We all wish we could have an unlimited budget when it comes to planning our dream wedding. However, there’s no reason to go into debt planning your dream wedding. After the fantasy stage passes, it’s time to face the vendor prices, budget, dates, and locations. The reality can be daunting. So, how do you plan a wedding that stays true to who you and your partner are as a couple without breaking the bank?
There’s no better time to celebrate your engagement, and get started planning your wedding, than at the peak of this holiday season. To help you maneuver through your top priorities and what to focus on at a later date, we’ve put together a list to help you plan your dream wedding on a budget, bringing you closer to your goal one day at a time.
Planning your dream wedding on a budget
Think about the date
Consider the basic economics of supply and demand: if there is a high demand with a limited supply, the price of an item goes up. The term "wedding season" refers to the time between late spring and early fall, the weather is beautiful and engaged couples are anxious to tie the knot.
At the height of their popularity, costs of vendors and details are bound to be more expensive. On the other side of things, those same items are discounted during the off-season. Planning your “I dos” at a less traditional time of year can save you a lot on upfront costs. Industry statistics show that 72 percent of weddings are planned between May and October, so scheduling your wedding between November and April will allow vendors to be more flexible with their availability and even negotiate prices.
According to The Knot, 7 out of 10 weddings took place on a Saturday last year. There are pros and cons of having your wedding on a different day of the week. Some guests may have to RSVP “No” while others make late arrivals and early departures. If you’re willing to accept these side effects, you’ll open up some wiggle room in your finances. Ultimately, the discounts on airfare, venues, and vendors might just make losing a few mouths to feed worthwhile.
Save one day at a time
Once your wedding date is set, it’s time to plan your wedding budget. Decide how much you and your partner want to spend, or more importantly, how much you and your partner can afford to spend. If you have trouble, use a wedding cost calculator to set things in perspective. Cost calculators offer insight to what the real cost of your wedding will be based on where you live.
After you get an idea of how much everything will cost, add up your household's income along with the savings you have available to contribute to the total cost. If you don’t have funds readily available, set up a special wedding savings account to put money aside each week. Most engagements last between 12 to 18 months, so take your time planning and make sure you’re saving where you can.
It’s no secret that there are countless ways to pay for your wedding — you can choose to pay in cash, check, debit card, personal loans, and credit cards. While it’s surprising that you can get a loan to pay for your wedding, credit cards remain one of the best ways to supplement your cash savings, if you use them responsibly.
0% intro APR credit cards enable you to pay for everything upfront and time to pay off the balance interest-free for a certain amount of time. The added bonus to using a credit card — whether it’s cash back, travel rewards, or 0% APR — is the increased flexibility through the months leading up to your nuptials as well as funds for unexpected costs that arise the day of.
No matter how you choose to pay for your wedding day costs, always make sure that you have a financial strategy to ensure that you start your marriage debt free.
The key to sticking to your budget is prioritizing your values. Sit down with your partner and discuss the difference between wants and needs for your wedding day. Then, update your financial schedule and milestones on a weekly basis. Saving is easily done when you break it down in manageable bites and stay attentive to your goals.
There are countless tools available to assist you with this seemingly daunting task. For one, if you know how much you are able to put away each paycheck, it’s smart to automate the wedding savings account. This marks a task off your to-do list and allows you to save without much effort.
Apps like Mint, WeddingHappy, and HoneyFund help keep track of your to-do lists, wedding schedule, and saving progress. You can even share tasks with your wedding party and family members to keep everyone in the loop.
Remember who you are
The most important part of any wedding is the honoring of the union between two people. Focus on celebrating the commitment you and your partner are making to one another. The months leading up to your wedding day should bring you together and prepare you for marriage. Remember to keep the story of your love woven throughout the details of your big day.
If you're planning your dream wedding, you're sure to find your dream dress at Latter-Day Bride. We have many designs and styles.