No matter how small or how large your budget is, every one has a limit they’re comfortable spending on their wedding day. But is can be hard to know where to start (and when to stop) when it comes to allocating and parting with this money. We all want a beautiful wedding, so how do we achieve this while staying true to ourselves and our financial situation?
We spoke to some wedding planners and designers to ask their advice on how to create a beautiful wedding on a budget.
Determine your priorities
Created Lovely Events creative director and planner Nicole Sihlis says determining wedding priorities is the first step she takes in creating a budget with her clients.
“One of my favorite ways to start a wedding consultation is by asking a couple how they celebrate together. When something good happens in their life, what is their favorite way to embrace that moment? Their response is generally a really good indicator of where their priorities will lie within their budget.
“A response that falls along the lines of, ‘We typically go for a really nice dinner and order our favorite bottle of wine.’ will indicate that a strong caterer and nice table wine will be a budget priority. Another response might be, ‘We typically call our closest friends or family and grab drinks on a patio by the water.’ This would indicate a more laid back vibe, potentially where you want to prioritize creating a lounge feel where guests can sit and relax and enjoy a cocktail before dinner. More of your budget may be going into creating an atmosphere over high-end drinks or food in this instance.”
Make it personal
Answering these questions, Nicole says, is a way to ensure a wedding becomes a heightened extension of how each couple lives their day-to-day lives, and not just a beautiful event.
“If clients are a little vague on how they celebrate, I dig deeper into questions such as their favorite restaurants, favorite stores, favorite places they’ve traveled, and why? Often they’ll describe the décor or details, sometimes the food. All of this information bring out a greater understanding of the vibe you’re trying to create and if the food really is the priority, or if it’s the atmosphere that’s taking precedent in the budget.”
Start allocating your budget
Going Lovely event designer and planner PJ Dunn says once you’ve determined your overall budget and priorities, you can start to allocate money to these expenses. (If you’re not using a wedding planner to help with this, consider an online budgeting tool to assist.)
“You can absolutely have a beautiful experience without a huge price tag but you’ll need to get creative,” she says.
“You may be able to ‘splurge’ more on one or two things – your priorities – but keep in mind that you’ll have to cut back in other areas. Hiring that dream photographer that will provide you with pictures you’ll have for a lifetime (totally worth it by the way) may mean you’ll want to think about budgeting less and buying a non-designer or used dress or DIY your own flowers. ”
Find areas to save
And don’t hesitate to sign up family and friends to assist!
“Is your aunt great at cupcakes? See if she’ll contribute to the dessert bar. Your cousin plays the guitar? Live music for your ceremony! It’s a great way to not only be personal but also allow others to help out and be a part of your special day.”