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Budget Wedding Tips from a Wedding Planner

budget-wedding-adviceThere are many different ways to go about planning a wedding on a budget. Before you even get engaged, you should be certain that you are taking steps to start a life together on the right financial footing. I talked to wedding planner Lindsay Averette to find out more.

What are the best signs that a couple is ready to get engaged?

The easiest way to answer this question is with a question: are you ready to plan a wedding, or are you ready to plan a marriage? Often in preparation for an engagement or even in the actual wedding planning process, couples lose sight of what this monumental occasion really means. Would you be just as happy eloping as planning a huge affair with 200 of your closest friends and family? If the answer is yes, then you’re probably heading in the right direction.

It also probably helps if you’ve had the occasionally awkward but absolutely necessary conversation of finances. Let’s be real here: everything costs money. An engagement, wedding, and future cost money, and costs can escalate quicker than you think. If your financial priorities are parallel—with everything from home furnishings to future children’s college savings—you’re on the right path to getting hitched!

What do couples need to know about planning a wedding on a budget?

In a nutshell:
The guest list is a direct correlation to how much you’ll spend for the big day. Now I’m not telling you to dwindle your list of friends or go burn a bridge with that coworker of five years before you get engaged, but I am telling you that one of the best budget wedding tips is to be practical about who you invite.

In more detail:

With an engagement comes the overly excited Aunt Sally who will ask every question under the sun: “When’s the big day? Where will you have it? Who will you invite? I’ll send you my list—we can’t forget your great uncle’s best friend’s daughter, you know!” My advice to you is: prepare for the hot seat. Have a pow-wow with the people involved in the wedding, and I don’t mean just you and your fiancé. If Mom, Dad, or even Aunt Sally are helping pay for this affair, they are in on the action as well. This is a good chance to hash out wedding budget, as well as discuss ideas and expectations for the planning months ahead.

What are the most important budget wedding tips you share with couples?

It is critical that you make a list of priorities when planning a wedding. Would you rather have custom linens or an amazing photographer? Do you want your guests to eat, drink and be merry or must you have that one-of-a-kind designer gown? From your highest priority to the least important item on your wedding planning checklist, it’s vital to map out where you’ll spend your hard earned cash.

Once you’ve mapped out your budget, STICK TO IT. It is incredibly easy to let the excitement of planning a wedding reflect in your budget. Next thing you know, you’ve spent $400 on gorgeous matte satin linens, when your original plan was to stick with the linens included in your catering package.

Lindsay owns and operates LK Events & Design, a wedding and event planning company in Richmond, Virginia. Stay tuned for more insider tips from Lindsay in the coming weeks!

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