At The Humphreys Group, we know that money and emotions go hand in hand. And this is especially true when it comes to weddings: you want it to be the perfect wedding for you and your partner, you want all your loved ones there on this special day, and you want everyone to be happy.
But costs can run away from you, and suddenly you find yourselves overwhelmed and over budget. According to WeddingWire, on average couples underestimate their wedding spend by nearly 45 percent. The all-in average wedding costs is $38,700, which includes the engagement ring ($5,000), ceremony/reception ($29,200), and honeymoon ($4,500).
WeddingWire’s study found that the top five reasons couples tend to overspend on weddings are:
- Initial budget was set lower than reality
- Fell in love with things “we needed to have” during planning
- Added custom/personalized elements
- Guest count changed
- Opted for upgrades
With all the guests (the average is 126), wedding party members (average is 10), and vendors (on average, 14 vendors are hired for photography, venue, hair and makeup, the wedding dress, cake, flowers, and the DJ) involved… it can get expensive.
So, here, we’ve included a few financial strategies you can implement for your wedding that will make a world of a difference.
List Three Priorities Beforehand
Before you start the wedding planning process, sit down with your partner and write down three priorities or must-haves. For example:
We want to:
- book an outdoor venue,
- have a live band, and
- provide a photobooth for our guests to enjoy.
You and your partner may opt to do this separately first, then come together and whittle down your priorities into a joint list. Writing down your priorities is key. Later on, when you’re inevitably tempted to splurge on décor, or a videographer, or a wedding dress that caught your eye, you can look back at your priorities and become more grounded about what really matters to you. At The Humphreys Group, we often talk to our clients about aligning their spending with their values, and this is a version of that exercise.
Have a Conversation about Wedding Planning Duties
It’s also important to have a real conversation with your partner about their role in wedding planning and decision-making.
- Some brides prefer to take care of all the planning. If you’re a bride who owns the “planner role,” how does your partner feel about that? Do they want to play a role, too?
- Conversely, does one partner want the other to handle all of the planning, but is the thought of that overwhelming?
- Does one person want to take the lead, but delegate various tasks to their partner?
- Or do you want to divide the responsibilities 50/50 as you go along?
You also need to agree on a decision-making process:
- Will you make decisions together?
- Or will the person who does the research make the ultimate decision? For example, if it’s one partner’s job to research photographers, will they unilaterally decide who to hire, or will they circle back to the other person and ask for their input after showing photography options?
Being on the same page about how you’ll handle key decisions — decisions that often involve your budgeting style and money matters — will make you feel less stressed and more confident that you’re planning the wedding you both want to have.
Utilize Free Resources
And finally, don’t forget to use your resources! There’s no shortage of wedding advice websites, but one of the best is A Practical Wedding. The site offers a wide variety of tools that help with the nuts-and-bolts aspects of wedding planning, including budgeting spreadsheets, timelines regarding when to do what and when, and more.
But most importantly, the website also interviews real women about their wedding experiences: what they thought they’d spend, what they actually spent, what they loved most about their wedding and what they’d do differently. Getting advice from real, married couples helps manage your expectations and also prompts you to really think about your priorities and what matters most to you.
Contact Humphreys Group Today for More Financial Tips
If you’d like to talk more about financially planning for weddings or other big moments in your life, reach out to us today.