Once you’ve basked in the glow of engagement, it’s time to start planning the wedding! Unfortunately for those of us who despise organization, you’ll find it very difficult to get anything accomplished unless you have a detailed beach wedding budget. However, as you get further and further into the planning process, an outline of spending will become extremely useful to you so that you don’t end up spending more than you can afford.
Step One: Plan
Start by thinking about the type of wedding you want to have. This means location (which beach?), number of guests, the formality level of the wedding, etc. Once you and your spouse have agreed on most of these elements, it’s time to research and figure out the approximate cost of everything. It is impossible to create a wedding budget without first knowing the estimated cost of the elements you want for your wedding day. For example, you don’t want to create a budget of $1,000 for an open bar only to find out that an open bar tab at your venue actually costs $3,000.
Once you’ve figured out the actual prices of the things you’d like to have at your wedding, sit down and figure out what you can actually afford. This is also the perfect time to have the dreaded talk with any other people that are going to be contributing to your wedding (i.e. parents).
Step Two: Prioritize
Think about the items that are the most important to you (i.e. the band/DJ, catering, the photographer, the wedding dress) and decide what percentage of your total funds you’d like to spend on those things, for example, 75%. This will help you be a little more flexible with your budget since you’ll be okay with spending a little outside of your budget on the things you prioritize, while going under budget (or doing without) things that don’t matter as much to you. Adjust your budget numbers to reflect your priorities.
Your turn: Sit down with your spouse and separately write down 2-3 items that are most important to the both of you. Compare your two lists and figure out how you can combine them. Also, write down the 2-3 items you can both go without (i.e. rose petal aisle way).
Step Three: Figure out where you can save money
If you’re looking to cut costs, the first place to cut down on is the guest list. The average guest costs you about $100, so the difference between having 50 guests versus 100 guests is HUGE.
Another super easy way to cut costs is to look through your budget again and cross off anything you absolutely don’t need (perfectly matching bridesmaid dresses, party favors, professional hair and makeup).
Another easy way to cut down wedding costs is to have your wedding day outside of the peak seasons, and perhaps even consider having a mid-week wedding. In addition to cutting down the price, the privacy, availability of vendors & reception locations make these days ideal – you will also have the beaches all to yourself! In addition, hotel stays, airplane fares, rental car rates, etc. are all more inexpensive during the week…take advantage!
That’s all there is to it! Now start creating the day of your dreams.