Great News! I have not been thrown out of the house yet, though it may be because my wife is focused more on the five week old baby than me at the moment. I can’t blame her though she is a pretty cute baby.

Today I want to talk to you all about something important. Your Vision. People always talk about the vision they have for their perfect day. Even when I was a boy I did, though admittedly, I also wanted to have NSYNC at my wedding, and wouldn’t you know it, Justin Timberlake was busy(some things haven’t changed that much in 20 years). Pinterest and Instagram are great places to draw inspiration from, but don’t be shocked when an ornate floral arch costs 8K to install, wedding dresses aren’t the couple hundred dollar prom dress you wore in high school, and the photographers you follow on Instagram cost quite a bit to give you the light and airy look that seems to be popular today, So lets talk about where to scale back without compromising your entire vision.

Florals:

From experience, florals are going to probably be the thing that catches you off guard first. Inexperienced planners will tell you to plan $1,500 for florals. While this may hold true if you get your flowers from your local grocery store, they won’t do anything beyond bouquets, small arrangements, and basic corsages and boutonnieres. If you are going to want bigger arrangements or bouquets, be prepared to spend $3K at a minimum. If you want a floral focal point item(i.e. long table arrangement, floral wall, stairway garland), don’t be shocked to go well over $5K, and it can easily take a full team of people to put together such a large focal point, adding to their cost of labor. Some of her WBE client’s floral budgets were as much as 15K, but it can lend itself to great photos, so consider that before committing to cutting the budget here dramatically.

Photo: Elyse Hall

Photographers and Videographers:

Speaking of photos, you would be surprised to find out how expensive a photographer is. A good photographer can easily cost $4000, and a good videographer can cost $2500. It is really hard to compromise in this area. It was an area Kelsey and I did though, as we had a family member take our photos. I don’t recommend this though, not because it was a mistake on our end(photos were great), but because asking family to do something like this for such an important date is a big ask, and you could end up disappointed if they decide they want to take shots and not pictures. The light and airy photos that are more common and in style are easily going to run you potentially $6000. Your best bet? Find someone who will give a package deal. Someone who will bundle everything into a package including a bridal shoot and maybe even an engagement session if appropriate.

Rentals:

While many venues will include the tables, chairs and many of the rentals you will need, occasionally, you will get footed with the bill and burden of finding these things. Leave it to a good planner like Wandering Blooms Events(look another plug) to help you shop around for the appropriate tables, chairs, linens, and other décor items you need to set the stage for your big day. Expect to spend at least $5K on rentals, and maybe more if you are looking for things like boxwood walls, fog machines, yard games, custom dance floors, custom bars, elevated flatware or unique items that aren’t exactly going to be run of the mill décor. Even if your venue has tables, chairs or a dance floor, you should factor that into your budget.

Photo: Elyse Hall

Musical Entertainment:

DJs and Live Entertainment are expensive. DJ’s will easily run you $2000, Live Bands you can expect to pay at least $8000. It can be a really big expense. Understand many of these individuals are talented and are bringing incredibly expensive sound systems as well. How can you save money here? Honestly, its pretty tough unless you’ve got a great groomsman who is willing to create the best playlist of your life, and you rent a speaker and mic(though again, like anytime you involve friends, be prepared for someone to want to enjoy the party more than the added responsibility).

Next week I am going to continue this list with a Part 2! There is a lot to cover on this subject so stay tuned!

Photo: The Cottonwood Collective

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