Weddings are happy celebrations of love and families coming together, but they can also present a difficult financial conundrum for many couples. The thrill of preparing for the big day often quickly overshadows the actual costs involved, which can result in expensive errors. So, we’ve listed a few common costly mistakes to avoid while planning your big day.
Planning a wedding without a financial outline is setting yourself up for failure. While it’s important to stay flexible, it’s just as important to be aware of your spending limits from the get-go to make informed decisions down the line. This will help you figure out the things you’re willing to spend for and the ones you’d rather save on.
On that same note, it’s tempting to simply start booking suppliers without a clear vision, but this lack of prioritization can lead to sacrificing elements you genuinely wanted later on. Make sure to sit down with your partner and create a priority list before diving into bookings. Is food something you’re both willing to splurge on? Would you be willing to not have a prenup shoot? Allocating your budget to your priorities is always the way to go.
It’s easy to focus on the big-ticket items like the venue, catering, and attire. However, smaller costs such as invitations, favors, and decorations can quickly add up. Always allocate a budget for these “hidden” expenses to avoid unexpected surprises.
Venues and vendors often offer discounts for off-season weddings or weekday events. While a holiday Saturday wedding is appealing, a summer wedding on a Thursday could save you a substantial amount. This especially holds true if you’re not very particular or set on a special date.
Although they can give your wedding a unique personal touch, do-it-yourself projects aren’t automatically cheaper. Before opting to tackle a DIY project, weigh the time commitment and effort required versus the cost of the resources. Sometimes, it’s better to hire a professional instead so you can be stress-free and assured of great quality outcomes.
Your budget directly depends on your guest list because additional guests equate to higher costs for food, beverages, and equipment. Once you have a guest list you’re happy with, stick to it and don’t succumb to the pressure of adding last-minute plus ones.
Unforeseen costs are a given in any wedding, and these usually include transportations costs, tips, overtime expenses, etc. Budget at least 5% of your total expenses for miscellaneous items. It might also be helpful to ask suppliers for a full breakdown of potential extra costs, such as cleaning fees or penalty rates.
Don’t skim through supplier contracts; read every line. Hidden fees, penalties, and additional costs are often buried in the fine print. A thorough review upfront can save you from unpleasant financial surprises later on.
Setting the budget is one part; managing it is another. Use budgeting tools or spreadsheets to track due dates for deposits and final payments, so you’re not blindsided by last-minute bills. Plus, a tracker will help you, well, keep track of how well you’re sticking to your budget or how much is already being spent on extras.
The reality is, the expenses don’t end on your wedding night. If you don’t prepare ahead, post-wedding expenses like photo albums, thank-you notes, and gown preservation could further eat into your budget.
You don’t have to break the bank to have an awesome wedding! If you plan things out and keep an eye on your spending, you can dodge those money traps that catch a lot of couples off guard. Being money-smart means you can have a killer celebration without wrecking your finances. And remember, enjoy the process and work as a team with your partner!