Tip Number 1 – Priorities.
So chances are you’ve never done this before. You have no idea what goes into planning a wedding (except for a few unsolicited trips from friends) and absolutely no idea on how much it will also cost.
First things first.. set your priorities! Even before you pick a budget. DO IT NOW. Sit down with your significant other and write a list of all the things you want for your wedding. A live band. Excellent food. An open bar with signature cocktails. Heaps of florals hanging from the roof. A “WOW” ceremony that looks incredible and timeless, to look back on in your wedding photos. A kick-ass photographer. And so on. Next, order those items from MOST important to LEAST important. Pick out the top 3-5 things that are must haves. THIS is where you should focus large amounts of budget, time and effort. Chances are your guests wont remember every single little tiny detail from your wedding. What they will remember is three or four things done REALLY well. Like amazing food or a killer dance floor. Pick an overall budget that you can afford for your wedding, allocate a rough sum to the top three-four items and work your way down.
“Sit down with your significant other and write a list of all the things you want for your wedding.”
Tip number 2 – Spend, Save and Splurge.
Now that you’ve identified your priorities, you can work out the areas that you want to spend, save and splurge. People always come to me assuming that their top spends will be venue, food and alcohol. But if those are not your priority, then don’t spend money on them. Its that simple!! There are other options!! Find a fun, quirky local community hall for a few hundred bucks and fill it FULL of flowers and hire a food truck. Then you have cash left over to splurge on the photographer of your dreams and all those lush florals.
“Pick out the top 3-5 things that are must haves. THIS is where you should focus large amounts of budget”
Tip Number 3 – Expectations.
So you’ve worked out your priories, come up with a rough figure that you’d like to spend and now it’s GO TIME on the planning. This is where I often find people loose their way a bit. Because they have a budget set and a venue booked, but unfortunately these don’t match up with your vision or expectations for how your wedding will look and play-out on the day. It’s always helpful to contact a few vendors and find out what is achievable within your style and budget. You may have booked a venue with the hopes of covering the roof in foliage. But turns out they don’t have anything to actually attached the foliage too. An experienced florist will have solutions and alternative design options to help you achieve this roof install, with hired in rigging systems, for example. Or perhaps all the florists you contact are telling you that your budget isn’t enough for that incredible ceiling install you found on pinterest. Be honest wth vendors about what you can afford, and they should be able to give you some alternative design options that will fit within your budget while still working within your wedding style and theme.
“Be honest wth vendors about what you can afford, and they should be able to give you some alternative design options that will fit within your budget”
Tip Number 4 – Price Shopping.
It’s always a great idea to get an idea on prices from a few different sources. But be warned, if you’re after something specific or a very particular style or specific item, price shopping isn’t going to work. Chances are if someone if offering to do it for less, you will be getting less. BE CAREFUL. There are some really dodgy vendors out there, plus there are lots of students or newbies who are inexperienced and underprepared to pull off your dream wedding. Be honest and realistic with what you can afford, and if the budget wont stretch, then be willing to settle for something different to your original plans. Or run the risk of disappointment on the day.
“Chances are if someone if offering to do it for less, you will be getting less.”
Tip number 5 – Focal points!
When it comes to styling and creating the ‘look’ for your wedding on a small budget, don’t stretch your already tight budget thin by trying to decorate every area. Instead, pick one main focal area to focus your budget and efforts on. For example, deck out the bridal table with lots of florals, draping and candles etc. This is where all eyes are going to be focused. And then skip out on guest table centrepieces. Or just keep them minimal. The more you ‘stretch out’ the design, the more diluted it becomes. And in turn, it becomes less impressive and gets lost in your venue.