Formulating and keeping control of your wedding budget can be hard. You’ve probably thought many times about what you want your wedding to be like but it’s unlikely you’ve ever worked out how much that wedding in your head would actually cost.
To start with, if you have never planned a wedding before you may have no idea how much things like flowers, wedding cakes, celebrants, invitations, photographers or DJs cost. And without any idea of how much things cost it’s hard to know what is a reasonable amount to spend. You may not even be aware of all of the items you actually need to think about in terms of working out your budget – there are a lot of them!
This is where a wedding planner or stylist can come in handy. They know exactly what sort of costs you are going to be looking at for the type of wedding you want. They know what the difference is between a vendor at the cheaper end of the scale and one at the more expensive end and they can help you to work out whether you can use a cheaper vendor and still achieve what you are after for a particular item or whether you really do need to go with a more expensive vendor. They often know little tricks and tips for saving. Best of all, they aren’t as emotionally involved in your wedding as you are so they can act as your “voice of reason” – someone to keep you from making financial decisions based purely on emotion or impulse and to assure you that letting go of one or two things you wanted won’t be the end of the world (something from which I would have benefited when planning by own wedding!).
When contemplating the cost of hiring a wedding planner or stylist people often don’t realise how much they could actually end up saving overall, not only in money but also in time, effort and stress. Many believe that a planner or stylist will push you to get the best (ie the most expensive) of everything and you will end up spending much more than you would like. In fact this is not what a good planner or stylist will do. They won’t just advise you to go with the most expensive option – they will advise you to go with the option that suits your style and your budget and will help you to work out where your priorities are or should be. A planner or stylist is often thought of as a luxury for those who have a wedding budget of tens of thousands of dollars, but in actual fact those who are planning a low budget wedding or who are conscious of not blowing their budget can really benefit from hiring a professional. Some of the weddings I’ve enjoyed working on the most are those where I have had to come up with inventive ways to save on costs and stay within my clients’ budget or where there has been lots of DIY involved.
Finally, a word of reassurance to those who are working within a modest budget – I personally don’t believe that the cost of a wedding has anything to do with how beautiful, memorable or enjoyable it is. It’s the little touches, meaning and effort put into a wedding that results in it being swoon worthy, not how much money is spent. I love nothing more than to look at images from a wedding and be able to see the love, care and emotion that has gone into the day – to me those are the best weddings, and to be honest they are rarely the most elaborate or expensive.
Images by Courtney Fone