Congratulations! You said yes and now you’re super excited to jump right into wedding planning, but where do you start? The single most important thing to do first is set a realistic budget. Of course you won’t be able to account for every single professional that you hire to orchestrate your wedding at this point, but you can estimate an approximate cost for each one and refer back to it throughout your wedding planning process. But how do you know what to prioritize? How much should you allocate for each vendor or detail? We’ve broken down a few simple steps to get you started!
1. Estimate a total budget
First, figure out who is contributing what and the total amount you have to spend on wedding festivities. Don’t forget to include outlying wedding events such as your rehearsal dinner and honeymoon!
2. Envision your wedding and prioritize what’s most important
In order to stay within the total budget you set, you’ll need to stay on track with each vendor you hire. Every couple has different priorities. Some find it essential to have beautiful and elaborate invitations, while others favor a stunning multi-tier cake. Most importantly, don’t forget to consider what will be left behind after you’ve said the “I do’s” and all of your guests have gone home. Having high-quality photographs and cinematic-level films of your day will ensure that you can enjoy it for years to come. (Psst… did you know that couples #1 regret is not hiring a videographer?)
3. Research average local costs
There are so many great tools out there to estimate the average cost of each wedding service in your area. It’s important to something localized vs. a national calculator, as you can imagine the prices vary greatly depending on where you live. The Knot is a great place to start! Also consider that you will probably end up spending above the local average on what’s MOST important to you, while you may end up sacrificing and spending below average on the less-essential details. At this point, don’t be afraid to reach out to your favorite local wedding pros and request a price list!
4. Find ways to save on the not-so-important stuff
Now that you have your priority list laid out and you know the average costs of what’s most valuable, you may need to make some room in your budget. Maybe you don’t have your heart set on a custom cocktail and you can do just beer and wine instead, or favors are an easy item to cut because you’ll have lots of guests traveling in for the celebration.
If something is really important to you, it’s worth re-examining your budget to see if you can make room to splurge! The earlier in the process you lay everything out, the more you can allocate for your top priorities – so get in touch with us today to cross a videographer off your list!