Getting married is one of the most exciting times in most brides’ lives! It can also be the most stressful. Brittany and I are committed to making sure that YOUR experience as a “fiancé” is fun, calm, and enjoyable. Below are six tips that will help you conquer wedding planning and ensure that you stick to your budget and enjoy the process!
First and foremost, let’s all get in the right mindset! Say goodbye to “wedding planning is miserable” and “all weddings are $30,000” and say hello to “it’s actually not that stressful” and “it was easier to stay in my budget than I thought”!
1. Ask Around: Everyone knows “somebody” so start asking! Don’t be afraid to ask you friends, acquaintances, someone you knew in high school and have only seen on Facebook over the last 10 years. Some of these people are trying to start a business, so doing something for someone they know with help their business and they’ll want to do a really good job for someone they know. It’s a win-win for both sides!
2. Weigh the options: At first glance, some venues may look more expensive when comparing prices against one another, but what does each venue INCLUDE? This is really important because the more a venue includes, the less work and money you’ll have to put into it. Some venues are just downright expensive, but some may only seem expensive but actually include a whole lot more than a space.
3. Barter: This is a tip that Brittany gave me that has actually worked really well once I started using it! These people are in a business where they name their price. They obviously want customers, so if you have a price in mind, try and stick to it and barter a little before you sign the contract. Go into a barter with knowledge. For example, make sure you know the going rates at other local florists before you ask for a ridiculously low price and offend them. Blocking hotel rooms is also another area you can barter, especially if you fill up the block. Ask for the honeymoon suite to be free if you fill in the entire block or other deals like that.
4. Do your research: This is very time consuming, but is so worth it in the end! Start researching every photographer, DJ, band, venue, etc. in your area. Look on multiple sources such as Google reviews and yelp to help you get a good idea of what other customers think of them. Also, look for new businesses. I truly believe that using new businesses is the key to saving money when you’re planning a wedding. Yes, I thought of “they’re not as experienced”, but I’ve reviewed their work, looked at their existing reviews, and “interviewed” them to make sure they were a good fit. REMEMBER: Just because someone is starting a new business doesn’t mean they’re new to the trade & just because one place is more expensive than another doesn’t necessarily mean they’re significantly better than the less expensive option.
5. Be Flexible: Everyone has an idea of what their dream wedding would look like, but sometimes you need to rearrange your ideas to fit your budget without compromising the most important parts of your wedding. Start by making a list of priorities and refer back to them when you seem to be getting distracted. My list of priorities saved me $4,000 on ONE item! I really thought that I wanted a band at my wedding and that was one area that I didn’t want to budge in. After researching and researching and weighing the options out in my head, I decided that I wanted a FUN wedding and that FUN wedding didn’t say anything about having a band more than a DJ. I had to be flexible in my ideas and use my list of priorities to figure out what was really important. The people at my wedding will make it fun, not the band.
6. Don’t settle!: If you’re having a hard time finding a wedding service that is within your budget, KEEP LOOKING! I promise you, they’re out there! I had several moments when I thought, “Maybe weddings just do cost $30,000”, but luckily I had Brittany to bring me back down to reality. I kept researching and talking to people and voila!, I found my photographer for HALF the price of the cheapest photographer I could find initially.
Newly Engaged? Head on over to Chits and Giggles to find some great wedding posts from this week! Good Luck