Well, actually Jessie J, it kind of is! We want to make the world dance too... or at least a bride, groom, and some wedding guests, but the PRICE TAG isn't something we can forget about and let love pay.
Budget is a big topic that some couples really struggle to discuss with each other, their parents if they are helping, and even their vendors.
I want to give you some tips that will help at least get the conversation going and a guide to starting out!
1. Set reasonable budget expectations!
You are likely not going to have an unlimited budget so don't set yourself up to be disappointed right from the start. Most of our couples here in the Midwest are trying to do a full wedding between $10,000 and $25,000. -DEEP BREATH- it's just an average! But you need to know what YOUR budget is. No one can be planning a $25,000 wedding when you have $15.26 in your bank account, $0.32 in your cupholder, and Starbucks card with $1.72 left on it, unless you plan on a 10 year engagement! It's ok, you can still have an incredible wedding without selling a kidney, we promise! You likely already have an idea of what your parents financial situation is if they are helping, so be reasonable!
Seriously, just do it! It doesn't have to be in a fancy planner and it doesn't even have to be set in stone, but get it down. If you are going to hire a Planner/Coordinator (a good one is worth WAY more than you will pay) then they can help with this, but you have to be able to give some guidelines. Write down what your budget is and the timeframe it will reasonably take you to save if you are planning on saving for costs.
3. Talk to EACH OTHER
Guys, it's crazy how many couples I see that haven't even talked about what they each want. They come to tour the venue and realize they aren't on the same journey at all! It's ok to want different things, but get on the same page BEFORE you get deep in planning and especially before you have the talk with parents or start paying deposits!
4. Do Some Research
SO many vendors have their prices right on their websites, just do some basic Google searches and get an idea of what vendors in your area are charging. (shameless plug- do not go tour a venue that is WAY over your budget, you are setting yourself up for major disappointment right from the start)
5. Prioritize your TOP 3
Think about what is really going to create the experience you want to have and be a lasting memory. Prioritize those things. When you have conversations about money, if you have a list of the TOP 3 things and the rest prioritized numerically, it will help keep you focused, show you are responsible, and serious! If your favorite photographer is 2 on your list and is taking a third of your budget, then what is something you can DIY or didn't make your top 10.
6. Be flexible and willing to compromise.
Having your TOP 3 down will help with this. If your parents or fiancé know that you are willing to work WITH them and make this a positive experience you are doing TOGETHER, then everyone is much more likely to show up on the wedding day HAPPY and RELAXED! It's about give and take with budget talks!
7. Is it a gift?
For those of you with someone helping to foot the bill, be sure all parties understand the expectations! If Mom will only give you the money if she gets to make decisions, or Grandpa will help but he gets to wear overalls to the wedding, then everyone needs to agree to those terms or don't take the money! Trust me when I tell you it's worth it to sacrifice some things for your peace and sanity!
8. Be OPEN and HONEST With Vendors
It's true that most of people in this business really do care about their couples! It is their business, they work really hard, AND they want to at least meet if not exceed your expectations. We all want a HAPPY SATISFIED COUPLE at the end of the big day. If you let them know early on in conversations what your budget is, they can offer you packages that fit that, let you know if they can't meet it at all, or even direct you to vendors that might be a better fit. Upsells are SO worth it sometimes, but only IF it makes sense for you and isn't going to leave you with feelings of regret or remorse.
Our premium packages were designed specifically to help our couples with some of the budget woes! Venue, Photography, DJ are three BIG wedding vendors that typically take a chunk of your budget. If you can have these 3 things for under $5000 without sacrificing quality, it's a HUGE WIN! We work with a DJ and Photographer that we TRUST 100% and they are both local. That is part of the reason that we can keep the package at a reasonable cost for you- very little drive time for them, they know the venue inside and out, there's not much prep or guess work, and they can focus completely on YOU!
BUT... We LOVE so many vendors in the area and work with them on a regular basis, so we will be thrilled if you just book the venue and bring a few of our other friends to the party! Do what makes sense for you no matter who or what you are booking!
If these tips helped you or you know someone that needs some tips, share this!
If you want to chat more about budget planning or our venue services, reach out! We would love to meet you!
Congratulations and Happy Planning!!