“Ok, don’t panic.” –Sophie Kinsella
So he got down on one knee and you said Yes! Now what? Next comes making the first of many countless decisions as a couple. What to do about this whole wedding business and how much money this is all going to cost you.
Over the years I have coordinated budget weddings that started at $10,000 to platinum weddings going well over six-figures. Here’s the deal, no matter the budget the premise of your wedding is the same. Weddings are a celebration of the start of a marriage. The guests you invite to your wedding are there to bear witness to your vows and will serve as your cheerleaders through years to come.
I like to give couples some guidelines when discussing wedding costs. Here are the most important questions to ask your fiancé when deciding your wedding budget:
1. What do we want?
This question is important for you and your partner to be on the same page and have the same concept. Determine how you want to introduce your marriage to the world. Talk about venue choices: traditional church, upscale hotel or outdoor celebration. Talk about how many guests are you comfortable accommodating. If you want to keep things smaller this will give you more budget freedom.
2. What can we afford?
Talk to each other honestly about finances. It is no longer expected that the bride’s family will pay for everything. Nowadays everyone can and usually wants to chip in. Consider what you both can afford and what your families are willing to contribute. Think about what this dollar amount means for your future. Will you have to wait a couple more years to buy a home together? Will you have to cut out any luxuries? If you think spending over “x-amount” of money on a wedding is out of the question, consider crowd funding your wedding and asking close friends to pay for certain needs. This is the start of your marital financial planning future. Be respectful of opinions and remember what’s important, marrying your love.
3. What’s your top priority?
You want your favorite band at your reception that all your guests will love to dance to, perfect! But that may mean you have to cut down on another wedding want. Talk to each other and make your priorities heard. This will make deciding on vendors easier as you move forward.
Remember, whether you want all of the glitz or you want an intimate affair this is your day and your decision! No matter the budget the love you share is what people are there to see and that is what is truly beautiful.