Managing Your Wedding Budget

There is a saying in the wedding industry, "If the price is all you're concerned about, in the end, it's the price you'll get" that really speaks volumes.  Not every bride can afford the fabulous and grand weddings that we're accustomed to seeing on TV, nor do they want that.  However, being realistic with your wedding budget and determining what's most important to you for your wedding is key.  Be it the flowers, the decor, the food, or the entertainment, you know what's high on your list of priorities.  Here are a few tips on keeping your wedding budget in check.

Image via Cherishable Events

1.  Hire a wedding planner.  You may think that this will take away from your budget but it will actually help.  Your wedding planner is your advocate and there to make suggestions on various ways that you can get the look that you want for a fraction of the cost.  He/She have also built many vendor relationships that will help you by guiding you towards the right vendors that will fit your budgetary needs and choosing the best one.

2.  If your total wedding budget is less than $10K, then you really should think about keeping your guest list small, tiny in fact.  By having a 200 person guest list, your budget will be eaten away by the food costs.  Aside from that, with every person you have at your wedding, it's an extra place setting, plate of food, chair at a table, napkins, and so on.  This is not something that a lot of brides think about and lowering your guest count is the FIRST way to keep your wedding budget in check.  I see far too many brides with this budget and an extremely large guest list that they don't want to trim.

2.  Instead of using the standard budget percentages, create your own and give the higher percentages to the categories that matter the most to you.  If you're not concerned about riding in a fancy limo on your wedding day, omit that from the budget all together.  If serving great food to your guests is your number one priority, then you know that a greater percentage is going to be used towards the food, beverage, and catering.

3.  Consider having your wedding at a time other than a Saturday evening.  Saturday evenings are typically the most expensive and popular days at venues.  Consider a Friday evening, Saturday morning, or even a Sunday afternoon brunch wedding.  Often times you can cut your food & beverage and venue rates by almost 50%.

4.  Your table decor doesn't always have to be huge centerpieces.  In fact, you can have an abundance of candles or submerged flowers for an elegant and romantic look for a fraction of the cost for a room full of flowers.  Besides, lighting sets the mood an I'll always recommend some form of lighting at an event and candles are always a great option!

5.  Although many may frown upon it, you can eliminate the open bar, cut the time that the bar is open,  or see if your venue will allow you to bring in your own alcohol purchased wholesale.  The primary assumption is that there NEEDS to be alcohol at every event in order for it to be successful.  However, there have been plenty of successful weddings and events where alcohol wasn't served at all.

Cutting your wedding budget takes some doing but it can be done without you having to take on a ton of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects.  Consult with your wedding planner and take guidance from him/her.