And just like that… You’re Engaged! Congratulations! As an engagement gift, we’d like to introduce you to our friends Heather Fier, The Wedding Hacker, and Joe Rogers, founder of Contagious Events, who are helping couples get the wedding of their dreams without breaking their budget.
- Identify the investors. Who is paying for the day? Are you paying for the entire wedding? Is family contributing? If so, how much? Before you start to create a budget, you need to have the money conversations with any potential ‘investors’ in the day. Also, are there any strings attached to the investments? Does that money go toward something specific? Do they want a say in the day if they are paying? These can be complicated conversations to have with family right but it’s better to have these conversations at the start of the planning process rather than battle it out throughout the planning process.
2. Set expectations: Pinterest is great for getting ideas on trends and themes but it should not be a cut and paste exercise. Beware of trying to exactly replicate what you see on Pinterest. Many wedding photos on Pinterest are sets and photoshoots of models. Set expectations of what you want vs. what is actually achievable.
3. Prioritize: What are the top 3 things that you care about on your wedding day? Is it the food? The music? The people? The dress? The flowers? Now, what are your partner’s top priorities? These priorities are where you will find value in the day. Put your money where your values are. These are the must-haves. Everything else you can cut corners on. When you feel the stress or budget getting you worked up, return to your priorities and remember that these are what you care about.
4. Create a realistic budget: One of the best methods to avoid wedding planning stress is to establish a realistic budget early in the planning process so that you can avoid surprises and anxiety as you get further into the planning process. Joe Rogers and his team created a Wedding Budget Calculator to help get the conversation started around wedding budgets. Note: One of the biggest contributors to the cost are the number of people in the bridal party and attending the event!
5. Negotiate everything: As you begin to work with vendors, remember that the price they offer is just the first offer. Understand the value behind the number and work with them to add value (extra hour of service, free signature cocktail, or hotel room) or decrease the price (20% discount for off-season date or waived ceremony fee)
6. Be thrifty and frugal: The Wedding Hacker has so many ways to be thrifty while planning your wedding. Check out Buy Nothing groups in your local area or Facebook Marketplace for used wedding decor. Poshmark has used dresses or you can rent them on Rent the Runway! You can even DIY flowers from Trader Joes! It comes down to time or money. Make the best choice for you!