Once an overall amount has been determined, I recommend that each couple sit down to rank what aspects of a wedding are most important to them. Unless you have a “sky’s the limit” budget, you will have to closely monitor each purchase and might have to make some sacrifices in order to afford your “must-have” items/services.
Here are some tips for stretching each dollar of your budget:
1. Consider the season. You’re more likely to get a better price for a venue in January than you would for the same spot in June.
2. Most venues charge a premium for Saturday night. Consider having your wedding on a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday.
3. An afternoon wedding or a Sunday brunch will definitely cost less than an evening reception. These weddings can be unique and memorable, but not always appropriate depending on what is important to you as a couple.
4. Trim the length of your wedding. Having only a three hour reception, instead of the typically four or five hours, will save you money on catering and liquor costs. Don’t worry, everyone will enjoy themselves just as much and you’ll end up saving them from an even worse hang-over.
5. Create a comparison chart to track what’s included in the price for each vendor. For example, one venue may not include linens or the cake, while another place does. Make sure to price out each service the venue does and does not include so you can get an accurate quote on what the total will end up being.