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Wedding Planning 101: Manage Your Budget

Keeping your wedding budget under control with cash, cheque book and calculatorNo matter what your wedding budget may be, here is a rough idea of what is typically spent in each category.  Keep in mind that these numbers are not hard and fast!  Some couples may, as a for instance, choose to spend more on photography and less on flowers.  It’s up to you!

  • Reception – 40%
  • Honeymoon – 14.5%
  • Photography – 10%
  • Wedding Attire – 7%
  • Engagement ring & wedding bands – 6%
  • Flowers – 5%
  • Music – 5%
  • Invitations – 2%
  • Miscellaneous – 10%

Wedding budgets have a way of getting out of control — FAST!!!  Keep yours from popping out of control (and give yourself some wiggle room for those unexpected expenses or must-haves) by reining in spending.  You both must discuss the money and know where it’s going!  Here are six smart saving tips;

Borrow.

Did you totally love the tiara your sister wore?  Borrow it for your ensemble!  You can also borrow jewellery (just like the stars do at the Oscars) and other accessories, honeymoon luggage, vases for the centerpieces (if you are DYI’ng) and so on.

Silver Wedding Tiara sitting on table

Use People’s DIY Skills.

If your aunt s a sewing wizard, she can create your veil or possible alterations on your dress.  A skilled artisan can create wonderful personalized invitations (even Meghan Markle did the calligraphy on her reception invitations).  How about mason jar lights?  There are lots of options and you could tell them that their skills would be their gift to you.

DIY lanterns made of mason jars with candles inside

Create a Signature Drink.

If you’re tempted to save by having a cash bar — STOP!  Instead, cut down on liquor costs by offering one signature drink (like pitchers of a gourmet martini) along with beer, soft drinks and juices.  Another option — buy cases of a local wine and just serve that.

Signature wedding cocktails

Limit the Limo.

It’s nice to pull up to the ceremony location in a sleek limo or classic car, but consider skipping the rides elsewhere to save money.  Instead, have your brother or a cousin chauffeur you and your new hubby to the reception.

Red Caddie with Bride and Groom in Background.

Don’t Go Flower Mad.

There are plenty of ways to keep your bill from blooming.  Buy flowers wholesale and give them to a florist to work with; or, create centerpieces that use candles and just a few beautiful blooms.  A profusion of blooms look lush and lovely but you can get the same effect with fewer flowers than you think.

Wedding flower decorations that are simple and easy.

 

Avoid Impulse Buying.

Got everything on your list?  Then STOP SHOPPING!  If you’ve already bought your bridesmaids lovely shawls and your see pretty purses that match or sparkly earrings … put them down and back away!

Quick Tip.

It’s very likely that everyone will be going snap-happy with their cell phone cameras.  To avoid ending up with 300 nearly identical shots, give your guests a few ideas (print up a card to put on each table).  Suggest a photo of each couple at the table, some goofy dance pics and a surprise shot of their choice — all to be shared later on-line.  (Hint – have an instagram album for your guests to upload their photos to share!)

Cheers,

Gail

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