You will be amazed that ideas will now seem to come from everywhere. Before you run out and put a deposit on the first band you hear, take a breath. Next as a couple, talk about what matters most. Do you want a massive party? Is most popular swing band in town a must? Do you want a 24 piece-tasting menu or is photography, capturing the day the most important?
Here are 10 things that you should have on your ‘budget to-do list and if you do these, your life will be much easier.
1 – Establish three or four things that are important and from a budgetary prospective, and number them. This way when another ‘great idea’ pops up, you can see if it fits in your most important list and you can adjust if you have to.
2 – Talk to your partner about your budget. In this day and age, more and more couples are either getting married a bit older and/or the parents can’t afford the blowout that they might have in the past. Set a realistic budget and be honest about what you can pay for. This is supposed to first day of your lives, not the first day of you in the poor house.
3 – Go to your local office supply company and buy a pocketed envelope folder that will hold all of your bills and contracts. If a regular binder is more your cup of tea, then also purchase the clear pockets and tabs, which you will lable for quick location and easy access. You will now have all in one place, all necessary information from your chosen vendors as well as your contracts. If you keep everything in one place, the less likely it is anything will be lost.
4 – Things happen; you know this so be prepared. Create an emergency fund – about 10% of your total wedding budget. This will be here to cover unplanned expenses. Look at it this way, if you don’t need it, the extra can go back in the back which is always a great start to a marriage. Or you could use it for an extra special night on your honeymoon. I opt for the former.
5 – Control, Control, Control. I know you’re excited, but please control yourself. You’ll be surprised that what you wouldn’t normally give a second glance to suddenly becomes the thing you absolutely must have. This is the quickest way to blow your budget. Just don’t do it.
6 – Don’t go with the first vendor you see. Do your homework and shop around. You may be surprised at the bargains you can find. Don’t forget to ask what comes with their price and see if they are willing to make adjustments to their packages.
7- Ask for help if you need it. This includes asking you, my favorite grooms. Your job didn’t stop at giving her the ring. This is your day as well and I’m sure your bride will be thrilled if you offer to help. Help with the bridal registry today and have a less stressed out bride tomorrow. See, everyone wins.
8 – Schedule it and stick to it. Write it down and remember, “money is time, and time is money.”
9 – When you decide to shop for your dress, you should only have one or two people with you on any given time. This is not the time where “the more the merrier”. This is an example of too many cooks making you crazy. Of course when you do your fittings, if you want to make it a party with your girlfriends, then by all means.
10 – Read the fine print and know what you’re getting. It may take a bit longer but you must read the contract and then read it again before you sign it. Remember once it’s signed you can’t say you didn’t know.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a stress free day. Good Luck!
Until next time…