5 Simple Wedding Planning Tips
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Welcome to this episode of PFCU’s Money Talk podcast, I’m your host Maddy. Today I want to share some wedding planning tips. As I record this episode, we are into the middle of May and wedding season is here once again. Now I got married five years ago and I know it can overwhelming to plan a wedding and I consider myself to be organized and a planner and I was still overwhelmed. Soon after that ring was on my finger, and I am not kidding you guys, I had so many questions about planning a wedding. I mean, I had never planned one before. Like, what needs to be done first? If I’m getting married in ten months, how soon do I book a venue or how much time does it take to alter a wedding dress? And then there’s figuring out an appropriate budget, not only how much were we able to spend on our wedding but how much did things even cost? I didn’t know how much a wedding cake was, I didn’t know how much flowers were or how much a venue would cost. And we can’t forget about the guest list! How many people are we inviting? Who are we inviting? I had no idea! And I’m not bringing these things up to stress you out because I know that we all do that to ourselves, I’m just telling you that I was right there with you. And although I can’t give you all of the answers to your questions, I do want to share with you a few wedding planning tips that might make your life a little easier and your wedding day one to remember for all of the right reasons. I am not by any means a professional wedding planner and I want you to do what works for you but I love sharing tips and tricks that might help my listeners, even if it’s just one piece of advice that you can take with you. Here are my five simple wedding planning tips.
So my first tip is to start with your budget and your guest list. And I say these together because your guest count will largely impact your budget. How many people you invite will determine how big of a venue you need, your rental numbers for chairs, tables, linens, how much food and drink you will need, your number of invitations and postage and more. So as you create your budget do a little research on how much things will cost. You might need to tweak your budget a little bit, you might need to tweak your guest list a little bit. I don’t want you to find yourself with unwanted or unplanned debt, trying to keep up with all these expenses or overspending. Be careful with those small details that you might forget about and just keep track of everything. So I used an excel spreadsheet for everything. I tracked my planned and estimated expenses, and then I tracked the actual cost of everything I bought with a running total so I knew how much I was spending along the way.
Alright, tip number two I have some cost saving ideas so here’s where we have several pieces of information on how you can save some money. My first one is to consider a different day of the week instead of a Saturday so maybe a Friday or a Sunday. I had a Friday wedding and it cut our venue cost down dramatically. Also you can create a wedding website, I did this too and it saves you on the cost of all the little inserts that typically go in the envelope with the invitation. You can put information about your hotel, venue, transportation and any other important information you want your guests to have. You can put that right on your website and there are several free platforms you can use such as The Knot, Zola, Wedding Wire, Minted or Wix. All you have to do is put your website at the bottom of your invitation. My next one is to think about small details that you could easily cut out that will save a few bucks here and there. This can include wedding favors, special champagne toasting glasses or special cake knives. Another idea is to opt for a smaller wedding cake to use for pictures for when you cut the cake and then a sheet cake to feed your guests. Repurpose and DIY where you can. For example, I used my bouquet and the bridesmaid’s bouquets as centerpieces for the head table. All I had to do was get vases to set them in. I also made all of the table numbers and the card box. And I understand that not everyone wants to do DIY or has the time to do that or thinks they have the talent to do it but there are other ways you can get creative and repurpose things to save a little bit of money. And try shopping after a holiday season when florals, décor items, lights and other DIY must-haves are discounted. Next is to look into more greenery instead of flowers and opt for non-floral centerpieces such as candles, lanterns or photos. And my last cost savings tip is to follow wedding based social media accounts to keep an eye out for deals and savings.
Okay, my third tip is to start planning and saving early. The earlier you start planning, the less stressed and overwhelmed you’ll feel throughout the entire journey. This gives you time to shop around and take more time with all of the decisions you’ll be making because you’re going to be faced with a lot of choices. And also start saving as soon as possible, no matter how close or far out your wedding is as you listen to this podcast, I want you to start saving and find out what PFCU can do to help. And believe me, it’s easier than ever. You can look into opening up a savings account dedicated to your wedding or check out our pocket change program.
My fourth tip is to stay organized. Create a checklist, have a binder, use a spreadsheet, do all of the above, whatever is that will keep you organized and on top of what you have done already, what you need to get done, how much you’ve spent, where you are with your budget and information for all of your vendors so things like their contact information, any contracts you have signed, any options they have given you that you need to review. Keep track of all of that stuff in one place however it works for you.
And my fifth tip is try not to overlook the small details. These are the things that will likely stress you out on your wedding day is if you overlook all of the small things that we tend to forget about. The first one being transportation, whether that’s from your ceremony site to the reception or at the end of the night to wherever you’re going to end up. This could be for you, your bridal party, all of your guests- have transportation figured out. Have a backup plan if there’s bad weather if your wedding is outside. Include yourselves in the guest count and don’t forget to count in vendors for food and seating as well, so bands, photographers, wedding planners- you want to plan to feed them too!
Those are my five wedding planning tips and I’m going to add a sixth one and that is to just remember to enjoy the day and enjoy the days, weeks and months leading up to the day. Planning a wedding should be fun and try not to sweat the small stuff. Anything that might go wrong on your big day, I promise you, your guests probably won’t even know the difference. Once the day is done, I can only hope that all of your guests had fun, that you had fun and that you’re happily married. And if you find yourself struggling with coming up with a budget before your wedding or with any debt after your wedding or you simply want to sit down with someone to go over your finances, PFCU has a wonderful free resource available and that’s our certified financial coaches. You can visit our website and set up an appointment with one of our coaches and they will take the time to sit down with you and go over your finances, your budget or anything else you have questions on.
That’s all I have for this episode of PFCU’s Money Talk. Thank you for listening.
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