Yes, we did it, we said the "B" word. And while its not THAT "B" word, some feel that a wedding budget is a bad word during the wedding planning process. However, when it comes to planning your wedding, you need to embrace your budget. Why? According to Borrowed and Blue, the average cost of a wedding in Richmond is $31,000, so you'll want to manage your budget and spending accordingly to stay sane during the planning process. Knowing that it can be difficult to discuss money, we've put together our top 5 tips to set and most importantly, KEEP, your wedding budget.
5 Tips to Set and Keep A Realistic Wedding Budget
1. Take Stock of Your Finances
If you and your fiancé are funding the entire wedding yourself, take a look at your current financial situation to determine what you can realistically afford for your wedding. If parents or other family are helping to finance the wedding, be sure to have a frank discussion about the budget and any expectations for the wedding.
2. Make an Initial Guest List
Nothing has a greater impact on your total budget like guest count. Why? Well, for starters, the bigger the guest count, the bigger the budget. All catering, plus cake, is all charged at a per person rate. And, only certain venues offer space for up to 250 guests, so you'll want to make sure you think through how many second cousins you put on the guest list.
3. Determine Your "Must Haves"
Once you've determined the amount you have for your wedding, the next step is to think about the "must-have" items on your list. Are you and your fiancé serious foodies? Have your eye on a couture wedding dress? Have you dreamt of a 7-tired cake confection? The items that are important to you and your fiancé should be appropriately prioritized within your wedding budget.
4. Consider Multiple Dates
Unless you are 100% set on a specific date, consider shopping for dates in what's typically considered the "off season" for many venues and vendors. The off season here on the east coast is typically January-March, with some dates in November, December and April that can be lower cost than the typical wedding season of May-October. There can be a lot of beauty in a winter wedding - just check out our winter wedding post for lots of great inspiration.
5. Resist the Urge to Splurge
It doesn't take more than a 5 minute look at "wedding inspiration" on Pinterest to see how easy it is to get caught up in all of the beauty available. Setting a realistic budget is the first step to keeping it.
The most important thing to keep in mind when planning your wedding is to remember what's absolutely needed to have the wedding of your dreams - not someone else's. Resist the urge to splurge on extras that no one will notice but you, and instead, spend time investing on a once-in-a-lifetime experience you and your fiancé will always remember, rather than remembering the debt and/or stress for the fancy getaway car or custom ice sculpture.