Ranking Your Priorities

Making a wedding budget can be a daunting task.  Every website and book dedicated to saving money on your wedding will tell you that you have to prioritize and spend more of your wedding budget on what matters most to you and your fiancée.  Sounds easy right?  But how exactly do you go about prioritizing such a thing?  Everything seems to be important.  Of course you want a gorgeous dress AND perfect photos AND a glamorous, elegant reception! Here are the questions you should be asking yourself to help you prioritize.

  • Do either of you strongly desire a certain formality (semi formal, casual, formal)?
  • Do either you or your fiancée have a certain location for the wedding ceremony or wedding reception that you strongly wish to use?
  • Do you have a need to have the reception on a certain day of the week?  Must your wedding be at a certain time of the year or time of day?
  • Do you and your fiancée both really want catered food or are you willing to explore other options like potluck or self catering?  If you want a catered reception do you want full catering or partial catering where you make things like appetizers yourself and have the caterer provide the meal for your wedding reception?
  • Do either you or your fiancée have a preferred type of wedding reception?  Does one of you want a buffet; sit down dinner, wedding tea or cocktails reception?  Will either of you consider a desserts and cake only reception?
  • Is an open bar a priority?  Is alcohol a priority or can you explore other options like a coffee bar? If you are having an alcohol bar is a beer and wine bar enough?
  • What religious aspects do each of you want included in the wedding? (This may determine the location of the actual ceremony and therefore determine some other aspects of your wedding)
  • Are professional photographs important to you and your fiancée?  Would you consider an amateur photographer or a family friend?  Do you want a photographer all day or just for the ceremony and first hour of the reception? How about your videographer? What parts of your wedding day do you want on video?
  • Do you or your fiancée prefer a formal or informal dress code for your guests?  This can narrow down many other options as well.
  • Do you feel you need to hire a professional for your hair and makeup or do you feel confident that you can do it yourself?
  • Do you need to have a designer or custom made dress or do you feel you can find one you like on a rack in a discount store?  Can you find a designer dress on consignment or from last season?
  • Does the groom want to be in a tuxedo or a suit?  Do you want to buy his attire or rent it?
  • How many bridesmaids did you have in mind?  How many groomsmen did you have in mind? Are there people you feel you must absolutely have as your attendants?
  • What type of clothing do you want your attendants to wear?
  • Do you have a theme in mind for the wedding reception?  Do you have a theme in mind for the wedding ceremony?
  • Do you prefer a DJ, live music or a combination of the two?  Is there a certain DJ or band either of you would like to use?

When you have an idea of what your priorities and what your fiancée has as his priorities make a list and start ranking them first priority, second priority and so forth.  Price the must haves and top priorities and subtract the amount required from your budget before allocating the rest of your budget.  Once you have your budget, stick to it.  There are so many ways to get the look, feel and style you want for your wedding without spending a small fortune.