Today I am sharing the cutest little infographic you ever did see. Jenny from the insider sent this over to me last week and wanted me to share it with all of you along with some of my wedding budget tips…and while it’s not something I normally do I was digging the information and the adorable way it’s presented.
So now I’m going to give some of my money saving tips- especially since I don’t think hiring your friends as wedding vendors is the way to go. I also wanted to comment on a few things up there to clarify, applaud, or straight up disagree with…
1. Asking for discounts from everyone- This can rub some people the wrong way if you don’t do it carefully. Sometimes I get potential client inquiries that don’t sound excited to work with me, don’t mention any fun details for their big day and are just “how much are you?” and “can I get a discount?”. This is such a turn off and a huge red flag in my book. As a client you want vendors who are excited to work with you- if you know you want a specific vendor because you think they would be awesome for your day start your message with that- and then after a little back and forth let them know that you would really love to work with them, but your budget is X. I guarantee if they have gotten excited about you and your wedding they will be much more likely to try to fit into your budget. It may not be with a straight up discount, but I always have ideas of getting my prices lower- let’s take out this service and this service that you probably don’t need anyway and I can usually get people right to where they need to be.
2. The second comment I want to mention is from Pamela and Steven from My Married Life Blog- ranking the things at your wedding in order of importance is a great idea! Everyone has a budget and everyone has to trim back at some point. If you start this list early on in the planning process when it comes down to it and you can’t afford something refer back to your list and you can see that maybe the photo booth was at the bottom of your list and you can easily chop it in lieu of something a bit more affordable.
3. “Remember that it’s your wedding, don’t make decisions based on tradition or pressure from others” Ok, so this isn’t really a budget tip, but I think it’s great advice. Sometimes I have a lot of couples that get kind of bummed out by all of the traditional wedding fanfare- the bouquet and garter toss, pachelbel’s canon and the wedding march… I am here to tell you it’s not 1975 anymore and the wedding rules are kind of out the window. I get asked by a lot of my brides well what’s the tradition? I will always let them know what the traditional thing to do is, but give them the disclaimer that this is YOUR wedding and you can really do anything you want. Guests love being pulled into new things that they have never done before and I promise your friends won’t be mad when you don’t make them catch your bouquet. In fact, they might thank you.
4. Investing in a professional photographer and videographer is priceless. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Your wedding photos are SOOO important. After your wedding day they are all you will have left so don’t scrimp here.
5. I love the budget allotment pie chart- it’s pretty close to a similar one I use with my clients. However, some of these average expenses are scaring me a bit….I’d say for the most part these are good averages with the exception of the cake and flowers. I don’t know many places you can get a wedding cake for less than $500. I would say a better estimation here would be the average cost of a slice of wedding cake is $4-$5 for buttercream and $6-$8 for fondant. So take those numbers and multiply your guest count to get what your cake might end up costing. And for flowers- I hate to say it but less than $2000 doesn’t go very far. I spent quite a bit more than this at my own wedding and I had really simple centerpieces, nothing over the top at all. I think $3000 is a much better average here.
As for my own budget tips, let me lay a few on you:
- One of the best ways to keep costs down is to keep your guest count low. I get so excited to work with couples when their guest count is under 100. There are always more things we can do with a smaller crowd versus 400 guests. Your expenses will go down in all areas- less food, less drinks, less tables to decorate, less tables and chairs to rent, etc. etc….
- If you can’t keep your guest count down consider having a cocktail reception- this is a super trendy thing to do right now and I promise it won’t feel like a budget wedding at all. Chances are your guests will have a blast interacting with all of the different food stations you could have- build your own quesadillas, mashed potato bar, s’more station. It’s a really great way to accommodate a large crowd. I usually recommend seating about 30-50% of your guests at a cocktail reception, so your tables, chairs, and decorations count will go way down as well.
- Give yourself plenty of time to plan. If you are pulling everything together in a couple of months you may not have the time to get your favorite vendors or make the best financial decisions. If you are planning over a year out chances are everything you want is still available and you may even get a cheaper rate. For example- I got married in 2011, but I booked my venue in 2009 (I know that is a bit crazy) so we got 2009′s rate which was over a thousand dollars cheaper than 2011′s rate. Vendors and venues all tend to inflate their prices a bit each year so keep that in mind.
Hope this helps a few of you out there in the thick of planning! Any tips to add to my list? I’d love to hear them!