There is one sentence that can make me eye-roll like no other in this industry.. Are you guilty of saying it??
"Hi I have (enter here a large number) of bridesmaids and I am on a really tight budget."
Whenever I hear this, I want to shake (gently) the caller/emailer and ask why do you have so many Bridesmaids if you have such a tight budget?
OK before I go all ranting, lets get back to the issue, Wedding Budgets. I'm sure many vendors will ask you what your budget is straight away, and I'm sure you are thinking well what are your prices so I can work out a budget! It is a crazy circle of confusion, and hopefully I can shed some light on it for you.
SET YOUR BUDGET Sit down with your fiance and work out how much you are going to spend on your big day. Write a list of all the items and services you want and need. At this point you are better to have an overall cost in mind, than try to allocate for each item.
BE REALISTIC Don't have champagne taste on a beer budget! if you are on a tight budget, be realistic, don't be tempted into additional items, services you cant afford. Some of the biggest costs in the wedding are having a large guest list and a large bridal party. If you budget is small, keep these small as well, paying for 6 sets of Bridesmaid and groomsman outfits, flowers, makeup, hair, shoes, gifts, transport etc... can add up to so much more than you planned for. Additional guests might mean the smaller venues are off limits to you, all things to keep in mind.
RESEARCH Don't be afraid to shop around, prices can vary a lot, but its super important to remember that with some goods and services you get what you pay for , cheap isn't always better. This is where reading peer reviews are worth your time, and referrals of vendors/items from friends and family.
PRIORITIZE If you have a fixed budget, and lets face it unless you are Kym and Kayne we all do, Prioritize what is most important to you both. Is it the beautiful waterside venue, is it the amazing gown/suit? Pick the items that you want to focus on, with the understanding that other items may have to take a back seat. (I will talk more about items I think are hero prioritize in an upcoming post)
BE FLEXIBLE If money is an issue, it is imperative that you are flexible. Are you willing to have your wedding on a cheaper day of the week? Or perhaps in the cooler months when many vendors offer discounts? are their special offers you can take advantage of?
LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS Most vendors will be happy to work with any realistic budget. Don't be afraid to let them know, they can help guide you to get the best from your money, but if you are too unrealistic with your expectations, you will only piss off your vendors, or you will fall for a vendor that promises you the world and doesn't deliver.
More about areas I think you should prioritize in the next post.....