Yeah, it’s not the sexy stuff, like flowers, or dresses, but your budget is one thing that follows you through the entire wedding process. One of the first things people tell you to do for wedding planning is set a budget. For me, this meant brainstorming a number that I felt was reasonable to spend on one day of our lives. I was of the notion that while the wedding is important it’s really just one day of our entire life together, and well, why not start that life with a little more dough in our pockets?
That was a nice idea. I say that because at that point I really had no idea how much a wedding cost. We’ve got about 220 people on the guest list and we wanted to be in the Twin Cities, so whatever dreams I had of coming in under-budget (this is laughable now) were out after those two factors came into play.
This isn’t to say you can’t stay in your budget if you decided to stay in the Twin Cities or if you’re inviting more than 200 people, but it sure made it tough on our budget. One of the first money-saving tips I heard was to cut the guest list. Easier said than done, especially with big families and close friends (they should warn you when you enter sororities or fraternities that your wedding guest list will double).
Pessimism aside, the truth is that we’ll have a day surrounded by loved ones and friends. This is something my fiancé constantly reminds me, and therefore he’s the best “wedding planner” I’ve ever met.
So, I’ve let go a bit, come to a new realization (one that’s more accurate) and am finding other ways to keep things fun and entertaining while also affordable. The following are a couple tools I use to help keep us on track:
- An awesome budget spreadsheet I found online
- The Martha Stewart Weddings timeline checklist tool
- A credit card with good point accumulation (why not build up flight credit while paying for a wedding, right? It could help with the honeymoon.)
- Happy hours with friends and family to remember what it’s really all about.