This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Saving Money When Planning Your Wedding

Posted By Paul

I noticed that the bridal shows are revving up, which made me think back to when my wife and I were planning our wedding. We wanted to pay for our wedding ourselves (when we got married we were both "grown ups" with jobs and homes so it seemed silly to expect our families to chip in), and paying for everything ourselves really gave us total control over what our wedding ended up being.

Planning a wedding is a great test of a relationship and I think in some ways the way you plan your wedding can set the financial attitude for your whole marriage. Here are some tips that came from my wife and my experience of planning a wedding:

Focus On Good Enough - You hear the phrase "The Perfect Wedding" all over the place, especially once you dive into the world of planning your wedding. One thing my wife and I did on the first day of planning our wedding was agreeing that we were never going to worry about making things perfect, we were going to focus on making things good enough. Not to say that we wanted things to be ugly, messy or chintzy, but the idea was that we weren't going to drive ourselves crazy chasing some arbitrary ideal of the perfect wedding.

Identify Your Priorities - My wife and I sat down and discussed what was important to us in our wedding. For example, my wife has a large family and they all live nearby, and her family is really important to her. Even though one of the easiest ways to make a wedding cheaper is to make the guest list shorter, my wife's priority was to be able to invite her extended family. We also both wanted to have good photographs of our wedding, so we made paying for a photographer a priority. Once we agreed on our priorities we knew that we needed to save money in other places to accommodate what was important to us. It made it much easier to cut back on things when we could keep our eyes on the prize of what was important to us.

Set Your Budget From The Start - My wife and I took a look at our finances and decided what we could afford for our wedding. We took that amount of money and put it into an account, and ALL money for the wedding came out of that account. Two very important things came out of this decision. First we only spent money that we had (I cringe when I hear about people who start off their lives together with a big credit card debt thanks to wedding spending gone out of control). Second, being able to tell at any moment how much was in the wedding fund made it easy to stick to our budget.

Don't Buy Into The Hype - The wedding industry tries to convince you that your wedding is the most important day of your life and that your wedding day will be ruined if you don't have ice sculptures and a custom tailored tux. Don't believe it.

Remember What's Important - My wife and I went to a quinceanera party that really brought the whole thing home for me. The party was held in a school gym, where tables had been set up. The food was simple, delicious, and plentiful, served on paper plates with family and friends serving as "waiters". For drinks paper cups and two liter bottles were handed out. The venue was not opulent but all friends and family were welcome. The food was not fancy, but it was delicious and served in a way where you felt like you were part of a family dinner. There was no DJ or hired MC, instead there were sincere speeches of welcome and affection from the family. I have never been to a better example of how you can throw a big party on a reasonable budget by focusing on what's important, and not getting distracted by things that don't matter.

Do It Yourself - My wife and I saved a lot of money by making the centerpieces ourselves, doing our own flower arrangements, making our own programs, and all kinds of things that you can do yourself if you just take the time to do it. Not only did we save money by doing all of these things ourselves but my wife and I really enjoyed having a wedding where so many aspects of the wedding were literally made by her and I.

There are hundreds of articles out there with tips for saving money on your wedding, but I hope that my suggestions provide a way to come at the daunting task of planning a wedding with the ideas and attitude to keep you on budget.

1 comment:

Amala said...

Read another interesting article about perfect wedding in matrimonyxpress.com: http://www.matrimonyxpress.com/2007/11/singles/the-picture-perfect-wedding/