In order to begin planning your wedding you will both need to discuss what the most important features and aspects of your day will be. Depending on religion or lifestyles, you both may have specific elements that you feel must be included, and these can affect the budget so it’s critical that you write down the “no bargain” aspects of your wedding that you feel you just can’t do without.
If you haven’t yet set a wedding date, this is the time to do so. Consider what time of year you should have your wedding (considering the guests and their vacation time or ability to attend based on work), as well as whether you are looking to have a wedding locally or away.
The most expensive months in which to get married are spring, summer and early fall, as well as the Christmas and Valentine’s Day holidays. If you have a wedding that takes place in late fall or early winter you will be able to dramatically trim down on costs.
Also consider the day of the week as this will also have an impact on your venue costs. Weddings that take place during a weekday are usually far more affordable than a weekend wedding, where venues are in demand and more couples are trying to secure locations. Often times, vendors will negotiate on costs if you book during an “off day” because they know they are less likely to fill that spot otherwise.
And finally, the time of day also plays a factor in costs. Generally, weddings that take place earlier in the day will cost less than late afternoon, early evening wedding events.
Try to be flexible with the date you choose especially if it will help you stretch the budget even further, enabling you to save money or spend it on other elements of your wedding day that you might otherwise not be able to afford.
Here are a few other questions you will need to discuss before moving past the pre-planning phase:
- How many guests would you like to attend?
Write down all of the friends and family members that are most important to you. (Create your “must attend” list first)
- What type of venue would you like to be married in?
Would you like an indoor lavish reception, and outdoor garden reception, a smaller intimate reception?
- What aspect of your wedding day is most important to you both?
- How many groomsmen, bridesmaids and other wedding party members are you looking to have?
- Will you have a DJ or a band at your reception?
DJ’s are usually far more affordable than a band.
- Should your wedding have a specific theme, and if so, what?
- Will you have a buffet style reception or a sit down dinner?
- Will you have an open bar, limited or none at all?
- Where would you like to go on your honeymoon?
These are just a few of the many questions that you will need to discuss, and while the budget will be affected depending on your choices, you can always trim down as you need to once you begin planning.
Book off a weekend where you and your partner can discuss your wedding, away from noise and distraction. Jot down ideas, notes and suggestions that you both have about your wedding preparations and what you believe are most important elements.
This is very necessary if you want to understand one another and ensure that you include the features and aspects that will make your day extra special.
Remember, these are general questions regarding your wedding planning that will give you a good idea as what you and your partner envision as the ‘perfect wedding’. Nothing is written in stone and as you begin to plan your wedding day, you are likely going to end up changing certain features, minimizing some of the unnecessary costs and shaping your wedding day so that it encompasses all of the important elements while weeding out the costly features that aren’t as important.
I have seen countless couples surprised at just how many ideas their partner has for their wedding day. Ladies, don’t discount your partner and it’s likely he has ideas on what he would like to see included just as you do.
It’s important that you keep an open mind and listen to each other. Does one want a lavish reception while the other prefers a simple buffet style feast?
Do your best to communicate now before you start planning your big day so that there are few surprises or disappointments later on. Work out any disagreements and compromise where needed. After all, this is a very special day for you both and you should both be a big part in the planning.
To your happily ever after!