Have you guys heard of Honeyfund and Plumfund? They are cool web-based wedding registries that allow you to ask your guests for anything from honeymoon flights to help with a down payment on a home (because seriously who needs more kitchen gadgets). The good people that run this sites asked if I would write a guest post about saving money and prioritizing your wedding budget and I was like – Hell ya! Because weddings are expensive. Like, really expensive. And unless your Kimye- you’re on a budget of some size.
Check out the original post HERE but if you want a slightly more colorful version that is only appropriate for my blog (read: more cussing), then here ya go…
Prioritize Your Budget
Focus your spending on the things that matter to you- it’s really that simple. Don’t really care about invitations? Great- go as cheap as you can and put the hundreds of dollars you saved toward the bar (Wait, that’s everyone’s priority right?!) Before making any big-ticket decisions, Sit with your partner and think about the top 3 pieces of the wedding that mean the most to you- that amazing florist, a venue that stays open late, live music, top shelf alcohol (again, priorities)…As long as you are realistic, you should be able to skimp and be creative with your budget so that you don’t have to compromise on what you really want.
Skip the paper goods
Items like programs, menus and other signage are fun and pretty, but at the end of the event…it all goes in the trash. Every wedding I work with lots of paper goods, I get so sad cleaning up thinking about the money (and trees) that were wasted. Before you get all hopped up on Etsy printables- think about if those pieces are really necessary or if guests will even notice them.
Don’t DIY Everything
Or, while you are at it- DIY nothing at all. Crafting is great for certain people – have lots of time, lots of help, or lots of experience? Great! But if it’s a month before your wedding it will cost you more time and money driving to Michael’s 4,000 times because you have no idea how many god damn marbles it’ll take to fill those vases (can you tell that example came from personal experience?). You know what else costs a lot? Your sanity. Fuck it.
Don’t overlook your ceremony
You might be surprised how many times I meet with couples about 6 weeks before the wedding, and they have nothing, nada, zip planned for the actual ceremony. If you aren’t getting married in a traditional church setting, more than likely the ceremony writing, planning, music and format is completely up to you…and oh ya, IT’S THE WHOLE DAMN REASON YOU GUYS ARE PLANNING THIS REALLY EXPENSIVE PARTY! It doesn’t have to be super long or over the top- but when I see weddings with really genuine, meaningful ceremonies, it truly sets the tone for the rest of the event and creates memories from the beginning.
Put the Party before the Pretty
I know I said that when prioritizing your budget, focus on the things that matter to you…but also prioritize the items that will make the biggest difference to your guests overall experience. That means bring the party! When it comes down to it, your guests want to eat, they want to drink, and they want to dance. After the wedding, they’ll remember a melt-your-face dance sesh much longer than fancy framed bar menus.
Don’t skimp on…
Team PTC works a lot of “budget” weddings, so we have seen DIY everything, and overall, I can say it’s worth splurging on:
- Music: A good DJ or band not only provides music, but helps with the overall flow of the event, guides guests and sets the tone! You may not recognize a good DJ at a wedding because everything just goes smoothly, but you will sure as heck recognize when the music just isn’t right, there are awkward silences or strange transitions.
- Photography: The only item that will last beyond the wedding day- your photos! You want to be sure you are truly investing in a good photographer for your memories. Also, your photographer is the only vendor that will (literally) be in your face all day long- make sure you mesh well and feel comfortable around them.
- Food and drink: It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be unique, it just has to be plentiful. If your food doesn’t blow people’s minds, no big deal, they won’t really remember what they ate for dinner anyway- but they WILL remember if they were hungry, had to wait too long or if things ran out.
- Day of coordination: You know I had to include a plug for ourselves! With all the great planning tools available these days, it’s easier than ever to plan and design your own wedding- however the last thing you want to be worried about on the day-of is setting up and managing vendors. It is so important to have someone there to make sure everything runs smoothly and you enjoy all your hard work!
Where are you spending your hard earned wedding dollars?