20 guests or 200? Chicken and steak or vegetarian? Classical music ensemble or Gangnam style DJ? So many decisions! Planning a wedding can be quite stressful. But, with the right planning, you can stretch your money and have the wedding of your dreams.
Use these tips to help plan your budget (and take the stress out of your big day!).
Determine How Much Money You Have to Work With
A budget is necessary as wedding costs can quickly spiral out of control if you’re not careful. While most couples cover the wedding costs themselves, some have help from parents. Others take out emergency loans as a back-up. That’s why a budget can keep you on track (and on schedule).
To help with your budget:
- Add up all money including savings, your parents’ contributions and future paychecks.
- Include how much you need for the caterer, flowers, hotels, wedding attire and other expenses.
- Don’t get alarmed if you’re over-budget. You can trim back by changing florists or hiring a DJ instead of a band.
- Track your spending with a spreadsheet. This will help you keep track of the deposits and balances due.
- Ask for discounts and look for coupons. A smaller photographer might offer a better deal, for example.
- With estimates, confirm if all taxes and fees are included.
- Include a section in your spreadsheet for tips to pay your caterer, florist, venue, etc.
- Set aside “extra” money for emergencies. There might be charges you forget about like fees for valet parking or the extra wine and champagne.
- Review all vendor contracts thoroughly before signing any contracts.
- Don’t forget out-of-town guests, their hotels, transportation and gas.
Look for Ways to Trim Costs
Negotiate terms with your vendors. You may also find you can make substitutions to lower costs.
To reduce your wedding costs:
- Be flexible with dates. November 1 is a lot less expensive than October 31. Look at peak/off peak times and plan to hit the off peak.
- Don’t offer signature drinks or custom cocktails. Keep beverages limited to a few wines, beer, and champagne for the toast.
- If the photography charge is exorbitant, take pictures yourself. Give your bridal party disposable cameras and put all the pictures in one online album.
- Hire a separate set-up and cleanup crew if the venue is charging too much.
- Send invitations online-only to save on postage.
- Compare prices with wedding coordinators. Some venues prefer you use their coordinators, but you might find one that’s cheaper online.
- Change the venue if the costs are too high.
- Order a cheaper meal option for guests and a special meal for you and your spouse.
Find More Money for Your Wedding
Some couples set up their registry with cash gifts and then use the proceeds toward their wedding expenses. This gives them more cash to work with.
If you’re using a credit card, select one with cash-back rewards. You can use your cash-back money toward the wedding or honeymoon.
Other ways to find more money include:
- Trim your guest list: Take 15-20 names off and you might save $1,500 to $2,000.
- Have a brunch instead of a large dinner.
- Host your reception and ceremony at the same location.
- Go to a local salon and have someone do your makeup. This is much cheaper than hiring a stylist and makeup artist.
Need emergency cash for your wedding expenses?
Wedding costs can quickly spiral out of control. But, a budget can help lower costs so you’ll have more money to really enjoy your honeymoon.
Not sure if you can cover costs? Want a cushion for added expenses? For help with wedding costs, or emergencies, take out an emergency line of credit (LOC) or a personal loan. With RatesSupermarket.ca you can compare prices for a personal line of credit from the top lenders. And, have the wedding of your dreams stress-free. Apply for a line of credit today!