DIY Dream Wedding: How To Get Started

The cost of a wedding planner varies due to the range of different services offered, but the average cost is $1,500. For some people, that could mean the difference between the dress they always dreamed of and having to make do with a rental. You’re a capable individual; there’s no reason you have to hire a wedding planner. There are three aspects to focus on before you move forward to other details of the planning process.

Plan Out Your Budget

Above all, you have to know what amount of money you have to work with, whether DIY or Pro planning. Look at how much you have to spend, then add in any contributions from family and friends. If your budget is tighter than you’d like, consider any possibilities that might give you more to work with. You may have some overlooked viable options, like refinancing any existing loans for a lower monthly rate, or even taking out a small personal loan in order to fill in gaps in your funds. You can also request financial contributions to your wedding instead of traditional gifts.

Organize Your Guest List

Once you have your budget sorted, you can move on to making up the guest list. This should be done after the budgeting so you know how many people you can afford to invite. Each partner should make two lists: one of everyone he/she would like to invite, and another scaled down version of the list of those he/she can actually afford to invite. As another means of staying in budget, you can also negotiate those to invite just to the ceremony, and those to invite to both the ceremony and reception. Don’t make up the invitations just yet, since there’s still a lot left to plan that will have to be included on the invites, but you can start looking around at your options. If you’re not partial to old-school, consider going paperless: it’s better for the environment and your budget.

Begin Shopping For Goods And Services On The DL

You can move on now to getting price quotes for services, equipment rentals, etc. Do this before deciding on a venue, so that you’ll know how much you can allot for that expense. Venues are a little more negotiable, as many stunning weddings have been held in church or outdoors at a low cost. As you shop around for quotes, refrain from mentioning the service is for a wedding. Many people mark up their services just for weddings, so get proof of a quote for service first to prevent that mark up. Ask ‘How much does your band/DJ/orchestra charge for x amount of time?’ instead of ‘How much is the cost for music at a wedding event?’

These three steps to planning your wedding provide the structure you need for all other aspects. For example, the size of your guest list determines the size of the venue and the amount of food you need. When you get to planning everything else, consider what means the most to you. A special place for the reception? A specific live band? Sometimes making compromises is necessary, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have what your heart really wants. Plus, you’ll need practice on compromise – your marriage will need it!

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