New Year’s (Wedding) Resolutions Every Bride-to-Be Should Make
BY CATEY HILL
If you’re getting married in 2013, you already have a lot to think about — the dress! the flowers! the music! — but you need to add one more thing to the list: money. Specifically, brides have to start planning now how they’ll plan their dream wedding in an affordable way.
OK, I know money is the last thing you probably want to think about, especially when it comes to your big day, and it’s tempting just to put it on your credit card and worry about it later. But that’s a big mistake, as you and your hubby will face a big, fat, stress-inducing bill just when you’re trying to enjoy your first year of wedded bliss. Ick!
Instead, make — and stick to — these three, simple wedding new years’ resolutions, so you can have a budget-friendly, but still amazing, wedding.
1. Make a wedding budget
I know budgets get a bad name — ew, who wants to think about restrictions on spending! — but I swear they’re easy to make and follow. First, you have to figure out how much you can afford to spend on your wedding. To do that, ask yourselves: How much have you and your soon-to-be hubby saved for the wedding, and how much will you have saved by the big day? How much will your families chip in? Add that up, as well as any other money you’ll get (could you host a yard sale to earn some extra cash or pick up a side job using a site like TaskRabbit.com?), and you have the amount you can spend on your wedding.
Then, you’ll need to figure out what your wedding will cost. Don’t worry, this sounds scary, but it’s totally not. To make this super easy for you guys, I’ve created a wedding budget that you can print out and use to help yourselves figure out cost.
TOTAL BUDGET: $____________________________
2. Ask for deals on almost everything
As women, we often find it hard to ask for what we want, especially when it comes to money. But here’s the thing: Asking can pay off in a big way, especially when it comes to scoring deals on wedding stuff. (And really, why should the sometimes-more-assertive opposite sex get the better deals?!) You can often get significantly lower prices on catering, the venue, photography, flowers, the band and more by negotiating. And it’s actually pretty simple to do. Get at least three quotes from vendors and then use those quotes to start a negotiation with the vendor you’d like to use. You can say something like “I’d love to use your services, but X other company is actually offering X price. Do you think you can match that price?” You might not always get a better deal – especially if you’re negotiating for something that’s in high demand like a hot wedding venue or a sought-after caterer – but it’s worth a shot!
3. Focus on what’s important
Most likely, you’re not going to be able to afford everything you want for your wedding. After all, not everyone can get married in June at the boathouse in Central Park or don a vintage Vera Wang. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have most everything you want. To make sure you get the things you want most for your wedding, you’ll need to create a priority list that ranks all the things that make up a wedding — venue, photography, dress, band, flowers, etc. (you can use the budget above to help you figure this out) — from most important to least important. You should spend more on the items you ranked higher on the list, while spending less on those that are lower down. You may decide to splurge on the perfect dress and an amazing photographer while just serving beer and wine or passing around one less appetizer during the reception.