Possibly the most special day in someone’s life is their wedding day. It is such a momentous occasion; even the most frugal lovebird can get caught up in sparing no expense and falling into the traps of the industry.
If you or a loved one are planning for the big day, you may wonder about the most costly mistakes to make when paying for a wedding.
According to experts, the most costly mistakes to make when paying for a wedding are a lack of clear budget communication with vendors, choosing a destination wedding without understanding money conversion, working in percentages instead of real prices, and failing to manage their expectations well.
Since there is so much to unpack about this issue, our article will cover each of the most costly wedding mistakes couples, and their wedding party can make when trying to finance a wedding in detail!
Most Costly Wedding Items
According to the Wedding and Party Network, these are the most expensive things you will need to buy for your wedding:
- The venue
- The wedding dress
- The DJ
- The catering services
When planning your wedding, consider the biggest costs and make sure your decision-making is based on well-managed expectations and great attention to detail!
Why You Should Communicate a Budget Clearly with Vendors
According to the creative director and owner of Charleston Wedding planning company, Calder Clark, one of the most significant issues soon-to-be newlyweds face is a simple communication issue with the professionals they’re planning the wedding with.
For example, when going into a bridal boutique and selecting the attire for the bridal party, the bride and groom may hear that their budget covers the costs of dresses and shoes. However, according to Calder Clark, it is typical for wedding-planning industry professionals to leave out the cost of additional purchases that everyone forgets. These can include accessories like ties, hairpieces, or even belts.
To avoid having a budget that looks one way to you and another way to the people you hire, clearly communicate how much you are willing to spend. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible about how much each item will affect the bottom line, whether you are communicating with caterers or stylists.
Don’t Forget Vendor Vernacular
Sometimes a vendor’s choice of words can be unfamiliar, or couples can make plans without paying close enough attention to the stipulations listed on a vendor’s website or product.
For example, the words “plus plus” used on a caterer’s website can lead to a high percentage of extra fees that may go overlooked if you are not careful.
Make sure to examine every part of a vendor’s product and offering, leaving no stone unturned if you don’t want to pay surprising extra amounts.
How to Convert Money When Planning a Destination Wedding
Another incredibly hazardous mistake is getting lost in the fairy tale of planning an overseas wedding and forgetting that your nation’s currency might be converted into a different number in the country where you are getting married.
According to the owner of Michelle Rago Destinations, many couples assume their American dollar count will translate into the same number overseas, then wind up surprised when everything costs more or less than they were planning.
To help wedding planners avoid this mistake, here is a table revealing the conversion of United States dollar value to other countries:
|Destination Currency||USD Exchange Rate||Does $ Money Go Further or Shorter?|
|British Pound||$1.15 to every Pound||Shorter|
|Euro||$0.99 to every Euro||Even|
|Australian Dollar||$0.67 to every AUS||Further|
|Indian Rupee||$0.01 to every Rupee||Further|
Discuss Purchases in Real Prices Instead of Percentages
According to Bluebird Production’s Principal, one of the most common mistakes wedding planners make is planning in percentages. They will try to set aside a portion of their budget for caterers or venues without checking solid numbers.
Planning with data that is precise is always the best way to go, and it is especially true when planning a wedding.
Why Managing Expectations Matters
In the age of Pinterest, popular wedding shows, and social media, dream weddings can begin to look more extravagant before a couple ever has time to wonder what everything costs. For example, a single package of fairy lights only a foot long can cost up to $6 USD!
This may not seem like much, but start factoring in how often this particular style of light is used in wedding décor and how many feet of the product you would need to purchase, and it begins to add up.
This is simply a matter of decoration. So often, dresses, cakes, catering, and even DJ services for receptions are hyped up to be of such importance that the soon-to-be-married couple can find themselves having to choose between expectations and the sometimes cold, harsh truth of expenses.
One of the best ways to manage expectations is to consider what you like about the oftentimes-expensive components of your dream wedding.
For example, if a couple wants to say their vows in front of a fancy floral arch but can’t afford it, they might find that a few simple flower arrangements nearby will do the same job.
On the other hand, if a wedding planning group checks the price of everything they save on Pinterest to keep their expectations grounded in reality, it can be much easier to adjust bit by bit rather than all at once.
Why You Should Build in a Safety Net
Even if you manage expectations and plan for every possible thing that could go wrong, it’s still not a good idea to move forward with wedding plans without a safety net.
A couple should begin saving for their wedding as soon as possible, even before any ideas have been generated about things like decorations, attire, and food. This can start as small as 5% of each paycheck or advance to as much as 10% of each paycheck.
The point is to carve out enough of the budget to pay for unexpected expenses. Even the most meticulous planners forget the cost of send-off sparklers or repairs to the honeymoon vehicle! Not only will having a financial safety net be wise, but it will give the couple one more helping of peace of mind during the big day.
To sum it all up, the most common mistakes when planning a wedding are a lack of communication, poorly managed expectations, and generalizing costs and ideas instead of being specific. As we discussed, for example, working in generalities like percentages rather than actual numbers can lead to mistakes.
The same mistake is to blame when assuming that overseas currency will have no significant difference from a couple’s national currency during a destination wedding.
To avoid these mistakes, think each decision through with well-managed expectations and overcommunicate! This way, nothing will spoil that big, magical day.
Image Credit: [KKShepel]