Splurge or Save your Money? Budgeting for your Wedding
When it comes to planning your wedding, these are the two major areas to consider right away
Those are the date/location logistics and (the part that always freaks everyone out) the budget… *cue the dramatic dun-dun-duuuuuuuun* But it’s going to be ok! Money is often a taboo and *hush-hush* topic that makes people really uncomfortable. Recently, I have been trying to improve my own relationship with money by examining and questioning my preconceived notions surrounding moola. So far, I have learned that the way I feel about my finances will affect the way I attract money into my life. If I think of money as a source of good energy and truly believe that it continuously flows my way, it has a strange way of manifesting! Two forgotten Target gift cards (like that is EVER something you could forget about), finding a quarter in the track of your sliding door, or an unexpected gift from a family member. All this happened in the span of one week! Thanks Universe! I am just starting to learn how to attract monetary abundance into my life so if you want more info on this topic, I highly recommend following @manifestationbabe on Instagram. She’s awesome!
So, since this month is all about weddings on GS, my hope for this post is to normalize conversations about money/budgeting in a positive way by relating it to your special day. I want to share some of the areas that my husband and I totally thought were worth the splurge and those that we decided were not for us. I hope this helps you with your own budget and gives you some money-saving tips!
Knowing what figure you will be working with is incredibly important right out of the gate in order to avoid any confusion or overspending. There are plenty of budgeting spreadsheets on Excel or Pinterest to help you estimate the appropriate figure for you and your fiance’s situation. Every couple is different (some pay everything themselves while others have the help from family members) but regardless it’s still important to make a budget. My husband and I used one of the templates in Excel and it helped us figure out more or less our budget (even though some areas changed along the way).
Venue/Decor: Splurge on your venue to save on your decor
You will find that the majority of your budget will go fall into two categories: venue and food/alcohol. We had our wedding at a gorgeous estate on the water in Sarasota. It inhaled a good chunk of our budget but it also doubled as our decor. There was very little we had to decorate because the venue was so beautiful. What we did do was buy tea lights and holders in bulk from IKEA and decorate them with lace and dried lavender (all credit goes to my mother-in-law for that one). They were really inexpensive, looked amazing, and matched with our colors. After the wedding, we distributed them around to who ever wanted to keep them. Currently, I have a a few in our bathroom on some rustic shelves. So, to keep your decor budget on track, only buy things that you can use again after the day or you can give away to someone you know. There is no need to buy expensive decor if you can make something similar with the help of Pinterest and that will end up cluttering you closets with more junk.
Photographer/Videographer: Splurge (we saved on one of these and I have regrets!)
This is the one area I wish I had fought harder on. We hired an AMAZING photographer and the pictures were worth every penny. I even rehired her to take the headshots that you see on here and on my Instagram. She is also shooting my maid of honor’s wedding in December. If you are in the Sarasota/Tampa area and are on the hunt for a photographer, check Heather out HERE.
We did not hire a videographer mostly for the cost but I wish we had decided otherwise. Although the pictures we have are incredible, I would have loved to have some footage of the day to fully reminisce and eventually show our future children. My mom was able to film the actual ceremony so I do have that to rewatch but I would have liked some more. So, if you are on the fence on whether or not to hire one, I would suggest you do. Even if you ask a friend to take footage with their phone and you can edit it yourself later. It is better to have the footage than not have it and wish you did!
RSVP cards: Save your money
When you go to order your invitations, you will have the option to add RSVP cards to your order. When a guest receives your beautifully designed invitation, they will also get the RSVP card to fill out and mail back to you. Thanks to the internet you can completely eliminated this step, which will save your guest for the hassle of sending it back and save you so much money! Insted, make a wedding website and instruct your guests to RSVP there instead (you can often create a free website through the company that you order your invitations from). For us, to print RSVP cards along with our invitation would have added an additional $200ish to our order. That did not include stamps, which would have been an extra $40ish! So, we decided that money was better spent elsewhere, like our decor mentioned above.
Open bar: Splurge
This was a no-brainer. We have a very thirsty family (Norwegians and Polaks sure love to party!) so there was nooooo questioning that an open bar for our wedding was a must!
Favors: Save your money
You are already providing free food, booze, entertainment, and your love. That is plenty! I have noticed that most people will actually leave them behind....
Flowers: Splurge/Save your money
My fiance grew up in Sarasota so his family was a huge help with finding local vendors. With our florist, we had flowers ordered for the bouquets, the boutonnieres, and some in the centerpieces and near the ceremony location but the rest was mostly greenery. That way, we were able to keep our flower coat down by using less flowers and more simple greenery.
Tip: If you have a local farmers market or wholesaler that also sells flowers, you can bypass the florist all together. If you have the time, grab your wedding party and put them to work to make the bouquet and any floral arrangements your desire!
Wedding day coordinator: SPLURGE!
This was hands down the best money we spent at our wedding! Like I mentioned in last week’s post, it made our wedding so much easier to enjoy since we knew someone had all the technical/logistical things handled. None of our family members or people in our wedding party had to worry about anything and we could all enjoy the night.
And that’s the list! These are the things that worked for us and our budget as well as the ones we decided against. You might want completely different things at your wedding and that is absolutely wonderful! It is your day and it should be just the way you want it. I hope that post gives you a few new ideas and helps you avoid any future dread when it comes to discussing your wedding day budget.
As always, I would love to hear from you! If you have an amazing money-save tip for a wedding, please share it in the comments!