Planning your wedding can be stressful – especially when you’re dealing with your budget! Here are some tips for you to consider before embarking on your wedding planning journey.
START PLANNING YOUR WEDDING EARLY
b. Planning at least a year or more from your wedding date allows time for you to pay your vendors over time. Typically when you sign a contract, an amount is required to hold the date and there are specific dates that balances are due designated by the vendor. As you get closer to your wedding date, if you contract vendors at the last moment, you may find yourself in a financial crunch to get them all paid before the wedding date. It is wise to pay monthly payments on the larger bills like a caterer/reception location to ease the stress financially. Another option is to save money for a 2-year period prior to the wedding to help with payments. Having a wedding should not mean using credit cards or creating new credit card debt or neglecting every day commitments to pay for the wedding.
a. You can create 3 guest lists:
1. Must invite;
2. Should invite; and
3. Would like to invite.Once you have created these lists, send invitations out from your “must invite” and possibly your “should invite” list early. As you receive “will not attend” responses, you can then send out invitations on your “would like to invite” list.
b. Decide whether or not to invite children. If you do invite children, keep in mind that at the reception, meals for children under 12 should be less if you pick something from the caterer’s child’s menu (ex. $19.95 as opposed to $29.95). Ask your caterer about this when you meet with them to confirm pricing and the children menus that are available.
c. Think carefully about inviting people you have not been in contact with for some time. Your wedding is not the time to catch up on old friends and chances are you will not get the time to catch up any way.
d. Do not include co-workers that you do not socialize with outside of work.
e. Never invite anyone out of guilt. If you have to think hard about whether to invite them, they probably do not belong on your list.
USE A WEDDING PLANNER
a. Wedding planners have training, expertise, and knowledge of the wedding planning process from vendors to venue, and can actually save you time and money. They have relationships with all types of vendors that they have developed over time. They know which vendors to select for clients based on the three P’s: pricing, product, and personality. They can save you a lot of frustration and aggravation.
b. The relationship that a wedding planner has with vendors is priceless. Vendors will usually go out of their way to do an excellent job and may negotiate on pricing because they want future referrals from the planner. We once saved a couple about $5,000 on their reception because of the relationship we had with the catering manager.
c. A planner can do as much or as little as you want. They can design a realistic budget, keep you on point, and supervise things the day of the event, just to name a few items. A planner should always advise the client how to best use their services based on the budget the client presents. A good planner will have a reliable vendor referral base; however, always having the client’s best interest in mind and not the vendor’s. It is about what is best for the client always, not what is best for the vendor.
d. Managing the wedding day is a very difficult task when you are part of the wedding party or a guest. Appointing a family member or friend, without the expertise to handle the many details and vendors, can be problematic. There are a lot of details and people to manage on the wedding day. This can be hectic at best for a seasoned planner. It can be absolutely overwhelming for someone with little or no experience. Also, vendors feel more comfortable when there is a planner to take charge and control the event. In the words of many vendors I have spoken with, their idea of the weddings they have attended without a planner is that they were unorganized, especially when the event is 100 or more people. Having a planner for at least the day of the event is highly recommended and can be affordable.
To see the original version of this article visit http://luxurweddings.blog.com/2011/wedding-budget/