Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: How to Marry What You Want With Your Budget

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events and creator of Passport to Joy

Q: I’m having serious issues and I need some help.  I’m having trouble getting what I want with my budget.  I have these ideas and some particular things that I want like garlands, but it’s all turning out to be way more than I can afford.  I don’t want to give up on what I want, but I can’t spend more on my wedding.  How do I figure this out?

Ah, the eternal struggle!  My friend, you are not alone!  This can be the hardest part of planning a wedding, making your budget work with what you want.  It’s really easy to blow your budget and pick things that just aren’t feasible.  Some things look simple and easy, but they aren’t.  And going into planning you wouldn’t know what the costs really are.  So, it’s not your fault.

But, now it’s time for some tough love.

Here’s the deal.  You won’t be able to get everything or exactly what you want on your budget.

I know, it’s hard to hear.  But, if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s more important that you don’t go into debt.

Think about that for a moment.

You made your budget for a reason, you don’t want to spend more if you don’t have it.  So, take a moment right now and accept it.  Accept that you won’t be able to get everything you want or exactly what you want and that it will be ok.

Ok, so now for the good news!

Just because you can’t get the exact thing you want or all the bells and whistles doesn’t mean you can’t have a wonderful, beautiful wedding.  It’s just a matter of being smart about your decisions.  Here’s a simple 3 step process to help you out.

Step #1 – Figure out what really matters

So, first off figure out what really matters to you and your fiancé.  What really matters to you about the wedding?   Ignore the things you want at the moment.  Just think really hard about what matters.

Spend some time to figure that out first.  And I don’t just mean take 5 minutes.  Really sit down and think and feel.  Having this figured out will really help you with your budget and decisions going forward.

Bride and groom holding hands at their Hindu ceremony at a multi-cultural wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy

(Photo credit: Bethany Carlson Photography)

Step #2 – Spend your money on what matters

What you want to do is take what matters to you and use it to help guide your decisions.  No matter what your budget is, there are always going to be areas you care more about.  These are areas that matter to you because they help to create that experience you want to have.  Rank these items and use this list to dictate not only where you spend your time, but your money as well.

For example, if what matters to you is that your guests have a fantastic time, think about what will make that happen.  Perhaps you focus on the food or the drinks or the music.  And that’s where you should spend your money.

So, start with focusing your money on what matters.  And compromise (or do away with) the areas that don’t matter as much.

Happy guests clinking glasses at a destination wedding reception in Vancouver by destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy

(Photo credit: Tomasz Wagner Photo & Films)

Step #3 – Be open to alternatives

Consider alternatives that still give you the overall look or feel.  Maybe instead of floral garlands, do only green garlands.  Instead of the full lighting package, go with the bistro lights that will make the biggest impact.  Instead of hiring the big name photographer, go with a more amateur photographer with good style.

Be open to possibilities that might require some DIY or be a little more out of the box.  Or just be open to options that simplify what you’re looking for.  Don’t be so hung up on the exact item. Or if you HAVE to have the exact item, then be willing to compromise elsewhere.  There are always alternatives that are still fun, but economical.

Simple babys breath mums and moss floral centerpiece for a wedding in Hawaii by destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy

(Photo credit: Marina Miller)

You can do this!  Remember, figure out your why, spend your money on what matters, and be open to alternatives.  You’ll be surprised what you can come up with when you follow these steps.  It will make the planning easier and you’ll be so much happier in the end.

Are you planning your wedding and feeling overwhelmed? You’re not quite sure what you should be doing or if what you’re doing is right? Does this sound familiar?  We understand and we want to help make wedding planning easier and happier.

Start planning here and become a Passport to Joy member today!

So you can enjoy your engagement and also keep all your hair.

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