Many people have an idea of what they hope their wedding to be, even before they get engaged.
Then, by the time they get proposed to, they likely have a general, if not exact, idea of what they want their dress, flowers, venue, cake, centerpieces, etc. to look like on their special day.
Plus, thanks in part to Pinterest, many people plan weddings beyond their wildest dreams. They find an array of ideas and plans that they hope to apply to their own ceremonies and receptions.
Unfortunately, what most don't realize is the high cost associated with some of the Pinterest-worthy, dream weddings. Before you jump into wedding planning or put down any deposits, take a look at these seven expensive wedding planning mistakes most people make. This way you can avoid them!
1. Know your budget beforehand
First and foremost, before making any concrete wedding plans, you should create a budget.
Know exactly what you can and are willing to spend on your wedding. Better yet, define what you're going to spend where before making any purchases or putting down any deposits. If you don't, you could spend too much in one area and have to skimp in areas you don't want to. Or you could ultimately cause yourself to spend more because you still have to spend so much on other areas of your wedding.
Either way, you'll either be unhappy, which is not how you want to feel about your wedding day.
2. Blowing too much of your budget on the dress
While every bride deserves to look her best on her big day, you have to be realistic when it comes to the dress. You not only need to think of all the other aspects of your wedding you have left to plan and pay for, but account for the extra costs that come with the dress in general.
Even if your budget is $2,000, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can purchase a $2,000 dress. You'll need to account for shipping costs, any alterations that need to be made, veil, shoes, accessories and the proper undergarments. Overall, it's important to be aware of how much you're spending on your dress and the accessories to go with it.
3. Getting set on certain flowers
Again, thanks to Pinterest, you might have your heart set on one particular flower that you just have to have. However, you might have failed to take into account that depending on whether or not your flower is in season can drastically affect the price.
Furthermore, certain flowers are simply bound to be more expensive than others. Before opting for a certain floral, take a look at what's in-season and available at a fair price. By doing so, you'll likely find flowers you like just as well at a fraction of the cost.
4. Underestimating the cost of an outdoor venue
For some, the idea of having an outdoor wedding automatically seems like it'll be the less-expensive option. After all, it doesn't necessarily require a venue, right? Think again.
While it might be outdoors, you might still have to pay to use said property. (Unless you have a backyard wedding!) Plus, you will probably have an array of other costs that come with an outdoor affair. You might have to rent chairs, tents, bathrooms, heaters or fans, or even lights depending on the time.
No matter where you're hosting your wedding, be sure you account for additional items you'll need even for an outdoor wedding, so your budget isn't caught off guard.
5. Not receiving detailed contracts
From caterers to wedding planners to DJs and venue contracts, be sure you not only read absolutely everything, but that every contract is extremely detailed. If you fail to do so, you could miss out on added charges and fees or make yourself vulnerable to get taken advantage of.
Make sure you know exactly what you're paying for and know what could count as an upgrade or added charge. You'll be thankful you did and keep yourself from going over budget.
6. Not hiring a professional
Doing it yourself seems like it would, of course, be the cheaper option. After all, wedding planners don't tend to come too cheap. However, you'd be surprised how much a wedding planner could save you in the long run.
Unless you have prior experience planning a wedding or major events, it can be difficult for you to know who to go to or where to find the best prices and options. Although a wedding planner requires a fee, they know the industry and exactly where to go to find the best prices for you.
Moreover, they can do a better job of keeping your budget in check and helping you stick to it. That being said, it's usually worth it. You will likely end up saving money by simply hiring a professional to help.
7. Not knowing what your priorities are
It's all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that is planning your wedding. At some point, every aspect seems important and like something you don't want to skimp on. And while it is one of the biggest days of your life, it's not worth going way over your budget. Hence why it's important for you to know exactly what your priorities are and what's most important to you on your wedding day.
If it's the food, then spend more on the meal. If it's the flowers and venue, then maybe have light appetizers instead. Whatever is important to you, decide what that is before making any plans. That way you know where to put most of your money and where you'll need to consciously save.
Contrary to what some believe, a beautiful wedding doesn't have to cost tens of thousands. However, if you go into wedding planning unaware and unconscious of the cost of things, you could end up spending close to that and more than you ever wanted.
Before setting any concrete plans or making any down payments, be careful and make sure you avoid these common and expensive wedding planning mistakes. I can assure you, you'll not only throw a beautiful affair but stay on budget as well.