When it comes to wedding budgets, even the most sensible brides and grooms can find their money depleting rapidly. From eyeing up the perfect dress to making sure all the guests have something to drink, getting your wedding budget right can often feel a little nightmarish. However, with some forward planning and a commitment to exercising sensibility in a few areas, you can stay within your wedding budget without compromising on your big day.
Decide what is and isn’t essential
Unless your name is Kim Kardashian, the chances are you don’t need every extravagant wedding trimming under the sun. If the thought of not having the perfect dress breaks your heart, but you could do without a 4th tier on your cake, budget accordingly. The same goes for guests; your close friends and family are essential, but the neighbours you lived next door to in the early nineties probably aren’t.
Shop around for wedding prices in advance
The closer you come to your wedding day, the less likely you are to find essential services with reasonable prices. Peak seasons, such as February, are likely to book up fast. Once you have a rough idea of when your big day is, start booking photographers, venues, and caterers. Last minute bookings can cause you to go way beyond your original wedding budget.
Use friends and family to manage your wedding budget
Do you have a friend who’s an excellent photographer? Or maybe there’s someone within the family who makes beautiful cakes? If there are certain skills at your disposal and you can get them for a fraction of the cost, there’s no shame in making the most of them. You never know, some may even refuse to let you pay for their services altogether.
Negotiate wedding service prices and watch out for hidden extras
When it comes to prices, nothing is set in stone. There are some nifty ways you can learn to negotiate:
- If your wedding party is particularly large, look for reductions on catering. Venues stand to make more from large wedding parties paying a discount than smaller ones paying in full. This is especially the case if guests are likely to be buying their own drinks.
- If you’re hiring a photographer or videographer for a day, ask for an early booking reduction. Again, photographers and videographers are still going to make more from you using their bigger packages than one booking using their smaller ones.
- If you can’t negotiate with service providers, learn to negotiate with yourself. Take a look at small costs like favours and invitations; if you can shave even half a dollar off each one, you’ll reduce the amount you’re spending.
Keep a close eye on hidden extras that can make your bill rise. This includes DJs charging for going over time, musicians charging for equipment use, and hidden GST. Whenever you book a service, always ask if it includes GST, as some providers may add the cost on afterwards.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your wedding budget
While it’s not always the case that the bride’s parents pay for everything these days, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help with the budget. Maybe one person’s parents can pay for the drinks, while another foots the bridesmaid dress bill. Instead of having a full free bar, consider having some wine on the table and allowing guests to get their own drinks. When paying for everything yourself isn’t feasible, don’t get stressed trying to do it anyway. It’ll take the shine off your big day.