If you’re anything like me, you’ve been dreaming about your wedding since you were just a kid. You’d see photos of your parents on their special day, and some part of you even at age eight understands the momentousness of the occasion. The way your mom and dad look at each other in every photo. Like they’re so in love. Like even though there’s a wall of activity around them, they are completely focused on each other. On that special day, there was no one else in the world that mattered. And now here you are, all grown up and to your utter astonishment. You’ve found someone who looks at you the same way you’ve been longing for your entire life. Every minute with this person is bliss. Every furtive glance, and eloquent exchange pregnant with meaning. The way they speak to you is music, and when it’s time to listen you feel supported in a way you didn’t think possible. And now finally, incredibly, miraculously you two have entered the next phase of your relationship. You’re getting married! And you could not be happier!
The lead-up to a marriage is one of the most exciting periods of a person’s life, but it can also be one of the most stressful. When you’re trying to make something with so many moving parts happen. It can feel like you’re herding cats rather than planning a wedding!
Hey, I get it. It’s ok. What’s stressful now will eventually pass. In these situations, one of the most powerful and important things we can do is to take care of ourselves and find some sort of calm against the storm of appointments and emails. I know it’s easier said than done, but when you’re attacking a problem that has multiple parts. You need to take them on one at a time or else you’ll get overwhelmed. That’s why I’ve created this guide to help take some of the pressure off of wedding planning by talking through some general budgeting tips, as well as prioritizing your guests’ entertainment by making sure you still have room for a wedding dj!
Who Gets a Piece of the Pie?
When planning your budget, it can feel like the money you’ve saved is an abstract concept. Sure it’s a number that you can see change every so often. But to be honest, it’s pretty easy for it just to feel like some strange concept floating somewhere out there in the void. That’s why, when it comes to budgeting, I find that making a pie graph is an amazing tool for “real-ifying” how big your budget is and where it’s going as you begin to divvy it up. Now if this seems a little too arts-and-crafts for you to get behind, that’s fine. But understand that sometimes the way we consider information changes when we have something physical to draw from. And, when making that physical thing is such a quick and easy task. You’re missing out by Not trying it! Now the only supplies you need are two pieces of paper, a calculator, a ruler, and a marker. Take the piece of paper and cut it into a circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be oblong, or heck even an oval! It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you now have your “graph” sitting right in front of you! Now get out your second piece of paper. You’ll use this sheet just to take notes, and make calculations. Now write your budget in big bold letters. First on the top of your note-sheet and then on your graph. Now on your notes sheet go through your records and itemize every red cent you’ve spent so far on this wedding. Now that you have your list, convert each expense into a percentage. Then once you have that percentage, take your ruler and your graph and create a small section that represents the percentage of your budget that this expense takes. Repeat this process until your graph is full and take a look at what you see. Right before your very eyes is your budget laid bare in front of you. Now you can see in no uncertain terms what each expense is costing you, and how they individually impact your budget.
This technique often brings new insight into one’s plans, as they begin to consider what parts of their wedding are most important to them. This is not only an excellent way to prioritize what you want from your wedding, but it also illuminates areas where you could make room to include any last-minute details!
When you’re getting married, it’s so massively important to your life, so overwhelming to your being that it’s easy to get caught in the ocean of abstraction that is planning for something that far out in the future. That’s why it’s so important to find ways to illustrate your budget to yourself. Taking the time out to write down your budget shows you every nitty-gritty atomic detail of your wedding plan. It is the only way that you can get the full picture of your event and will allow you to plan for that eventual unfortunate surprise. Don’t realize in the 11th hour that you can’t afford to pay the DJ, make a plan for your wedding today!