How to Stay on Budget

December 20, 2018

Susan Dunne

How To Really Stay On Budget While Planning Your Wedding

 

One of the most important early steps in planning a wedding – besides saying yes, of course! – is setting a budget for the big day. Knowing how much you have to spend influences nearly every decision you’re going to make about your wedding day. But once you really get into the planning, it’s too easy for that budget to become less of a rule and more of a suggestion. Don’t let your day be overshadowed by money stresses. Here’s how to stay true to your budget while wedding planning.

Make choices according to the season. If you have your heart set on having a fresh fruit crepe station, but your wedding is in February, you’re going to pay a lot more for the fruit than you would in-season. The same goes with flowers: choose what’s readily available during the season of your wedding and you’ll have a much easier time hitting your target numbers.

  • Account for all the little things. Postage for your invitations might seem like a small purchase, but all of those little things are going to add up in the long run. Doing a thorough and extensive breakdown of costs will help you figure out if you can really afford that budget-stretching $5,000 wedding gown.
  • Have a miscellaneous fund. Things like tips for the drivers and delivery people, and meals for the vendors, are easy to forget about before the wedding day. Set aside a little bit of money for surprises and they won’t really be surprises at the end.
  • Ask about hidden costs. Many vendors charge premiums for things like holiday delivery – so if you’re planning your wedding for Labor Day Weekend, the quote for the florist might be different than if your event were on an ordinary Saturday. Make sure you ask questions and keep thorough notes while you’re doing your research. That will help you avoid surprises later on.
  • Calculate your “out the door” cost. Your venue will quote you a cost per person for your reception, but you can’t just multiply that amount by the number of guests. The per person quote doesn’t include tax, gratuity or any additional fees like room charges or rentals. Ask for a quote that’s fully itemized and looks like an invoice – that’s how you’ll get the full cost of the reception.
  • Be realistic about your headcount. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t RSVP and show up at your event unannounced. If your family isn’t the RSVPing kind, make some phone calls and get a realistic idea of how many people you’re going to have. Adding or subtracting even 10 people from your count can make a big difference to your bottom line. The headcount isn’t due until about 10 days before the wedding, so you’ll be able to make adjustments right up until then.

 

If it seems overwhelming, don’t panic! A wedding planner can help you cut down costs and spend your money wisely. Here are more money-saving tipsfrom The Knot, too. How much you’re going to save – and how much you can get for your dollar – is all a matter of how creative you’re willing to get.