Pre Wedding Journals | Setting the all important budget
The fact of the matter is that for probably 99.99% of us, the dreaded word budget is going to be thrown around a lot in the lead up to our wedding day - or really any event we plan! Whether your wedding budget is $1,000 or $100,000 there are some things to consider that will help you determine where to put your pennies without blowing things.
My top piece of advice, and always one of the top questions I ask couples is for you to determine what is most important to you, and the top 2-3 areas you would like to splurge or invest a little bit more on. From there, book those most important things and then evaluate the rest of the budget.
Be smart about the way you invest your time and money. In saying that, I'm aiming this directly towards DIY projects - They are not always going to be a dollar saver. In fact, more often than not they're expensive as hell and cost hours of your time too! Definitely talk to a stylist, stationery designer, florist, caterer or whoever is relevant to do the job and see if you can talk through options that will pay off in the long run.
The same goes for purchasing offshore. If your dream gown lives with our friends across the ditch, then, by all means, go for it, but think twice before making your purchase on Aliexpress or even Etsy. I hear stories all the time about product turning up not as pictured, and all the purchaser has done is waste more money in thinking they could save a dollar. Look to support local New Zealand companies first, they will love you for it and you will get what you are looking for - If not, you have the benefit of being able to take things up with them and resolving any issues.
BYO booze is not always a cost-effective option. It's the same as this whole myth around wedding tax - it simply does not exist. Talk to your caterer around what options they can provide. I know for a fact it was much cheaper for us to go through our caterer and was more than happy to have them provide us with the service.
When it comes to food, a number of local catering companies have a few sub-brands under their umbrella meaning they will have options for anything low key to super duper fancy, so you can have an honest conversation about per head costs as well as the style you're after and what is going to be the best way to feed the crowd.
As beautiful as the itsy bitsy details are, really think about if they are needed. I get it, details are so important to me and always well thought out, but to the average eye, they can be missed. Let me put it this way, think about the weddings you have been to and what you remember from them. More often than not, it's the incredible unique moments, isn't it?
Quotes are open for discussion. Hopefully, you have had a fabulous consult initially with your vendors and the quotes coming through are within budget and with most elements fitting the brief, but if you get a little shock at a price there might be a better package for you. I think it's important here to note that I am not saying you should ever try and barter the price down, it is not a time to bargain. More so, give your vendor a call and have an honest conversation around what you can afford, they will then be able to alter the service or product you are potentially getting to reflect that.
Invest in a planner in the early stages. You're probably thinking yeah yeah, #shamelessselfpromotion and yes, I am a planner, but I have also been a bride and seriously knowing what I know now, I can see how my offerings as a planner would have made for a very different experience. One of my favourite offerings are my consults, and they give each couple the ability to talk through where they are at, their hopes and dreams for the day, their budget (of course) and next steps forward. It gives an opportunity to think outside the box and get crafty about how to spend your hard-earned dollars, often in ways you might not have thought about! You see, a lot of Kiwis aren't afraid of planning their wedding, but they just want to know they're on the right track and I'm so happy to be a part of that piece in the puzzle and have a low cost, dedicated service around it.
Keeping a budget spreadsheet really is the easiest way to keep track of things. If you have a planner on board, they will often have this resource available to share with you. If not, start a spreadsheet and just note down the main things to start, adding to it as you go. You can find a list of the main things to book here. I find adding a column for estimated or quoted costs, and actual costs are helpful.
Without shoving too much detail in your faces, I hope this has been enough to get your mind ticking, and I really hope that you're feeling a bit more confident that, a. wedding tax doesn't exist, b. supporting local pays off in the long run, and c. there are ways to work every budget effectively with a little extra thought.
As always, I'm here to chat if you need me so, get in touch and we can make a date!