I get it, weddings are expensive. WAY more expensive that what you thought. Until now, you actually didn't give the cost of your wedding dreams a thought. You didn't know that a veil alone could cost around $800. You had no idea that venues can run close to or over $10,000. You DEFINITELY don't know what to throw your budget at first, and it is just leaving you frustrated and confused.
Things are WAY more expensive than back in the day. Some may look at this a a negative, I look at this as such an amazing thing. (I know I know... bare with me. I know your brain could still be spinning over the 800 dollar veil thing) But hear me :The quality and value of the services offered for wedding days have so greatly skyrocketed. I mean gosh, in the world of photography ALONE, Check out the difference... (My Mama & Daddy on their wedding day!)
Now I know, some things are the same and it is merely the STYLE that has changed... BUT either way, the wedding industry is booming. People are paying attention to the quality of the services they offer. Not that they did't before! No! Vendors just have amazing means to provide even greater services for your most special day!
So yes, things have gotten more expensive. But they've also gotten better. And I know it is overwhelming and a TON to navigate. I know you're trying to figure out where to throw you dolla bills. I can help you!!! On to the tips.
Tip #1 : Marriage & Relationships First, Wedding Last
What will you have left after your Big Day? Your Marriage and the relationships you have with your friends and family. Do not let planning an event stress you so much that it is causing a friction in your relationships. He's freaking out that you want him to wear a $500 Suit? Rent one. (I recommend, theblacktux.com, by the way) One of your bridesmaids really doesn't feel beautiful with her hair up? Let her wear it down. Your parents kinda really don't want to pay for a gazillion dollar cake? Cut. That. Budget. Now I know what you're gonna say... "But Shelby, I need that gazillion dollar cake to fulfill my wedding dreams!" I hear ya. This brings me to Tip #2.
Tip #2 : Have a TOP & BOTTOM 3
Budgeting is HARD and annoying. My biggest advice to you is to create a budget and stick to it, but invest where you can! Pick your top 3 things you'd like to invest in with your groom, and cut in other places that aren't as important to you. Knowing your bottom 3 is important too! One of mine, for example, will be the DJ/Band! Not to offend my DJ Vendor friends in the SLIGHTEST. Homegirl just CAN'T DANCE. A cozy dinner reception is more my thing. So music is something that I am not really looking to invest in so much! These are going to be different for everyone!! If anyone is curious, when I asked Cody what his Top 3 would be (purely for blog research, of course! *wink wink*)... He responded with, "Photography, venue, FOOD. I kinda wanted to put food first, but I feel like that's bad...." Hehe, It's not, ladies!! Picking out food is probably (definitely) gonna be your man's favorite part of the planning process.
In all seriousness... I would recommend your TOP being Photo & Video, Venue and Flowers. I'm a tad biased, BUT I still have to say photo & video is FIRST. Why? Those are your memories. To put it into perspective... When you are sitting around in your rocking chairs on your porch with your husband of 50 years and your grand babies come over to see you and ask about your wedding day... What will you talk about and show them first? The photos. Invest in the things you will show your great grandchildren one day. Invest in your vision being captured in the most beautiful way possible.
To briefly touch on venue and florals... These are in my top 3 because I know if my client's have a beautiful venue, their portraits (memories) will be captured so so so beautifully. And florals... They set the stage for all of your details. I love beautiful flowers, so this is one place I won't be skimping out on!
Tip #3 : Book with a Grateful Heart
The vendors you book are humans, not machines or names/images on a screen. And most likely, they are not large corporations! The majority of wedding vendors out there are small business owners with a heart to serve. (Small wedding biz pride over here!) Regardless, an entrepreneur with a dream created the business you hired. That is such a special relationship!! My biggest dream is to serve my clients well and to capture wedding days in a beautiful and thoughtful way... I created this business to serve YOU, sweet bride! Invest in businesses with a heart to serve and show them thoughtfulness and gratitude for that... This creates a wonderful ripple effect of serving and working with each other in the most joyful way possible. My Brides are super awesome at this, and 99% of the time, the love they show me brings me to TEARS, I swear.
I hope these tips help you plan this wedding of your. Remember to take in these moments and not get too caught up in the details! Don't let money and things steal your joy.