Anyone who has planned a wedding knows the costs can get out of hand quickly. As your guest list grows and ideas are coming at you faster than the bouquet at the last wedding you attended, your checking account may start to feel a pinch. The truth is that planning can be expensive but it does not have to be. You may feel pressured to do things a certain way, but if you take time to create a list of priorities you can have the wedding of your dreams and still stick to your budget.
There is no reason to go overboard on everything that is wedding-related, but it is a good idea to make a few splurges to ensure everything goes the way you plan and that you have nothing but great memories after the big day. The first splurge you should consider is your pictures. Remember that everything you do will be commemorated that day through the pictures. What is the sense in spending a single dime on things if you do not have a way to look back and remember you hard work? To have good quality photos of your special day, hire a professional and experienced photographer. You want to be sure you hire someone who has experience with weddings, even if they are also take senior pictures.
Next, think about the parts of the wedding that are most important to you and the groom. While some people may splurge on one thing, it may be unimportant to another couple. If you want to wow everyone when you enter the church or chapel, spend a lot of time and invest in a beautiful gown. However, if you believe the wow factor does not need to be there and you would rather invest in an all-night open bar for everyone to drink.
If your family and friends having a good time is an important part of having a great wedding for you, food and beverages are probably going to be a major priority. Nothing loosens people up and gets them relaxed like a good meal and a few drinks, so take your time choosing a caterer, do not worry about what the norm is for most weddings, and go with a meal you know everyone will love.
Another important family component is including your relatives and special friends in the ceremony. This may not cost a lot, but you may need to spend a lot of time working with your officiant to fit in everyone in just the right way.
Finally, determine the best way to keep the celebration going. Some people choose a destination wedding which means all of the guests travel with you and your spouse and you all enjoy a great vacation together. In other cases, couples plan parties before the ceremony or the following day to give you more time to spend with your immediate guest list. This is a great way to say thanks for all the help they gave you while planning.