Friday, August 26, 2011

Wedding Week, Day #3 - Set a Budget and Then Prioritize

What's more important to you in your wedding? You should decide up-front - it will make decisions easier later.

Before you do anything else, decide how much money you have to spend, and what's most important to you in the wedding - what you're willing to spend your money on is the best indication of what's really important to you in your wedding. For us, the most important thing was throwing a fantastic, huge dinner and party for all of our family, close friends, and out-of-town guests, so that's what we spent a plurality of our money on. The least important thing was probably the clothes that we and our attendants wore - Ali's wedding dress was a dress she already owned (!), the bridesmaids' dresses were reasonable, and I didn't make my attendants rent/buy tuxes - they just wore dark suits they already owned, and we bought them different but matching ties as part of the attendant thank-you package.

You should know whether your flowers are more important than your cake, or your music more important than renting a car to drive you to the reception (we skipped this and just walked to our reception), and so on - you'll be making tradeoffs as you plan your wedding, and it's important to know what's most important to both of you.

In addition, when setting a budget and prioritizing what's important to you, keep the budgets of your attendants in mind - for example, if your attendants are a bunch of students or underemployed writers, expecting for them to attend a shower or bachelor's/bachelorette's party at a resort in Cabo is probably going to cause some ill will. A recent (positive) trend is letting bridesmaids pull out the trusted old LBD (little black dress) as a no-cost clothing alternative, which should match the tuxes/black suits of the groomsmen nicely. Just a suggestion. Remember - it's not all about you.

When doing your budget, keep in mind these people's budgets too - they hold the power to make your wedding awesome or to make it suck, so don't piss them off!

Come back tomorrow for another critical piece of advice - one that, statistically speaking, should deeply offend at least 24% of you.


  1. We just had our bridesmaids buy tasteful dresses that they could keep and wear elsewhere, and rented tuxes for the groomsmen and bought them lavallières (technically, they were costumes, since in France you don't rent out tuxes, our groomsmen didn't have suits of their own, and buying suits would have cost way too much) ... Nobody matched, but it looked excellent, and the entire wedding party was pleased at not having to jump through hoops.

    Part of it was to save costs, but part was just because we never understood the whole "matching horde" effect. The one-off purchases should be limited as much as possible to experiences, like the party! I mean, reception. :D

    ~Andrew Mc

  2. Andrew, I agree 100% - thanks for sharing your experience!

    -The Angry Bureaucrat

  3. I think that destination weddings are selfish and inconsiderate and if you're going to say "the wedding day is about the couple" is total BULLSHIT and if the couple really believes that then they should forego guests altogether and just elope. You don't know people's financial situations and to completely cut people out because they can't afford (in my situation 2,500 bucks) to attend your wedding is just so selfish and to say that "the people who really care about us will spend the money and come" is so unbelieveably passive aggressive/condescending. The only "destination wedding" the bride and groom should be having is eloping. Shit like this tears families apart..and in our case it did (also because they had a secret wedding in town and invited no one) but I digress. Be a decent person and don't have a destination wedding.

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