I can’t stress this enough: The biggest ticket items have to be done first. This is usually venue/food and beverage, photography, and the bride’s dress. If you do not take care of these bigger ticket items first, you may run out of budget before you get them done.
As a planner, part of the fun for me is taking a client’s wedding budget and working to beat their budget anywhere I can. It’s a little game I play with myself to see how far I can stretch the dollar – or how much I can get included for the price (because remember: cost and value are not the same thing!) It’s important to remember that your budget is flexible… well, kinda. Anytime you save in one category, you can either choose not to spend that money at all, or allocate it together area all together.
Let’s say your budget allocates you $1,200 for DJ services – but you negotiate a rate with the DJ where all your needs are met for $1,000. You have saved $200! Congrats! You now have the option to save that money, or allocate it to another area that needs it – such as floral or your wedding dress.
The converse is also true, however. If you overspend in an area, it means you need to find the money elsewhere to cover the overage. This is the hardest part of living on a wedding budget, but you have two choices:
1) Reduce the budget in another area. For example, if your budget allocated $1,200 for your wedding dress but you found your DREAM dress for $1,400, you are $200 over-budget. You may make the decision to re-allocate the $200 to the dress budget and then decide not to have wedding favors as the trade-off.
2) Earn more money. Plenty of couples take on side-jobs or second jobs to help add a little padding to their wedding budget. Yes, you’ll be busy. But won’t it be worth it if it means you can plan without stressing over money?