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When it’s your wedding day, it can be easy to want it all—and who can blame you? You’ve likely waited for this very moment your entire life. But once you venture into the exciting (and chaotic) world of wedding planning, you’ll see how quickly expenses add up. All of the sudden, your dazzling hopes and expectations might seem out of reach. But what if you could make all of your luxurious wedding dreams come true without going into debt? Well, it’s possible! Read on to learn how.
Understand Your Financial Situation
Before you start fantasizing about planning a wedding like the $40 million dollar affair portrayed in Crazy Rich Asians, it’s important to understand where your wedding budget is coming from. For the most part, it comes down to three different sources: how much you and your significant other can set aside each month until the wedding, how much you both have in your individual savings accounts, and any contributions from family members or loved ones.
Create (and stick to) the Budget
Okay, you have a basic understanding of where your wedding planning money is coming from. Now what?
First, determine you and your future spouse’s combined current savings, as well as any potential outside contributions from family members. Add both together to get the first two components of your budget. For the third component—how much you’ll set aside each month—consider allocating 10 percent of your earnings every month to a new wedding fund. Erin Lowry, a personal finance expert, elaborates, “Establish direct deposits into a separate account for wedding expenses so it isn’t just leftovers that get saved.” The easiest way to do this: put your savings on autopilot via an app that’s great for upping your savings in a pinch. This way, you’ll grow your wedding budget without needing to fuss with your bank account all the time.
Get the Look for Less
Hooray, your budget has been established! No more dealing with numbers, right? Not so fast. You’ll have to continue adding and subtracting numbers throughout the wedding planning process to ensure that you’re staying on target. But don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds—especially if you say “I do” to working with your wedding planner to create a luxury look for less. Take flowers for example. You could shell out hundreds (or even thousands) to secure out-of-season peonies for your table arrangements, or you could save that much by sticking to flowers that are in season. Save even more by using candles in place of floral elements when designing your tablescapes!
Book the Best Venue for Your Budget
A little research into venue costs goes a long way. Barn and loft spaces might be trending as budget-friendly alternatives to typical wedding venues, but it’s entirely possible that you’ll end up spending just as much money retrofitting a space as you would on booking a more traditional venue. Keep in mind that if you decide to book or build an atypical event space, you’ll need to bring in chairs, tables, cutlery, catering equipment, restrooms, air conditioning/heat…the works.
On the other hand, some traditional wedding venues can run as high as $20,000+. So, what’s the best way to go about booking a venue? Before you commit to anything, work with your wedding planner to compare the estimated total price of a wedding that requires a custom build against the price of a venue that includes in-house rentals and facilities. Doing so just might save you thousands!