It’s no secret that one of the more stressful parts of wedding planning is budgeting. Unless you’ve thrown a wedding before, it can be difficult to determine how much you should spend on certain vendors. And before you know it, your budget is gone, just like that! We are here to help you figure out how not to bust your budget and if you do, how to scale back!

 

Prioritize

First things first, figure out what is most important to you on wedding day. Is it the food being served? Or is it having the best band to jam out with all night long? Whatever it may be, prioritize each vendor that will be part of your wedding day team and take it from there. 

 

Whatever your highest priority is, allocate enough money in your budget to have a top of the line vendor. For example, if it’s catering, make sure your budgeted amount is in line with the pricing of the top tier caterer in your city.

 

Be Realistic

We’ve all heard it before, but it couldn’t be truer when creating your wedding budget: “You can’t have caviar taste on a tuna fish budget.” This is more often than not the biggest problem people have while budgeting. Be mindful of your overall budget. If you have a $30,000 budget, you probably shouldn’t spend $15,000 on a band. 

 

Biggest Bang for Your Buck

When working within a budget, think about things that will get you the biggest return on your investment. Whether that be hiring a wedding planner to help you find the best vendors at the right price or choosing the right décor to spend your money on.

 

It’s all about compromise. If you can’t fit upgraded linens, chiavari chairs, chargers and gold silverware all into your budget, pick the ones that will make the biggest statement. 

 

Also, be mindful of spending where it doesn’t make a difference. Sure, that handwritten wooden bar sign is beautiful, but that money could be saved and added elsewhere in the budget where it will make a bigger bang for your buck.  

 

Scaling Back

So it happened, even after all that advice your busted your budget. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone! If the money tree out back has stopped growing and you are forced to scale back, here is what we suggest:

 

Guest Count

Decreasing your guest count is sure to drive down that budget. Not only will it change the cost for catering, but it will decrease the number of guest tables needed (a.k.a rentals) which in return decreases the number of centerpieces needed (a.k.a florals) and will also decrease the number of paper goods needed (a.k.a invitations, programs, menu cards, etc.). It’s a classic snowball effect!

 

Date Change

If you’ve busted your budget during the budget planning, then you have the option to look at a date change. If you’ve busted your budget after the planning has started, we advise you skip this section!

 

Consider switching to a non-Saturday, most venues will offer a discount on Fridays or Sundays. Same goes for time of year. Not just venues, but other vendors will sometimes offer a discount for having a wedding during the off-season.

 

Eliminations

Okay, this will be your last resort. You need to plain old cut back. Start with the smaller things. Do you really need a customized welcome sign? Think you can do without the monogrammed napkins and the upgraded gold silverware? Still not enough? Then move on to some larger changes. Ask your florist if there are any cheaper flowers that will help create the same look. Can you do a DJ instead of a band? Can you cut out a passed appetizer or the late-night snack you planned? 

 

Where there is a will there is a way!

 

Photo Courtesy of Samantha Laffoon Photography.