Budget Quickie: Do it Together!
Don’t cringe. Budgeting is fun! Especially when you’re talking about budgeting for the biggest day of your lives thus far! Budgeting for parties is way more fun than budgeting for the fiscal year at your cubicle job. Believe me, I know. Today I’m sharing a few quickie budgeting tips that will hopefully be helpful to you and may spark some healthy conversation between you and your soon to be better half.
1. Do it TOGETHER! Sorry to yell there, but I cannot stress this enough. Budgeting for the big day has to be a joint agreement. I’m almost certain that there have been engagements that have fallen apart because they couldn’t reach an agreement on the wedding budget. Don’t let that happen to you! Even if you’re the tiny-details-planning type (like me) and your future hubs just wants to know when to show up-he still needs to be involved in the budget. My lovely groom is exactly that type. He does have a few opinions about some of the small details but overall he’s not to concerned with anything but the money. He seriously could care less if the table linens were cappuccino brown or chocolate brown. How much is it going to cost him? How many hunting trips will he have to turn down just to afford this wedding? How many hours will he have to work to pay for the wedding? You get the idea. Both spouses need to be involved in coming up with the general budget. Period.
2. Honesty is the best policy. This holds especially true when it comes to planning your wedding and shelling out thousands of your hard earned dollars. You and your spouse-t0-be need to make a pact that you’ll be completely honest with each other when it comes to the budget. If you know that the cake is really going to cost $350 don’t tell your well-meaning fiance that it’s only going to cost $250. Fill them in on the details of what you’re getting for the money related to each purchase. $350 may sound like a lot for a cake; but let him know that the price includes design, delivery, cutting, etc. Information is power and the more information you can provide about your purchases the better they may feel about it. Finding out the real costs of a wedding can be a shock to anyone so don’t be surprised if you have to pick his jaw up from the floor after you tell him the dress of your dreams costs more than a down payment on a house. Be open and honest at all times when it comes to money.
3. Become a bargain shopper. This is probably the number one key to having the wedding of your dreams on a budget. I don’t care if you have a $2,000 budget or a $22,000 budget; shopping around for the best deal will mean you get more for your money. If you have a longer engagement (most are a year plus nowadays) then you have plenty of time to research. If you’re totally new to the wedding planning process then you may be clueless as to how much things really cost. Take some time to figure out what you like and what the going rate is. If you MUST have those custom letter press invitations then start shopping around. Check out your local wedding invitation places, check out online invitation designers, ask your married friends who did their invitations. Research and research some more. Once you have a pretty good idea about what the going rate is for the item/venue/dress/etc. that you’re looking for you can begin contacting vendors directly and getting quotes. Sign up for website newsletters and jump on their semi-annual sale to save money. Sign up for awesome deal-stealing sites like iDo! We specialize in offering high quality products/services from vendors who are looking to expand their businesses. Our vendors are often those that are extremely talented and offering huge discounts in the name of building a larger customer base. Take advantage of special sales and deals as often as possible. Think of it as a game! I love telling my fiance about the huge discounts that I’ve scored on stuff for the wedding. It lets him know that I’m not being wasteful with our money.
4. Look beyond the day. Your wedding is a flash in time in the grand scheme of your lives together. Weddings are important, but as an excited bride-to-be I sometimes have to step back and think about life after the wedding day. Will our big day be overshadowed by the fact that we didn’t have the right color chair covers? Will my family/friends love us less because we couldn’t afford the photobooth at the reception? Will our guests have a bad time because we only had wine & beer instead of a full bar? The answer to that is no. The goal of the wedding is to get married to your bff. This can be accomplished on even the tiniest of budgets. The other stuff is just fluff. Gorgeous, fun, pretty fluff, but fluff. It doesn’t last past the party. The flowers die and people forget what the favors were. People will never forget that they were blessed to witness the union of two people that they care deeply about. You and your spouse will never forget the feelings that you felt that day, but I gaurantee you, as time goes on, you’ll have to flip back to the dusty photo album to remember what color the bar napkins were. Keeping this simple fact in mind will make it a lot easier to keep your budget in check. Splurging on those Jimmy Choo shoes that you’ll only wear for 32 mintues seems less important. Having the 3-tier cake instead of the 7-tier seems more doable. Dealing with a boat load of debt after the honeymoon glow has worn off sounds pretty terrible to me. Try to think about how tough that will be to deal with as a new couple when you’re grappling with pricey wedding details.
I hope you guys and gals find these tips helpful. This may give you a jumping off point if you haven’t started talking about the budget. Take some time to reconnect with your fiance about the wedding budget if you’re already in the thick of planning.
What budgeting struggles have you and your fiance been dealing with? Any helpful tips you can share with us?