Planning a wedding is a bit like project management. You have a large selection of elements that you have to consider, logistics you need to plan for, and a budget you have to stick to. When you’re juggling so many different things, it’s understandable that you may drop the ball in certain areas. The best way to ensure you don’t make an epic wedding budget mistake is to be prepared and learn what to watch out for. Check out this list of wedding budget mistakes so you can do your best to avoid making any of them yourself.
Mistake #1: Booking vendors before you’ve determined your actual budget
My first piece of advice for couples is to set your budget before you even start interviewing potential vendors. Meeting with vendors who are way out of your price range is a waste of both your time and the vendors’ time. You really shouldn’t go spending any of your wedding funds before you know how much you actually have to work with. Time is money, as they say, so make the most of yours and determine your budget before you lock anything down.
Mistake #2: Neglecting to plan for overages and gratuities
When planning a large-scale event like a wedding, unexpected expenses are bound to pop up. Whether it’s a last-minute item that needs to be purchased or an added charge for additional time on the day-of, it’s important to leave a bit of extra room in your budget for these unplanned expenses. Don’t forget about tips and gratuities for your vendors for a job well-done. To keep yourself safe from overspending, it’s recommended to leave a 10 to 15 percent buffer in your budget to allow for any potential extra costs.
Mistake #3: Choosing the cheapest option by default
If you’re working with a strict budget, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest option in order to keep yourself on track. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, in most cases. It all comes down to your priorities. You can go with the least expensive option in areas that are of lesser importance to you, while choosing to splurge in those that are more of a priority. Brides who aren’t super into fashion might be tempted to purchase their wedding gowns from cheap overseas dress websites, but many of these websites illegally use designer photos to lure brides into purchasing a counterfeit, subpar gown. Check out bridalbeware.com to learn more about wedding dress counterfeiters and what to watch out for.
Mistake #4: Not reading the fine print
When booking wedding vendors and signing contracts, make sure to thoroughly review all the terms and conditions so you know what to expect. In many cases, vendors may assess extra fees and penalties if certain aspects of the contract are not met, such as additional time charges, setup and breakdown fees, etc. Go over your documents with a fine-tooth comb and make note of any area where you could potentially risk getting charged an added fee so you know what to expect on the day of.
Sticking to a budget while planning is no easy feat, but now that you know what to watch out for, you’ll be more prepared to plan your big day without overspending. Best of luck!