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Managing Your Money When Planning A Wedding: The Do’s & Don’ts

When you think about all the big financial goals that stretch out over the course of any human life, there are a few that will naturally spring to mind faster than others. Paying your way through college, buying your first car, your first home, and of course, planning your wedding day. 

Although there is some merit to the reasoning that weddings are a once in a lifetime event and should be honoured accordingly, it’s important to make sure that you’re not blowing all your hard-earned money on your wedding and leaving you and your partner with little capital for starting your real life together. After all, life begins after the honeymoon.

To help keep you on track fiscally during your wedding planning, this guide will outline the top wedding budget do’s and don’ts that all soon-to-be-weds should keep in mind. 

DO set a budget for your invitations and wedding favours

You’d be surprised by just how pricey wedding invitations, table name plates, and other wedding favours can get when planning a wedding. And the larger your guest list, the more money you’ll find yourself sinking into your invitations and favours budget. 

We’re here to say avoid spending unnecessarily on your invitations at all costs. After all, what are wedding invitations except gilded RSVPs that stick to people’s fridges for half a year before most likely getting tossed out? So instead of printed invitations or even laser cut invitations, why not prepare a video wedding invitation?

A video invitation may be able to capture and preserve your joy as an engaged couple, effectively becoming a digital keepsake from your nuptials that your friends and loved ones can enjoy for decades to come. Surely, that beats a few overpriced pressed flowers on scented paper which will naturally fade with the passing years.

Similarly, your wedding favours may be far more meaningful to your invitees if they’re handmade rather than mass-produced. Something like table name plates made with wood cuttings or pressed flowers from your own garden will be sure to inspire more of your guests to keep these sentiments for years to come.

DO set a clear budget for all your vendors

When throwing a wedding, it’s common to separate your costs into different categories: overhead costs, logistical costs, and then entertainment and dinner/drinks costs. You will likely have vendors in all of these categories (i.e. florists in logistical, caterers in dinner/drinks, DJs and entertainers in entertainment, etc.). 

This means that you will need to be vigilant about costs associated with all your different vendors to ensure that you’re not overspending in any given area. It’s all about balance – and balance starts with allocating clear budgets for every single one of your vendors.

This isn’t to say that you have to maintain the same spend across every single vendor. After all, you can expect catering for 200 wedding guests to be a lot more expensive than your bridal bouquet. But having a reasonable and well-researched budget firmly in place before you start agreeing to products and services can help drastically reduce your risk of overspending. 

So take your time before you contact your vendors, and make sure you’re well aware of how much you’re comfortable spending before you even look over their contracts. 

DO opt for flowers and ingredients that are in season

You’d be surprised by just how expensive your vendor bills will become when they factor in the costs of shipping or transportation for rare supplies. Wedding industry workers see it all the time for themselves – a bouquet can climb in cost by hundreds of dollars the minute a bride asks for flowers or foliage that’s out of season. So stay in season!

These same rules apply to your dinner menu as well. When in doubt, always opt for ingredients that are both locally sourced and in season. That way, you won’t have to bear any additional costs associated with securing ingredients from outsourced vendors or suppliers. These extra costs just aren’t worth having particular flowers in your bouquets or fancy ingredients on all your guests’ dinner plates. 

Again, there’ll be other big financial goals in your shared life that you’ll need to plan for once your nuptials are all wrapped up, so think about those goals before you go choosing between locally sourced chicken and imported fish for your dinner menu! 

DO keep your guest list as small and intimate as you like

And speaking of your guests, whilst big weddings with boisterous receptions can be fun, it’s also perfectly reasonable to want to keep your guest list as modest as possible if that better suits your style (and budget). After all, your wedding day is a once in a lifetime experience for you, not for your second or third cousins and great aunts or uncles who either may have to travel to attend, or may even be in conflict with other members of your family. 

The same goes for school friends, college friends, work colleagues, or any other acquaintances who you’re considering whether to add to your invite list or not. If those names don’t ‘spark joy’ (and perhaps may not even be guaranteed to RSVP ‘Yes’) then strike them off your invite list.

DON’T be complacent with a weekend date

Now that we’ve shared our top wedding budget do’s, let’s move on to our don’ts, starting with us settling an age-old debate: weekend or weekday weddings. Most vendors and wedding venues will factor in weekend rates for their staff when providing a quote for their services. This is why you can expect additional fees for weekend dates. But if you have a smaller guest list and you know that your friends and family are likely to take a little time off work to celebrate with you, then why splurge on those additional weekend charges? Why not just plan your wedding for a Thursday afternoon instead of a Friday or Saturday night.

Booking your wedding celebrations on a weekday can actually shave hundreds if not thousands on the total costs of your nuptials, so don’t overlook this particular tip. If a weekend wedding is proving to be too costly an expense or is perhaps even keeping you from splurging on other areas that may boost the guest experience of your wedding or make for far more memorable wedding photos, then just bite the bullet and book your celebration for a weekday instead.

DON’T skimp on your wedding photography and videography

Generally speaking, there are areas of your wedding where you can afford to skimp on, and then some where you should let yourself splurge. Your dress and tux are just one example of an area where you should let yourself splurge. After all, you want to feel comfortable and look your best on your wedding day, so it’s well worth paying a little extra for a look that feels especially you – even if it needs to be tailored.

One other area where you can afford to splurge is on your wedding photography and videography. Your wedding photos and videos will become treasured keepsakes for not only you, your partner, and your parents, but also your future children and grandchildren as your family continues to grow. Being able to fill a wedding album with plenty of beautiful shots of not only you and your partner, but also your wider wedding party and all the beloved guests in attendance will help to document and honour your family history. Making memories is priceless, but maintaining them naturally comes at a cost – and that cost will have been worth it if you can share those photos and videos from your wedding with generations to come.

DON’T be afraid to negotiate with your vendors

Although it’s not wise to skimp on your wedding photography or your venue, that doesn’t mean that you can’t inquire with your vendors about methods to keep your final bill with them as low as possible. In most cases, vendors are usually more than happy to support engaged couples that are kind and courteous. So as long as your business is easy to manage, you shouldn’t feel at all deterred to ask if there’s any wiggle room with their price lists.

But of course, when negotiating with vendors, it’s highly recommended that you do your research first rather than blindly asking for discounts. This doesn’t just mean shopping around to see where you can find the best deals, but also gaining a stronger understanding of what your vendors may expect to pay for their supplies (i.e. their wholesale prices). 

In understanding a little more about the profit margins at play, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate reasonably with your selected vendors. This isn’t dissimilar to spotting accounting irregularities in an investor package – it’s just another kind of due diligence that will help keep you on sure footing as you continue navigating the trials and tribulations of wedding planning and budgeting.

DON’T partner with out of town vendors

Finally, in the same vein as opting for flowers and ingredients that are in season, the last thing you should feel comfortable splurging on are travel costs for vendors that are based out of town. You don’t want your bouquets travelling hundreds of miles in refrigerated vans, forcing you to pay for not only the flowers and labour themselves, but also the additional transportation costs attached to getting your blooms to you. 

The same goes for DJs, bands, and entertainers. Any vendors who may need to travel from out of state and book a hotel room to provide their services for you is unlikely to be worth the additional cost to get them there. So stay sensible and partner with local vendors that don’t need to place the costs of their long-distance travel on you.

~

Weddings are a big financial goal, just like buying your first home or even going on your first international trip. So our biggest ‘do’ that we stand by here at Tavaga is budgeting responsibly. This doesn’t just mean putting away a few hundred dollars here and there from every paycheck in a wedding bank account, but also making extra earnings to boost your wedding fund even further.

And that’s where Tavaga comes into the picture. The Tavaga investing app can help you reach your wedding budget goals a lot faster and more comfortably. By adding smart and spend-savvy investing to your wedding budget strategising, you can afford to spend more on the things that matter to you and your partner – with a reduced need of having to compromise. 

Jump into the lucrative world of investing with us to enjoy guided, expert support at a minimal cost to you. Download the Tavaga app today to see how our Advisory Services can help grow your wedding fund, first-home fund, and all the other milestones that follow your big day.

Tavaga Invest

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