Creating Your Wedding Budget

Creating Your Wedding Budget

Table of Contents

Couples' biggest wedding regrets

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What’s your biggest wedding planning regret? This is a question I always ask newlyweds. Having been in the wedding industry 6 years and counting, I have had the opportunity of connecting with over 600 couples who have completed their wedding journey. No matter the details, style or celebration type, the answer is always the same. “I wish we had prioritized our budget differently.” 

It can be expensive to plan a wedding, and it can be difficult to prioritize where to spend your hard-earned money. While there is nothing wrong with organizing a glamourous wedding on a tight budget, some things are worth spending more money on and some things aren’t! On the day of your wedding, you often find that your priorities have changed, and what’s important to you is not what you originally imagined. 

Knowledge is power and that’s what I want to gift you with – the power to change your course and prevent your future selves from having this same regret. 

What are their top 4 budget regrets? Read below to find out!

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Linens and Venue Upgrades

Most couples regretted spending more money on venue upgrades and additional decor such as expensive linens, chair style, and table centerpieces.

In the end, your guests won’t really care about or sometimes even notice the type of napkins you used, the appearance of your chair covers, or whether your charger plates were made of gold.

Small details like these could help your wedding “appear” put together, but your guests won’t be gushing about your choice of tablecloth when they leave your reception.

Wedding Invitations

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Many other couples admitted to overspending on wedding invites. On the one hand, a truly good, distinctive, personalized invitation can really set the tone for your wedding.

This is especially true if you are planning an event with a theme, since your invitation serves as sort of an introduction to the entire affair and should convey what the visitors can expect. 

However, for couples on a limited budget, purchasing completely unique invitations can occasionally strain your finances, however you don’t have to sacrifice your budget to have beautiful invites! If you’re creative, you can always make your own wedding invitations using templates from websites like Minted or if you are feeling super artsy – break out the DIY!

 Guest Favors

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Also at the top of the biggest budget regrets is guest favors. This may surprise you, however, they are expensive and (as many couples admitted) not worth it. Small wedding trinkets and presents for your guests are a thoughtful way to show your appreciation to those who came to celebrate your wonderful day with you.

Many of your guests will forget to take their special favor home, which results in a large amount of leftovers and wasted money. Instead, giving your visitors a memorable experience is priceless!

 

Jewelry and Accessories

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Those tiny accessories and jewelry items can add up quickly, especially if you only intend to wear them for that one special day.

So many brides regret spending so much money on jewelry (and shoes!) and advise choosing something that you can wear multiple times instead.

Another choice is to borrow one or two particular items from a close friend or family member to represent the customary “something borrowed” concept.

Where would they have invested more?

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What did couples wish they had spent more on? Here were the two most popular answers! 

Food & Drinks

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Many couples expressed regret about their food budgeting choices because they knew their guests would remember it.

Any great wedding needs delicious cuisine, and you want to make sure that nobody is hungry throughout the entire day. Your guests will go home content… and full if you set aside a little bit more of your money for extra appetizers, desserts, and treats!

Also, consider whether you would like to provide an open bar for your guests, prefer to have a bar available and allow guests the choice to purchase alcohol, or perhaps you may even decide to have a dry wedding. Whatever route you go, just imagine what type of atmosphere you would like to create for your guests.

Photo & Video

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By far the #1 regret couples have is not investing enough into their memories. When the clock strikes midnight and you’re off to your honeymoon, nearly 80% of your investment evaporates. After spending weeks, months and sometimes years planning and investing your finances into this special day, after a whirlwind of a few hours, it all becomes a beautiful memory. 

Throughout your wedding, you are pulled in so many different directions and there are inevitably many moments you will miss. Capturing the candid reactions, smiling faces, and happy tears of your friends and family is priceless. Having these moments captured and investing in your wedding legacy is something your future selves will value you than you can imagine. 

 When mapping out your budget priorities, remember that with certain vendors, in this case photography and videography, the cost of the investment determines the quality, experience, and value of your media. At the time, saving a significant amount of finances for what on the surface looks to be comparable can be a costly mistake. 

When searching for the team that will be responsible for your once-in-a-lifetime memories, here are some keys to consider – 

  • An organized and experience photo & video team play a huge role in your timeline and moments running smoothly
  • Technology is advancing constantly. When considering the team responsible for your media, pay attention to the quality of their work and how your memories will age throughout your years. Yes, you might be saving now, but in 20 years, if you are reminiscing through out-of-focus photos and a grainy, choppy film you will find yourself regretting why you didn’t invest more into remembering the beginning of your forever
  • Always ask about their policies for adding additional hours of coverage. After coordinating the timelines for 80+ weddings, I have yet to see a timeline need less than 8 hours of coverage. In order to capture getting ready moments and details all the way to your last dance and sparkler send-off, 8-10 hours is the average time your photo and video team needs to be scheduled for. 
With Photo & Video, when making this budget decision imagine future you sitting down to reflect and relive the greatest love story ever told – yours! What price would you put on the value of sharing your memories with future generations? 

Something for you!

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Feeling inspired and ready to tackle your wedding budget? Whether you are on your first rough draft or headed back to the drawing board to reevaluate, we’ve got something to help you get your priorities (and your finances) organized!

Click here to grab a copy of TLIC’s Budget Tracker!  

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