Once you’ve settled into your engagement, it’s time to actually start wedding planning. You can’t start planning a wedding without a budget, (well, you can but you really shouldn’t!) and you need to know where your priorities lie before you build that budget.


We talked with Laura Maddox at Magnolia Celebrates about how couples should prioritize their budget and the answer was simple. Decide what’s important to you.


“I personally think it's all about your own priorities. So, you have to decide what's most important. If food is really important to you as a couple, then food is going to be important to you on your wedding day. If photography is really important to you, then photography is going to be really important to you on your wedding day,” explained Laura.


Talk to your partner about each of your priorities and then decide on the top priorities together. Once you have your top list of priorities, divvy your budget up accordingly. Allot more money for categories that are important to you.


“There are people out there who are going to spend double on their photography budget but then, don't care about food,” said Laura. “I've had couples with $150,000 budgets that have spent $1,000 on their wedding dress because it's just not their priority.”


After you’ve prioritized and divvied up accordingly, things aren’t set in stone, but they do get harder to adjust, especially once you start signing contracts. If you overspend in one category, there are a few tweaks you may be able to make to another to makeup for the overage, but it can be difficult to change around your whole budget after a certain point.“


You can rethink your decor, you can rethink the food that you're serving, but once you've given deposits and signed contracts, it's really hard to re-prioritize your budget,” Laura said.“Once you've signed for the $5,000 photographer, it's $5,000. You can't go back and say, well, we need to re-prioritize our budget.”


”Make sure you really consider what’s important to you. And once you’ve made your budget, make sure you are very comfortable with it before moving forward with any big bookings.


About this week’s guest: Laura Maddox of Magnolia Celebrates has spent the last decade plus curating life’s most exciting moments for her clients. She has gotten wine, blood, dirt and more out of wedding dresses, and helped countless brides find their perfect team for their big day.


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Photo Courtesy of [vetted] Magnolia Celebrates