Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Many couples dive head-first into the planning process without fully grasping or understanding what they are working with or who is even contributing to the big day. Some avoid those tough conversations due to uncomfortable family dynamics while others simply care to live by the "ignorance is bliss" mantra (time to wake up, gorgeous!)
Today I am giving you my TOP THREE tips and tricks you NEED to encourage your clients to consider when making sense of their wedding budget.
1. FIND OUT WHO IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE BUDGET
Before you plan ANYTHING with a bride, be sure they have a clear understanding of WHO will be contributing to their event. Many couples assume contributions will be coming from (traditionally) the bride's side only. However, due to the high price tag on weddings in recent years, it has become customary for both sides (as well as the couple) to pitch in to the overall pot.
Encourage your couples to host a dinner party or arrange for cocktails and conversation with both sets of parents to nail down the who and what of their wedding funds. Also, be sure to remind them to check in with any special extended family or friends - grandma might want shout the bar tab!
2. PRIORITIZE ITEMS IN THE BUDGET.
Once you have the magic number from your client, it's time to help them make some decisions on what that money will be going towards. This is an area of wedding planning that looks different for everyone. Remind them that there are no right or wrong answers or a cookie-cutter approach to prioritizing items in the wedding budget. Some couples consider EVERYTHING, from the engagement party right down to their honeymoon clothes, as part of the budget. Others assume they will be paying for all the major items (venue, photographer, catering and of course, the bar bill) and paying for all other expenses separately.
3. BREAK OUT THE BUDGET INTO PERCENTAGES.
Now that your bride has had those hard conversations and made sense of what they want to buy, the last step is breaking their wedding budget out by category into pretty little percentages. You can use planning software like Aisle Planner, that breaks out national averages, to help keep your clients' finances organized, or come up with a system that works well in your particular market. Once you've determined how much your client should be spending on venues and vendors, the key is encouraging them to stick to it so they don't end up drowning in post nuptial debt.
Communication is key when working out the wedding budget with your clients so be a guiding light and help them to stay cool, calm and collected when determining what to do with all that dream wedding cash.