It starts with personal finances
Weddings are an investment, and before considering any significant investment, you first need to get your financial life in order. That includes figuring out how to budget for your wedding. For us, investing in wedding photography was a serious decision, and we couldn’t have done it successfully without having our individual finances in order. Our secret weapon is trend analysis; we monitor how we spend discretionary and disposable income to find areas where we can save or spend better. People manage this in different ways, with spreadsheets or apps like mint, but we’ve landed on a favorite called Pocketsmith. This app takes the basics of financial planning to another level with forecasting and visual trend charts, which reveal spending patterns that could lead to great savings.
As simple as it sounds, the key to building wealth is to spend less than you make, save money, and invest those savings smartly. We believe this methodology is critical to planning a wedding that fosters a healthy future marriage and isn’t just for the sake of tradition. A common misconception is that wedding budgets are a part of your disposable income, but they AREN’T a necessity. They are a luxury and you should be assessing your discretionary income to determine what kind of wedding you can afford. If you still need some clarity on managing your discretionary income, check out this article on how you should be determining your true discretionary income.
With personal finances figured out and a budget set, it’s time to figure out where to allocate your budget
Considering how to allocate your wedding expenses starts with industry averages, but ultimately depends on what you value most. Are you absolutely in love with a flower designer or photographer? Using industry averages as a baseline and adapting that to your budget, you have ample leeway to make room for that vendor that is to die for in your eyes. We’ve created a Budget Calculator & Planner for you that does just that, while also planning your budget and keeping track of expenses incurred throughout the planning process. You can download a copy of it here:
Here are some other tips to make room in your budget for the things you value most
Shorten the Guest List
We know how difficult this can be, coming from big families ourselves, but think about the expenses per person you have to budget for. You pay for Save-the-dates, invitations, other stationary, venue fees, drinks, food, etc.
We feel obligated to invite people because of labels. We subconsciously label people as we walk through life – family, friend, acquaintance, stranger, lover, etc. – and these labels drive these invitation related decisions. It’s worth taking the time to make hard decisions and reevaluate these labels to determine who will truly make you happy at your wedding. You shouldn’t have to worry about greeting particular people, you should genuinely be excited too, otherwise, question whether they should be there.
For some more tips on finalizing a guest list that will truly bring you joy, be sure to check out BRIDES article on Taming Your Guest List!
Hire a Wedding Planner
You want someone that knows the wedding industry in your corner, and it will likely save you more money and than they cost. Not only will they save you money, but also the time and stress involved with sifting through suitable vendors. Good wedding planners have experience in coordinating a variety of styles and should be able to help you get the most out of a particular budget.
To read more on the topic, check out our friend’s post ‘Reasons To Hire a Wedding Planner!‘
People have a tendency to overspend for their wedding, unfortunately on many unnecessary costs. When considering how to budget for your wedding, a minimalist approach can help you hone in on the things that matter most and ultimately spend less, even though you might spend more on certain items. It does not mean sacrificing to save money, it means compromising in particular areas so that you can splurge in the ones that matter. This article on minimalism goes more in-depth on the intention involved in being minimalist.
Consult a Wedding Professional
We founded Elk + Elm Studios with our ideal client in mind, down-to-earth couples with elegant taste and great aesthetic sense. It brings us joy to work with people that value their time and loved ones above money, and we love having the opportunity to help people create a wedding day that really matches their vision.
We would love to hear more about your wedding and see how we can help. Reach out to us here, we look forward to hearing from you!
Learn more about Elk and Elm Studios by clicking here