If you’ve spent anytime doing wedding research, you’re probably already aware that planning a real-life wedding and reception is nothing like the pretend ones you might have hosted as a child. For one, there are a lot of potentially scary words that enter the picture, like “budget,” “guest list,” and “contracts,” when you’re actually going to say “I do.” Luckily, after making the crucial decisions of where to wed, and when, the rest of the decisions can start to feel more like a fun puzzle than a scary obstacle course. From your dress to who will be your maid-of-honor, if you still feel overwhelmed by where to start planning, let your priorities set your pace.
Make Your Big, Priority Purchases First
Many couples choose to hire their biggest vendors, first, based on the projected costs of each. This helps them make sure to allot enough funds for each of the important elements of their wedding, from their attire to the photography and band or D.J. You can even find helpful budget estimators on many wedding planning websites.
Of course, not every couple shares the same priorities about what is most important to their dream day, which can cause some major shifts in the budget lines.
So, if you already know that you have little interest in the entertainment, and that you will be perfectly happy setting an iPod on shuffle, this might free funds up to pour into an area you really care about, such as having well-trained bartenders on hand to serve up customized cocktails, or giving the caterer plenty of funding for local, farm-fresh ingredients.
For brides who value their dress above all else, they may wish to focus more of their funds (and early decisions) here, and then handle flowers and décor later, based on what they have leftover.
Again, keep in mind that most choices will become easier once you’ve already settled on a wedding date and venue. After all, you will want to choose a gown (food, flowers, etc.) that makes sense in the weather and atmosphere of your chosen locale!