As an experienced Marriage Celebrant I have conducted all styles of wedding ceremonies over the years. Every wedding is different because every couple is different!
Would you like your wedding ceremony to be beautiful and memorable but not have to spend a fortune on getting just what you want? Then it’s time to sit with your partner and think and brainstorm together what you MUST, CAN and MAYBE have for your wedding.
First suggestion is that you make a distinction between your MARRIAGE CEREMONY and your WEDDING RECEPTION/PARTY. If you’re working to a budget (and who isn’t these days!!!) divide your budget between these 2 ‘events’. Do this by determining which one you are prepared to spend more of your budget – Ceremony or Reception.
When you have a ball park budget figure for each event, LIST what you MUST HAVE in each. For example in your CEREMONY you MUST HAVE a MARRIAGE CELEBRANT to legally marry you. In your RECEPTION you MUST HAVE a VENUE. The MUST HAVES – whatever you decide these are – should be the first items into your 2 budget spreadsheets. From the MUST HAVES you then fill in your spreadsheets with items you would LIKE TO or CAN have but that can then cut out if your budget doesn’t stretch that far.
Next suggestion, do your RESEARCH or HUNTING. Look online, in magazines, ask others who have done this before for information on items they had that you might also like to have. Remember when HUNTING not to go outside your LIST that you and your partner put together right at the beginning. Generally it’s good to pick up to 3 people/businesses / items/ places in each of your list categories to either visit or get further information or quotes. When you go OUTSIDE your agreed list that’s when you start to include more and more extras. Remember that you haven’t included these extras in your original budget. If you find something you believe you really should have on your LISTS then as you add it to the list take something off the list – those CAN or MAYBE ITEMS.
When you’ve made your decisions for each of the items on your 2 lists STICK TO those decisions. Best not to go back and forth constantly reviewing and finding new suppliers as this will confuse you and add stress that you don’t need! When you have made your decisions put the quotes into your budget and add it up as you progress. That way you’ll know when you’ve reached your BUDGET SPEND.
At that stage it’s time to stop looking. If you’re over budget on the CEREMONY or the RECEPTION you should work out together if you can add a little extra to the budget or TAKE OFF items from the bottom of your 2 priority lists – those CAN or MAYBE items.
Every wedding needs a PLAN whether it’s just you and your 2 witnesses or it’s a huge celebration with all your family and friends. Whichever you choose, having a budget can be a great strategy to help you organise your wedding without huge stress and huge bills that you have to continue to pay well after your wedding day. GOOD LUCK!