Recently, I sat on the other side of this wedding ‘fence’ and spent the day dress shopping with one of my closest girlfriends and brides to be. What I was taken aback with was the number of comments from the ‘bridal posses’ at each dress shop. “Oh don’t worry it’s over budget just don’t tell him”, “your folks will pay” or a polar opposite “You’re only wearing it for a few hours why spend $5000?!”
Budget is the key thing to any Wedding. Every single couple talks about it at some stage in their planning and it can cause stress and arguments. So how to tackle the sticky subject of the wedding budget. Where can you splurge and where should you scrimp?
Of course, this differs from person to person so the best way to start is to write a list. List every single thing you want at your wedding, then rank them from most important ‘must have’s’ to ‘negotiable’, and where possible include them in order of priority. Ask your married friends what they would’ve done differently? Hindsight is a wonderful thing and they will no doubt be able to give you their own stories to help you compile your list.
On the list of must-haves usually sit the Venue, Celebrant, Photographer, Dress, Food and Drink are the top few. They’re things you need to book or order in advance so making a decision on these key items should be your first priority.
After you have nailed down the necessary items, it’s time to look at your negotiable items. Where can you save for your wedding? Again, this will be different for everyone. Many people elect to DIY many wedding details to save money which is a great option! A word of caution however, make sure you don’t take on too much otherwise you will put yourself under excessive pressure that may not be worth the result.
Something to keep in mind when you are compiling your list of negotiable items is that some things are definitely worth spending the extra money on. One common question I see on the Wedding forums is ‘can anyone recommend a great, cheap photographer’ – this is in the same category as Unicorns and a washing machine that folds your clothes. Doesn’t exist. So spend a little extra, within reason, so you can enjoy your Wedding photos for years to come.
A celebrant is another thing, I know of Celebrants $250 cheaper than me but I genuinely believe you get what you pay for. Considering that this person is the energy at your ceremony, the person who can calm your nerves with their presence and the one who will make certain everything you wanted to say gets said in my opinion, it’s worth the money.
Food is important at any event not just a wedding. Make sure you have enough food and drink. There are many ways to stick to a budget and with a little research you will be able to find a catering option that suits you. If you aren’t supplying food or a lot of drinks, that’s absolutely ok, but be sure to tell your guests beforehand so that they can have lunch or a snack between the Ceremony and reception.
Some things will linger long after the Wedding day, and some will be thrown out by the cleaners as everyone heads home, high-heels in hand. So work out what matters to you and go from there. But above all keep it in perspective. It’s about celebrating the fact you’ve decided to spend the rest of your live with the one you love and that’s all that matters.
Ms Gingham says: It’s all about prioritising your options and thinking outside the square!
Shannon Fleming Civil Celebrant says: “I’m a bit of an alternative to the ‘average celebrant’. Your wedding day should be relaxing, fun and one you will remember.”