Wedding budgets are always a sticky area for couples. I am a full advocate of planning the budget first before doing anything else and actually sticking to it! There are a lot of couples who have a very hard time sticking to their wedding budget. With television shows like My Fair Wedding with David Tutera, and Platinum Weddings, many couples want what they see on these shows. As a result, many couples fail to set a REALISTIC wedding budget which is one you feel comfortable putting in place. Couples should make a list, in order of MUST-haves, your wedding details, so you can spend dollars on the higher priorities.
Another area that can cause a wedding budget to become very tight, very quickly is failure to read the fine print. I always tell my couples to read everything. Then let me read it! Don’t skip over anything, and ask any questions immediately, especially when it comes to payment terms. You need to know when payments or balances are due, if there are any minimum charges, corkage fees, cake-cutting fees, etc. Instead of signing a contract on the spot, take it home and read it carefully. The vendor shouldn’t mind waiting 24 hours or so. If there’s pressure to sign then and there, proceed to the next vendor on your list.
Again as I mentioned, wedding shows give brides and grooms false perceptions of the “real” wedding planning process. Another area where I see this reflected is in venue selection. Even if you fall in love with the first reception venue on your list when you visit, be patient. Don’t write a check, only to find a beautiful place that costs less and offers more a few days later. Investigate. List the details of each wedding venue— costs, services, extras, terms—on a spreadsheet or something similar. You just may wind up taking the first place you saw, and you’ll know in your heart it’s the best!
My last tid-bit for the day is that you two as a couple should never fall prey to peer pressure!Resist keeping up with the Joneses. You don’t know all the details about that fabulous wedding you just attended—lobster, filet mignon, the best champagne. Who paid for it? How much debt did this couple take on? Don’t be affected by the choices of others. You’ll be more likely to create and stick to a budget you can afford.