Weddings are one of the most joyful occasions you can celebrate. There’s nothing better than family and friends gathering to help send newlyweds into a bright future.
But before the big day, a lot of planning has to be done. Some of it is pretty obvious. Other things are not so evident, but they can be the difference between a great lead-up to a wedding or an experience you’d rather forget.
You can get off on the right foot by paying close attention to some often-overlooked strategies.
Get the timing down
Start planning a budget as soon as the wedding talk starts. If you are going to ask parents or friends to pitch in, they will appreciate having time to get their finances together.
You’ll appreciate the extra time to learn the ins and outs of wedding planning and shopping. For most, it’s the first time they work with vendors in the wedding industry. That makes it tricky.
Extra time will allow you to collect your thoughts about what’s important, how much you want to spend on specific items, and how the pricing structure works for each one.
Figure out income
Sometimes the most challenging part of setting a budget is having awkward conversations about who is paying for what.
According to Statista, the average wedding cost in 2019 was $33,900. Unless you and your significant other plan to finance the entire project yourselves, you’ll have to get some commitments for cash.
Try to have some budgets ready for the more expensive items like the venue, the number of people invited, the wedding dress, the caterer, and the photographer.
Having an idea of these costs can make money conversations easier.
Watch out for hidden costs
Wedding receptions are a blast, and sometimes everyone wants to keep the party rolling. However, if you’ve got family and friends that know how to celebrate (like here in South Louisiana), you may want to make sure the venue, photographer, and caterer don’t charge extra if the party rolls on later than expected.
Shop till you drop
Wedding businesses make up a $3 billion industry in the United States. But that’s good news for you! All the competition means you get to really shop around for the best possible deal.
Don’t forget the internet. Online retailing makes the competition keener.
Calculate and track expenses
It’s easy to forget about tracking expenses while wedding planning. All money is behavioral in nature. But, unfortunately, sometimes rational thought goes out the window in all the excitement.
A quick internet search for wedding budgets will reveal oodles of spreadsheets and budget planners that make tracking easy. But won’t all that bean-counting kill the joy of the moment?
Not really. It can be liberating.
Remember all that shopping you did? If you track costs, that deal you got on an item in one budget area will show up as extra cash to spend in another place. How fun is that?
Don’t go into debt
Nothing will kill the joy of wedding memories like a mountain of debt. Weddings are a launchpad into the future, and avoiding debt gets you and your spouse off on the right foot.
With a bit of planning, plenty of time, and the right approach, your wedding will be one to remember.