Are you a bride or groom planning a wedding on a budget? Does it feel like everything costs more than what you expected? Maybe you've already gone over your budget trying to have the wedding you've always dreamed of and getting concerned about all the extra charges on your credit card statement.
If you can relate to any of this you are not alone. I have spoken to many couples who are facing the same dilemas.
One problem I have noticed is that most couples set a budget but don't have any idea how much weddings actually cost. Once they start researching venues and getting quotes for other services they soon realize costs add up very quickly.
Another problem I see is that most couples don't understand how to identify wants vs. needs. It is easy to get caught up in thinking you need to have a Pinterest worthy wedding. With so many images flooding the internet and social media, many couples try too hard to imitate what they see online by putting money towards little details that are not actually necessary. Doing this will guarantee you go over your budget.
Everyone's wants and needs will be different. This is how I look at it.
If it doesn't enhance the overall experience of the wedding day you don't need it.
Your guests will remember a few things about your wedding - the food, the music, dancing, and spending time with friends and family making memories. They won't remember the cute handmade sign you spent hours on, or the personalized cocktail napkins, or individual favors you left at each place setting.
Here is a general list of wants and needs. When determining your budget start making a list of the things you actually need to make the wedding happen. Then make a list of wants which are the extra items that you can consider adding if your budget allows.
Ceremony arch or backdrop
Gifts/welcome bags for out of town guests
Guest book cameras/film
Unnecessary lighting (monogram/gobos/pin-spotting)
Multiple forms of music/live entertainment
Excessive amount of candles or other decor
Elaborate dessert displays
Late night snacks
Bartender/ Service Staff
Hotel or House Rental
Hair and Makeup
Shoes, Jewlery and Accessories
Cake / Dessert
Notice I included flowers and videography under the wants section. I don't believe they are necessary in some cases. Sometimes just a photographer is sufficient. A videographer is a nice addition if it's within your means but isn't necessarily a must have.
Adding flowers to the overall aesthetic isn't always necessary depending on your venue. Personal flowers such as bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids should be included in your budget, however, flowers for your centerpieces can be optional. If your venue is already surrounded by a beautiful landscape you may not need them.
Wants and needs can be tricky. It's important for you and your partner to discuss what the most important aspects are to making your wedding day truly special and unique to you. Taking time to identify your own wants and needs now will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
If you need help with your wedding budget or want to discuss wedding planning services, contact us!
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Image: Danielle Honea Phototography
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.