I cannot tell you how many newly engaged couples I have interviewed who when asked ‘what is your budget’ their response is ‘we do not have one’ or ‘whatever is fair value for what we want’. ‘WHAT?’ I want to scream how can you build an image of your perfect picture wedding without a roadmap to success? Would you get on a cruise across the Atlantic where the captain ‘does not have a navigational chart’?
STEP ONE of the wedding planning process is getting that budget together, this will ensure your costs are; realistic, thorough without unexpected expenses and manageable.
In the budgeting aspect, there are TWO things you need to ask.
1)What is the budget? – This means having a heart to heart with whomever is involved in the finances, including parents, your fiancee, etc. to ensure that you know what your total budget is.
2) What does my budget include? – think of everything, there are many online tools to help you do that. Does it include the dress, accessories, invitations, hotel accommodations and travel if you are planning an out of town wedding, gifts for the wedding party, gifts for parents, the list goes on and on…..
Once you have all your finances in place, and you have allocated your budget into different categories of expenditures, contact and interview wedding planners. You may think that ‘I can’t afford a planner’ but the bottom line is you cannot afford to not hire a wedding planner. Planners can become your ‘Suzy Orman’ ensuring that your budget is indeed realistic and thorough. Most importantly your ‘captain’ who will charter you through the planning process with smooth sailing!
Bon Voyage! as you fulfill happily ever after….