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Where the Money Goes: Part 2

first course NYC wedding photo by Suess Moments

Now that we’ve gotten the biggest piece out of the way, you are much more equipped to create a more realistic budget. Understanding where the bulk of the costs are going to go is important to creating a budget that you can stick to. Here are a few of my suggestions for creating something that doesn’t start your marriage off with serious drama:

  1. Know how you’re financing your wedding. Ideally, you shouldn’t be going in to debt for your wedding. You can want what you want but remember that it’s just one day. Starting off your life with a heavy debt burden doesn’t seem worth it and can lead to a lot of fighting for what should be a happy occasion. Here are some other options:

  • Wait it out. If you wait longer, you can save up more money to have the wedding you’re picturing. The key question to ask here is: is it worth the wait?

  • Ask your parents. Understand that getting money from your parents often means that they will possibly be making some demands on how you spend that money. That may be worth it, it’s just something to be aware of, and you should both be ready to have that conversation.

  • Adjust your expectations: If you don’t want to spend any more than you’d originally planned, or if you can’t get any more money, you may have to adjust what you’re expecting for your wedding.

  1. Reevaluate that priority list. This may mean changing the size of your guest list, scaling back on other priority items, or increasing the budget to get what you want. Is sticking to your overall number more important (or essential) than other elements of your wedding? If it is, what (or where) are you willing to make adjustments to ensure that the budget stays where you need it to stay?

  2. Communicate with your partner. Remember that this day is about both of you. It’s possible that the way this plays out is more important to one of you than the other, and that’s okay. However, you should be discussing where all the money is going to go and why. If only one of you understands why weddings are so expensive, it can lead to a lot of disagreement and frustration. I’ve found that having an honest discussion about expectations as well as the reality of the hard costs for a wedding often helps both people get on the same page.

  3. Shop within your budget. While most of your expenses will go towards your food, remember that a wedding is more than just a meal. So, if you’ve spent all your money on food, how will you cover the costs of everything else? This of course means that you have to create a realistic budget. You’ll have to research the costs of each vendor and compare that to your priority list. If you’re interested in getting help, this is where a wedding planner can come in really handy.

If we can agree that having a wedding isn’t the same as going to a restaurant for a meal, and we can agree that most of your costs are going towards food and beverage, then we at least have a starting point that is more realistic.

This is what I mean by most people starting the planning backwards, and my biggest problem with planning a Pinterest wedding. If you have a budget that you’re working to (whether it’s by need or desire), that’s very understandable. However, that number should be based on something real, not just what sounds like a good number for a party.

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