After you get engaged, you’ve probably searched and pintrest-ed anything and everything relating to elopements and weddings. Chances are you’ve see a bunch of different graphics, blog posts, etc. saying that one of the first things you should do is build your budget. Great! But, how? Even as an elopement & wedding vendor, this confused the heck out of me when I was planning my own wedding.
I read a bunch of blog posts myself, and they all said the same things. “Your wedding will cost X amount”, “Set your budget before looking at vendors, dresses, etc” and so on. But I never felt like any of those posts were helpful. If nothing else, I hope this blog post can help you build your own perspective and you are able to build the experience YOU want.
After you decide to get married and start the planning process (you don’t have to be actually engaged yet), with your partner, take some time and discuss, what is most important to the both of you for your big day?
When my husband and I talked about this, we determined that keeping it intimate & chill, our shoes, and the photography were the most important things for us. I recommend making this no longer than 3-4 items.
For some couples, the most important thing is the location, their attire, the venue, the guests, or the floral arrangements. It’s going to be different for everyone! Some things to ask yourself when having this discussion could be; When you envision your wedding, what things are the most prominent?, What things don’t matter to you?, How do you want your day to feel?, Who do you want there?, What is something you’ve always envisioned about your elopement/wedding?
After you determine what’s the MOST important to you and your partner, find those vendors that fit your style & vision for your elopement or wedding. Whatever vendors you find, you don’t have to book with them, but search through their websites or asks for quotes. This will help you get an idea of the investment you’d be making for that particular service.
I knew for a VERY long time that the photography for my wedding, would be the most important thing for me (as a photographer, everyone else saw this coming too). I searched for photographers that fit my vision, had similar photography values, and had the style I was envisioning. In my search, I found a handful or so of photographers that I could potentially book with for my wedding. On each of their websites, I found a section that talked about the investment and their prices. This helped me gauge what kind of investment I would be making for a photographer with that style and values. We did this for each part of our day that we determined is the MOST important to us. And we kept those potential investments in mind when we actually built our budget, I’ll get more into that later.
Choosing a few things that are important to you will not only give us a potential base for your budget, but reduce your stress! Everything else you want to include, but isn’t the most important, you are able to be flexible with & can pay anything you want for them.
Do not feel pressured to include anything in your elopement or wedding that you don’t want. If you don’t want flowers, don’t have them. If cake isn’t your thing, don’t do it. If getting a fancy dress isn’t your dream, get something that works for you!
I only have one rule: Do whatever you want!
There are very few things in your elopement or wedding that can’t be flexible. For example, you and your partner both need to be present and consenting to the marriage.
Everything else will work out. You and your partner are truly the most important part of your day.
I’m not going to tell you what your budget should be, what you should spend on each vendor, or what you should include. Instead here are some things to consider and talk about, because this is your experience and your budget!
For the things that are most important to you, most of the time, they should take up the majority of your budget. Then for everything else, you can make it work however you want!
Honestly, you are able to pay nearly anything you want for any wedding service. But just know that not all vendors are created (or priced) equally.
If there is a wedding vendor you LOVE, but their pricing is a bit more than you anticipated, there’s a reason for that! All vendors and businesses decide their prices on many factors, including; experience, investments they’ve made for their business, supply & demand, education, business taxes, any equipment or materials needed and more. Vendors that cost more tend to have more experience, among other things (depending on the service). I HIGHLY suggest doing lots of research into any specific vendors, services or products that are taking up large portions of your budget.
There is lots to talk about when planning, but here are some additional things to think about:
What are you comfortable spending?
If someone is helping you pay for your wedding, what are they willing to contribute?
What would the things that are most important to you cost?
What all do you want to include?
Is there anything you want to DIY?
What are the fixed costs you’ll encounter? (Marriage license, travel, etc.)
I hope this helped! Please don’t stress yourself out, and just enjoy the present!
If you have any questions, feel free to put them in comments, and I’d be happy to answer them!
If you are interested in booking with me, please inquire through the contact page!
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