Published October 30th, 2012
This is the first in our five-part series based on the wedding planning guidance that I offer my clients at French’s Point. In this series, I’ll provide tips on central concerns like budget creation, vendor selection, timeline management, the ceremony, and set-up. And I’ll take on each topic in the order that I typically address them with the client. First up? Money matters.
I tell all of my clients that the place they need to start is a common vision of their wedding and a common understanding of their budget. Most brides need to sit down with their fiancé, first and foremost, and talk about how they imagine the celebration down to the details small and large.
Once the couple has the reality inside the dream sorted out, they can create a priority list to use as they tinker with their budget. I always suggest this list because people are so inspired emotionally when they imagine their dream wedding that it’s hard to get past that emotion to the nitty gritty of what they can afford. The priorities list allows people to honor their emotions and dreams but also be practical about scale. As my clients plan their wedding, we rely heavily on this priorities list to address each item in order and within the budget.
Regarding the size of the budget, you’ll need to know quite early who is contributing to the event. Is it just the bride and groom or are you getting money from, for example, parents and grandparents? To figure this out, I suggest my clients sit down with family members over dinner to celebrate the engagement but also to talk about their overall vision and what the family members see as their role in the wedding. Usually from this conversation comes clarity on the relatives’ ability to contribute or not. Now is actually a great time to have that conversation because families are convening for the holidays.
Finally, I tell my clients that to avoid budget sprawl they should work with worst-case-scenario figures. That means the highest possible cost of the preferred vendor, the highest possible guest count — basically the most everything you are pursuing could cost you. I tell my clients it’s much nicer to have money left over at the end, because then you can apply it towards your honeymoon or put it in a bank to purchase a house.