Thursday, March 10, 2016

How in the World Do You Afford a Wedding?

The most popular questions asked on every wedding planning forum is “how can I possibly afford a wedding?” It seems like every woman (and man) dreams about having that $100,000 wedding shown on TLC’s A Wedding Story. And who could blame them? You’ve probably been dreaming about this day ever since you were little, so of course you want to go all out. But how much can you realistically afford? And how do you even begin to pay for a wedding? Because at the end of the day, do you honestly have over $30,000 to spend? From someone who’s helped direct and plan a lot of weddings, I’ve got some tips that can help you save up and afford your dream day.

Using Simple Math

So before we get into breaking down the budget, lets first figure out how much you can actually afford compared to your wedding time frame. Say you have a budget of $15,000 and you have a year to save for it. Now divide 15,000 by 12 (number of months in the year). That brings your total saving per month to about $1,250. Think you can save that much a month? If not, it’s time to cut that budget down a few thousand.

By thinking of your budget in smaller chunks of money, it’s easier to rationalize what an appropriate budget will be. Now you’re thinking, well how do I possibly do that? Don’t worry; keep reading!

Cut Back on Your Expenses

You have a quite bit of money you’ll need to save so you can afford your wedding, guess you’re going to have to cut back on a few things, right? Take a look at your expendable income (the gym, movies, subscription services, etc.) and total how much all of that comes to. You’ll probably be surprised that it totals a couple hundred dollars. Well, cancel those subscriptions and throw that extra money into a savings account for your wedding.

Another thing to watch out for is your spending habits! Maybe you and your significant other love taking date nights every other night of the week. Why not scale that back to just one or two nights a week? Or maybe you spend money on that coffee after lunch, or a quick breakfast sandwich in the morning. You’d be surprised just how much that adds up after a while. Cutting back on those extra expenses and putting it all in a savings account will definitely help when it comes to saving for a wedding.

Be Creative on Additional Ways to Make Money

It’s time to get creative with earning extra money. Maybe you love dogs, so why not pick up a second job as a dog walker or pet sitter on the weekends? Hey it’s a couple hundred bucks you could add to your bank account. Or you might be able to pick up a couple freelancing jobs in and around your area. There are great sites out there helping connect companies to freelancers. Or maybe you have a few items lying around your house? Try selling them on eBay or start your own store on Etsy. Anything you can think of to help you raise a little bit extra cash is great.

Vendor Options

Now that you’ve done everything you can to save for a wedding, let’s talk about your budget.

-Find Family/Friend Talent 

Know someone who is really skilled with a camera? Or how about someone who knows calligraphy? Instead of shelling out money, ask your friends and family for help. Use as much talent as you can find, helping you save big money. 

-Pick In-Season Flowers

Did you know that peonies are three times more expensive than roses? Or that choosing a flower that is out of season can be pretty costly? Well if you didn’t, we’re here to set the record straight! Flowers can run you a lot of money, so choose wisely. 

-Seek out Discounts

Don’t be afraid to ask vendors for discounts. You’ll be surprised on how much of a discount you might be able to get by simply asking for one. Vendors won’t be upfront about possible discounts, which is why it’s always important to ask.

Ask for Help

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little bit of help from your family members. And times have certainly changed where a wedding is not just a bride’s dog and pony show. Husbands-to-be can step up and ask their family to chip into the wedding fund. But be aware, there are few things to know before approaching your family to have the money talk.

  1. Ask politely if your parents are willing to contribute
  2. Be prepared to discuss budgets and plans
  3. Be open to what they have to say
  4. Understand that your feelings might get hurt if a parent declines to help

We know setting aside money for your wedding is tough and it takes lots of planning. But we hope these few tips have helped you and your significant other start planning for the event of your dreams.

Recently married? How did you save money for your wedding? Let us know in the comment section below or share it with us on our Facebook page.

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