Saying ‘I do’ to a budget-friendly wedding
Figuring out your wedding budget can be confusing if you’ve never planned a large event. This will likely be the biggest party you’ll ever host – and probably the most expensive.
It’s difficult to nail down a dollar amount if you’re unsure of what you can actually afford. However, working hard and putting in some time and energy early on will lead to a very happy “happily ever after.”
Here are a few money tips to keep your finances and your stress level in check.
- Create a budget. Start by figuring out exactly how much you can spend. This amount might depend on whether you have family helping with expenses or footing the bill on your own.
- Determine what kind of wedding you want. You can’t stick to a budget if you don’t set one. Begin by making a list of all the items that you want for your wedding and researching pricing. Don’t be afraid to include big and small items on that list – at the end of this, you’ll be able to plug in the items that fit your budget.
- Start saving. Now that you’ve assessed your financial situation, created your wedding budget and identified the must-haves are on your wedding list, start putting the money aside.
- Be aware of the big-ticket items that can eat up your wedding nest egg quickly. These items are often fresh flowers, venue, photography and caterer, to name a few. There are lots of ways to cut these costs, often by taking non-traditional routes. Nail down your most essential items and start researching ways to cut those expenses. Google and Pinterest are great places to start.
- Borrow and utilize thrifting. Upcycling is a hot trend, and your wedding is as good a time as any to take advantage of it. Maybe you have friends who got married recently and have items you can make your own. Thrifting is also a great way to find décor you can re-purpose for your big day.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Even with a considerable budget and a diligent approach, there will still be unexpected costs. Having a buffer for this can reduce a lot of stress.
Most importantly, your wedding is about the two of you and your marriage, and that will last much longer than the one-day celebration. Having a budget means figuring out what matters to you and focusing on ways to make those priorities come to life – without sacrificing your entire bank account.
Emily Mays is vice president/chief administrative officer at Community Spirit Bank in Red Bay, working in finance for 15 years. She is an enthusiastic social media marketer, financial literacy advocate and go-local supporter. She lives in East Franklin and has one daughter, Lola.