget. Don't stress too much! Did you know that less than 20% of newly married couples actually stay within their budget? So first, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone.
More importantly, understand that it's really not that hard to shave a few dollars here and there to make your wedding more affordable, it's not too late - and you don't have to sacrifice the little details you've been dreaming about to do it!
What's Most Important?
We want you to take a minute to write down the 5 highest-priority elements of your wedding. Many couples put a lot of value on choosing the right rings; the perfect wedding dress (within reason) is a must for lots of brides-to-be; the wedding cake also deserves its share in the budget battle. Consider the parts of your special day that are most important to you and your fiancé - whether it's an exotic honeymoon or high-quality photos - and jot down the top five.
Balancing Dreams with Bank Accounts
There are simple ways to save money on every detail of your wedding. Look over your list of priorities, open up your budget planner, and use a few of these ideas to stay within budget:
- The date. Unless you have your heart set on a specific wedding date, opt for a Friday night or Saturday afternoon event rather than Saturday evening. Venues may also offer reduced rates for morning or brunch gatherings. Avoid peak seasons to reduce expenses as well.
- The flowers. Professional florists can be a real budget-drainer, especially if you want lots of flowers. Leave your bridal bouquet to the high-end florist, but check with local markets, grocers, and super stores for corsages and other arrangements you need.
- The cake. Even if the wedding cake is on your list of priorities and your guest list is enormous, you can save money on it. It's quite common for modern couples to serve their guests a less expensive sheet cake from the kitchen to limit the size (and cost) of an elaborate wedding cake.
- Food and drink. Morning or afternoon wedding receptions offer flexibility, as well as opportunities to cut costs. Brunch buffets or finger foods and sweets are much more affordable than a full-course gourmet dinner. A barbecue may complement an outdoor event. You can also enlist the help of friends and relatives to provide your own delicacies for the reception and save tremendously.
You don't have to spend the down payment for your new house on your wedding! If it's not on your Top 5, don't splurge for the best. Once you've said ‘I do', the memory of your special day will never be less than perfect - whether you're over budget or under.