How to plan a wedding on a budget

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) –  As the costs of gas and food spike, expenses associated with event planning are also significantly impacted.

This can be a major concern for couples who are in the process of planning a wedding. 

The question of how to enjoy an unforgettably beautiful special day without breaking the bank becomes paramount.

Baton Rouge wedding planner, Angela DiVincenti of Angela Marie Events spoke with BRProud on the topic and offered several suggestions for couples who need to stick to a budget.

Know What You Want

It’s common knowledge that weddings are costly events, and according to DiVincenti, they’re even more expensive than usual right now. 

“Every year things start to go up, but it looks like things are really starting to go up because the world is just different right now,” DiVincenti explained, pointing out that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic played a huge role in rising costs. 

She went on to say that one of the best things a couple can do is clarify what’s most important to them when it comes to their wedding. This knowledge informs how they’ll spend their money. 

For example, if a bride really wants to hire a particular band to play at her wedding, then she may need to plan to spend as much as $12,000 on hiring a band, because she’s decided that’s one of the most important aspects of her wedding day. 

DiVincenti added that as the bride and groom make decisions about what’s most important to them in terms of their wedding day, it’s important to take other members of the wedding party into consideration. For the event to be impactful and satisfy everyone involved, it helps to consider the varying situations and needs of the couple’s respective parents as well as the bridesmaids and groomsmen. 

All of this can help the couple decide where the bulk of their budgeted funds need to go. 

To Trim Costs, Trim the Guest List

One of the best ways to reduce wedding expenses is to limit the number of invited guests.

“Really, what it boils down to,” DiVincenti said, “is the amount of people you invite. It’s very costly to have enough food, alcohol, tables, and linen for a lot of people.” 

While it can be tough to whittle a guest list down to one’s most intimate friends and family, DiVincenti pointed out that small weddings come with a few added bonuses.

Not only are they typically budget-friendly and potentially just as beautiful as larger events, but they often allow a bride and groom to spend quality time with guests, which is incredibly difficult to accomplish at a wedding with a 200 plus guest list. 

According to DiVincenti, a couple of cost-effective wedding trends that have carried over since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic are the micro wedding and the at-home wedding.

Some micro weddings include a guest list of only ten people, and home-based weddings can be incredibly warm and intimate settings for the special day. 

The Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Planner

The amount of work that goes into organizing and executing a wedding can be overwhelming for one person, and this is where having a professional wedding planner comes in handy. 

“I’m blown away by the checklist that I have,” DiVincenti said and explained that she could only imagine how challenging it would be for a bride to try and juggle the hundreds of wedding-related tasks that are necessary to make the big day a success. 

DiVincenti added, “It can’t all fall on one person.”

This means that when hiring a wedding planner, it’s important to make sure the planner has staff to assist them. Because just as all of the work involved shouldn’t fall on the bride alone, it also shouldn’t fall on a wedding planner who is working alone. 

A second reason to hire a wedding planner is that these days, vendors often only work with event planners, and not with brides and grooms on an individual basis.  

“A lot of these places won’t even deal with the general public due to labor shortages,” DiVincenti said. “So they only deal with wedding planners.” 

Instead of trying to wrestle one’s way into a deal with a vendor, it could be more effective to hire a wedding planner and have them handle this aspect of the planning process.  

Find Ways To Reduce Wedding-Related Anxiety 

DiVincenti pointed out that one of the most frequent causes of anxiety is money, and this is why it’s key to define a budget from the outset.

“Really the anxiety gets high bec of money. Be realistic about what it will cost, how much you’ll spend,” she suggested.

In addition to creating a budget and sticking to it, DiVincenti said there’s a unique moment that the couple can include on their wedding day to make it less stressful.   

“I think that as far as the day of,” she said, “First Looks are totally necessary because everyone’s tense. The bride and groom want that moment before they walk down the aisle.”

This means nixing the tradition of the bride and groom avoiding each other before the ceremony.

Instead, once the bride and groom are dressed for the ceremony, they take a few minutes to spend some quiet time with each other. This is often referred to as First Looks.

DiVincenti said she’s noticed that couples who include a semi-private First Looks moment on their wedding day significantly reduce their wedding-day jitters and anxiety. 

It’s also helpful logistically as it can allow the photographer to get a number of photos even before the ceremony. 

Essentially, weddings cost money, and there’s no escaping that fact. But a couple can make their big day both budget-friendly and beautiful by deciding up-front what’s most important to them and planning to spend accordingly, reducing their guest list, weighing the option of holding an at-home wedding, and finding ways to reduce event-related anxiety. 

Click here for more suggestions on budget-friendly weddings.

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