Your betrothed heart is going pitter-patter, and your bridal face is flushed. You look at your fiancé, and he too, seems to be a bundle of nerves. No, we’re not talking about the normally anticipated (and healthy) emotions that come with tying the knot, but the other kind of pre-wedding jitters — the one that has to do with money, money, and more money.
Did you know that a whopping 76% of married couples say they had wedding regrets? While we’re hoping that the regretful items do not include the choice of marriage partner, it is without a doubt that the total budget spent on the entire event, from the pre-planning stages to the big day itself, would rank high up in the list — possibly even topping it. To avoid wedding budget pitfalls, check out these financially savvy tips — and make sure that those butterflies in your stomach are fluttering for only the right reasons.
(NOT) Something borrowed
Don’t get into debt. Starting a to-do list with a “don’t” is a must if you are to set a sound basis for all your wedding planning decisions. Taking the plunge means making that big commitment to spend the rest of your life with the one you love — not deep-diving into a pile of debt. Taking out a loan just to ensure bragging rights to having the biggest wedding event of the year is one of the sure-fire routes to a post-wedding disaster. You wouldn’t want to start Day One of your marriage worrying about how to pay off your wedding bills, would you?
Plan way ahead. You hear this advice and you’re thinking, “Yup, heard that one before.” But before you start clicking onto another “how-to” website, at least read up on the next few lines. Planning early does not just refer to the plans that you make for the big day. More importantly, it pertains to decisions that will impact you and your husband-to-be much longer than the time it will take for your wedding cake leftovers to last in the fridge. Did you ponder on how long you will be staying at your one-bedroom apartment before the big move to your “couple” home? Have you given a thought to your next steps to ensure that the payments for your hefty student loans don’t eat up the bulk of expenditures of your two-income household? Where are you in terms of having emergency savings to last you at least nine months? Where would you want to financially take your marriage a decade from now? Incorporate your long-term dreams into your wedding plans and see how your decision-making will take an insightful turn for the better. After all, it is “forever” that is at stake here.
Professional services are some of the largest cost drivers of a wedding. Now is not the time to think twice about the help that is offered by the hands that used to rock the cradle (yours, that is!). Leverage family and friends who have time and talent to offer. Your creative and efficient cousin with a knack for planning events, your high school buddy who is now a career photojournalist, your culinary expert of a sister — ask (nicely, of course!) if they would be willing to offer their services as wedding presents. Or better yet, if you have a particular skill or talent, you can offer these to them by way of an ex-deal. Never underestimate your skillset. If you can pull off a beautiful wedding within your targeted budget, who knows, your financial savvy might be just what the next bride-to-be in your family or circle of friends will need.
Penny-wise but not pound-foolish
One can have a simple yet elegant and memorable wedding without going for an entirely minimalistic look ( which sometimes translates as “bare”). Of course, you wouldn’t want to look back on this very special day in your life with a lot of “could’ve been’s.” With your early planning down pat, you will be able to make those hard decisions about where to snip some spending and where you would want to intentionally shell out a bit more to ensure that your precious wedding will turn out the way you have exactly envisioned it to be.
- Your jewelry
Your bridal gems are keepsakes that can be investment pieces that you can pass on to your daughter. There are many gorgeous options to choose from without having to break the bank. Stick to your predetermined budget, marvel at the affordable choices, and buy that engagement ring at a reasonable price
- Your memories
Memories are made to last — so you want to ensure that you only make and keep the best. While you would want to tap your beloved photographer-cousin’s talents, you may want to see first if he can capably cover your wedding needs (and standards).
Otherwise, you may want to splurge a bit on this expense to preempt a major wedding album catastrophe.
- Your venue
Your venue need not be a deal-breaker when it comes to “wedding within your means.”
There are innumerable and creative options that can ensure an elegant yet non-enervating event for yourself and your fiance. You need not lose sleep over having to make that big deposit to secure the booking for your wedding venue at a five-star hotel or at that latest happening events place in town. Have you considered a backyard wedding? There are many free bridal websites that can show you how to turn a backyard wedding into a simple yet elegant affair. Your future in-laws or your own parents will most likely be willing to offer you their places as garden settings for the big day. Still another option is to check out newly opened or renovated events venues that would be willing to give you a substantial discount for the chance to feature your wedding in their portfolios.
- Your trifles
You’re clearing out the basement clutter, and you come across a friend’s wedding souvenir at the bottom of the heap. The next thing you know, you’re thinking if the The Salvation Army would have any use for the ceramic trinket. And that’s where most wedding mementos and carefully thought-about invites end up — either in the basement, in the donation box, or the trash bin. Of course, there’s that stewing period (you may equate the amount of safekeeping with how much you value your BFF’s friendship) — but ultimately, you know the final destination of these knickknacks. Thoughtful, personally handwritten thank-you notes are more elegant and precious – not to mention easier to keep! As for your invites, simple is best. Check out local designers. You can even print out the invites yourself on elegant store-bought paper. Just ensure these are well-crafted and well-proofread. Make sure all your t’s and i’s are crossed and dotted — literally. No wedding gaffe is as glaring as a misspelled name on that beautifully designed wedding invite.
About the author: Sophia Young is a content writer covering lifestyle and fashion topics. She’s actively participating as a guest blogger for various lifestyle blogs and has been co-authoring some articles of her colleagues. She’s currently enrolled in a content marketing course hoping to expand her knowledge in digital marketing.