Orange County | Los Angeles | San Diego Photographer ~ Wedding Wednesday

8/08/2012 09:26:00 PM

Hello Ladies,
  Planning a wedding can be a stressful undertaking, no matter how much money or time you’ve been given to get everything done. In addition to finding the right wedding reception center, you have to worry about guest lists and invitations, organizing your bridal party, finding that perfect gown, and working on strengthening your relationship with your fiancé.

Regardless of where you are in the wedding planning process, however, one thing remains the same. Relationship therapists all have the same bit of advice for the newlywed couple: don’t start your marriage in the red. Once you have a wedding budget, you should do everything you can to stay within your limits. Adding stress—especially financial stress—is never a good way to begin a new marriage. Here are a few tips for staying within your wedding budget and without sacrificing the quality and elegance of your big day.

Pick a number. Talk with your family and your fiancé to determine what the maximum wedding budget is. It doesn’t matter if it’s $5,000 or $25,000 —this is what you have to work with, and you will be able to create an incredible wedding experience with any amount.

Find your wedding reception center. Your wedding venue is going to be your number one purchase, and the largest part of your budget overall (experts suggest you spend 45% to 55% of your wedding budget on your reception site). When you choose a venue that also provides the catering, a wedding consultant, and other features, you can realize even greater savings on your overall budget.

Create a wedding budget worksheet. It’s a good idea to keep track of all your wedding expenses—both before and after you begin to shop around. Prioritize your wedding features and figure out how much money you would like to spend on each part of your wedding. Then keep track of it on paper. That way, if you find you simply have to get a more expensive gown, you can adjust your figures by scaling back in other areas…maybe you don’t need to release those doves after the ceremony, or perhaps you’d be just as happy having a friend provide the videography
Find do-it-yourself wedding solutions. There are many things you and your bridal party can do at home to prepare for the wedding. You might be able to “remake” your mother’s wedding gown into something new and beautiful for yourself. You could handcraft the wedding favors or the invitations. You might even be able to skip the one-of-a-kind cake and go for something a little bit less ornate. Small steps can make a big difference when it comes to the bottom line.

At the same time, be wary of “deceptive money savers.” For example, many people think that having a reception at home could be a great way to save money, but when it comes time transform your living space into a bridal space, all the details can end up costing more than finding an all-inclusive wedding reception center in the first place.

One of the biggest causes of stress for a bride-to-be is creating a wedding budget and sticking to it. It doesn’t matter if your family has set aside a large budget or if you are financing the affair with your own savings—weddings almost always come with a bit of sticker shock for the first-time bride. By knowing your limits and holding yourself accountable to them, you can stop worrying about money and start enjoying the most incredible day of your life!

Happy Planning!

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