"My Excel spreadsheets have served me well. It is important to write everything down and keep track of the spending. Every planner is different, but I prefer to have a total amount that the couple is wanting to spend."McLaughlin warns against having a set amount for everything, as each provider offers something different. To start, she suggests calculating a proper amount (based on quotes) by figuring out what your top priorities are. What is the most significant part of the wedding that you would like to spend on?
"I don't think spending 40% of your budget on a venue, and then 30% on a wedding dress makes any sense. There are many things that make up a wedding, so be wise in choosing where your money goes."
"If you are wanting laser cutting and gold embossed name tags, this comes at a price. Travel costs are also another spend that is not often included."
"I always tell my clients to start with the larger spends in their wedding budget first. So, look for a venue, food, photographer, videographer, decor, flowers, and music. Then you can move onto the stationary, hair and makeup, favours, etc."McLaughlin warns that lighting is often a large spend that clients don't take into consideration.
"They want the naked bulbs and fairy lights, but these do come at a cost. I would book the venue first, then check out what is needed to be brought in and go from there." CLICK BELOW to read about three biggest finance mistakes in marriage.
"Often, a father has been saving his whole life to give his daughter the best wedding, so we can whip up a wedding in a matter of months. Other times, the bride and groom are paying for the wedding themselves, and they put a set amount away each month, and pay suppliers one-by-one in order to save correctly."
"There is no point in having a lavish one-day affair, but for an entire year you couldn't even afford to buy a soft serve ice cream and you showered in the dark in order to save on electricity costs.McLaughlin advises putting away a decent amount of money for your special day, but not if you don't have five cents to scrape together as a result.
"It is so important to be honest about your budget and lifestyle. If you can't afford a provider, but really want them, then ask them what their payment options are and be open with what you can afford to pay them."This doesn't mean you should try knock them down so low that they are basically working for free, either. You are expecting top class service from your suppliers, so they should be treated that way in return.
"I think this is quite simple; be realistic. As planners, we totally understand that you have been dreaming about this day for years and want it to be extra special. But, you have to come back down to earth every now and then and look at your real budget. Keep the end goal in mind."Take a look at your budget and number all items in order of importance. Do you really need that confetti bomb for your first dance?
"Fall in love more and more each day. It's the whole point of the day after all."This journey is about marrying your partner, your lover, and your best friend, and starting your life together.