As a Day-of Coordinator for DIY couples, one of the main topics I hear discussed is the amount of money it costs to get married these days. Most of my couples are shocked by all the dollar signs they see stacking up as they create their dream wedding and all the little things that go along with their vision.
In New Braunfels, Texas, where I currently live and operate Hamilton Wedding Finishing, the average cost of a wedding is between $24,000 and $40,000 according to CostOfWedding.com! That’s a new car or a down-payment on a house, y’all. A wedding is a big deal – for a relationship and a wallet!
To help you budget your cost-effective dream wedding I’ve compiled a list of questions to consider before you dive into your wedding planning. Take your time and really think about these things before making your plans to help make planning and budgeting less stressful.
“What is the ultimate goal for your wedding?”
This is my number one question for my couples! Knowing what you really want out of your wedding day can help you prioritize your finances to make sure you’re spending money on the things that are important to you and will help you have the best memories of the day. (What the heck is a “wedding goal?“)
How do you plan to pay for your wedding?
Many couples are choosing to pay for their own wedding, and finding these large price tags can be overwhelming. If you are one of the many couples who is looking to pay for your wedding and not go into an insane amount of debt, be sure to look at your personal finances and begin to budget. By using a personal finance software (I love Mint.com!) you can easily track your spending and set a budget to pay for your wedding without breaking the bank.
Not sure what personal finance software is right for you? Check out this guide by Reviews.com.
When is the busy season for your area?
Here in Central Texas, the busiest wedding seasons are March-June and October-December. Choosing a date outside of this may help decrease your cost.
How quickly are you getting married?
If you are trying to plan a wedding in less than a year’s time you may have a hard time booking the vendors you really want. By giving yourself a little extra time (I know, it’s so hard to wait!) you can make sure you get the vendors and services you want at a price that works with your budget.
How many people are you inviting?
Smaller, more intimate weddings can be much cheaper than huge parties. It can be hard to trim the guest list (especially when mom and dad are helping to foot the bill,) but make sure you invite a number of guests appropriate for your budget.
How big is your wedding party?
You can still have all of your best buds at your wedding, but they don’t all have to be in your wedding party. Wedding party gifts, bouquets, and boutonnieres add up! If you think they may feel left out you can give them a job to do such as usher guests or help your day-of coordinator with the setup that morning.
What do you want to eat?
If you’re providing your guests with a four-course meal there no doubt they will leave full, but would you and your guests be just as happy with a light buffet meal or a fun food truck? Explore the options and the pricing.
Is DIY decor really worth it?
Many couples give DIY decor a go because they think it will cost less in the long run, but when they add up the time it takes to make everything it doesn’t add up in their favor. Be sure you aren’t stressing yourself out over too much DIY. Try renting some decor items or go for simple decor that doesn’t require much time to assemble.