The message usually is prefaced with “HELP!!! I am over my wedding budget!”
The reason for the panic in their words is that they are late in the game.
They did not plan ahead (or at all) and are now scrambling to get their arms around how to pay for a wedding that may be less than a month away.
Sadly, unless they can get some help from relatives, there is little else that they can do other than rack up some credit card debt.
A little bit of planning would have helped them, had they started early.
We have already gone over the basics of a destination wedding budget and how to create one. In this article, we are going to go over 3 simple tips to make sure you stay under your wedding budget.
Want to come in 5-10% under your budget in every category of expense? Follow these steps:
Step 1: Ask for proposals from vendors (at this point, each vendor will ask you for a budget, but don’t answer that question. Just tell them what you need (i.e. 10 bouquets etc.) and that you would like a proposal for bouquets in both the lower end and the higher end.
Step 2: Once you have the proposal, call the vendor that you want to work with and inform them that you really loved their work. Flatter them and let them know that you think they are talented (be sincere, because if you don’t mean it, the vendor will know).
Step 3: Now let them know that you have several vendors that came in much lower (even if they did not) and you want to be able to justify the additional expense to your (insert your fiance or someone who wants you to go with another vendor). Ask them for a 10% discount on the service or product you want. In most cases, a 10% discount will not hurt them enough to turn away a bride that is impressed by their work. At worst, they may agree on 5%, which is still good enough.
The above will yield sizable savings for any kind of destination wedding. Of course, the larger the wedding, the larger the savings.
Focus On The Big Ticket Items First
Just type in the words “How to save money on your wedding” and you will get millions of results all talking about the same things. Many articles are titled “100 ways to lower your wedding costs”.
While I am sure all these tips are great in their own right, we would find it hard to implement even half of them for a lack of time.
Rather than trying to implement every money saving tips that you can find, focus on your top five wedding expenses and try to shave off those expenses first. A 15-20% reduction on your top 5 expenses will save you more money than if you saved the same percentage on all the other expenses combined.
Your top five expenses for a destination wedding are going to be:
- Reception Venue
- Travel (Airfare and hotel)
To learn how to save money on any of the above, read our article “How To save 30% Off Your Destination Wedding”.
Create A Separate Bank Account
If there is one thing that most couples don’t do that they should is open up a separate bank account to track their wedding expenses. After all, having a separate account keeps all your expenses in one place, provides an early warning sign that you may be above your means and keeps you out of credit card debt.
And it won’t cost you a dime either. Go to the bank that you already do business with and let them know that you want to open an account so you can budget for the wedding. Not only will most banks help you create a free account, many will throw in 100 checks for free too.
Apply For A New Credit Card
Airlines will often run promotions that offer you 25,000 points if you get approved for a new credit card. The points are enough for one round trip ticket to anywhere in the US.
As you continue to pay wedding vendors, use this credit card and rack up additional points and by the time you get married, you may have enough for two free tickets. Just remember to use this card for wedding expenses only and make sure you pay it off every month from your wedding bank account mentioned above.
A Monthly Checkup Will Help You Stick To The Budget
A common concern for brides is that they start out with a budget of say $10,000 and as time presses on, they spend a little extra here and a little extra there thinking “you only get married once, might as well spend on quality”.
While that advice may be true, it will get you into trouble if your budget is firm and has little wiggle room. What most brides find is that these little additional expenses add up to the point where they realize that they are 30% or more above budget.
The trick to sticking to your budget is to be disciplined about updating your budget monthly. Doing so keeps you disciplined with future expenses while keeping track of past expenditures.
Follow the steps above to stay on track with your wedding budget and you won’t find yourself on the message boards asking for help with your budget when your wedding is only a month away. Instead, if you follow the advice, you may find yourself with a little extra money at the end that you can use towards some simple pleasures on your honeymoon.