What happened to all my money?
Budget is a scary word when it comes to planning a wedding. Once you set your guest list, you budget because the most important thing leading up to the big day. The key to keeping a realistic budget is to set it early and stick to it. Also, ask LOTS of questions when picking your vendors. The last thing you want is to get a bill from a vendor after your wedding with extra hidden costs that you weren’t told about.
The ways that I kept my budget down was by doing everything myself. I made all the bouquets, the boutonnieres, and favours. I also found local vendors for the other things, such as the invitations and the gifts for my bridesmaids. (After the wedding I’ll post pictures of everything)
Another way to keep your budget down is to find an all-inclusive venue. I touched on this topic in the first part of this post, but now I’ll go a bit more in to detail. My venue is amazing, I don’t have to bring anything except for our wedding favours, seating plan, and any other small details we might want to include. When you first make your budget for an all-inclusive place it will seem like a lot, trust me it was tough sell for my fiancé, but after I showed him the list of things that were included in the price, it was hard to turn it down.
Here’s an idea of what you might get at an all-inclusive venue (this is based off what I’m getting for our wedding). Set up (for ceremony and reception), table linens, table numbers, centrepieces, stand for seating plan chart, bird cage for cards, cocktail hour, sit down or buffet dinner, late night buffet, cake cutting, a bar stocked with premium alcohol, clean up, and I’m sure there’s a few things I’m missing as well.
The important thing is to ask lots of questions to all of the vendors you hire. When you pick certain vendors, they might be able to direct you to other people that can give you a good deal on other things you’ll need. If it wasn’t for my co-ordinator I wouldn’t have known that one of the local hotels give discounts to the out of town guests of weddings held at our venue, so I’m saving my guests some money as well by blocking off rooms for them.
Another thing you can search for are used wedding sites (you could probably find a local one on Facebook, or even check kijiji or other used websites like that) where you can find an assortment of things, from wedding dresses, to centrepieces, to candles for your ceremony.
Here’s a link to a site that directs you to real-weddings to help give you inspiration on a small budget.