You’re getting married! (Cue the excited squeal) Does it feel real yet? Maybe you’ve been too busy trying to fit the term “fiancé” into any and all conversation.
Question: How many photos do you have of your engagement ring? ____*Whatever number you insert here is totally fine, because it’s completely normal to want a picture of your left hand holding your coffee mug (even though you’re right-handed), and who doesn’t need a picture grabbing an apple at the grocery store, right?
… point is, it’s okay to fill up your phone’s memory with picture after picture trying to capture every angle of your newest bling.
Once you’ve gotten your fill of ring pictsOnce your camera roll runs out of space
Once your fiancé bans any more pictures of your ring, it’s time to get down to business.
Now, like most millennials, you’ve already planned your dream wedding with the help of your good friend Pinterest. You’ve probably also been fed the unrealistic expectations from your arch nemesis… Pinterest. Funny how that works, huh?
Let’s call this “friend” Pin…elope.
So like any friend, Pinelope has some sound advice most of the time. You picked out some fabulous color schemes and she even gave you the links to find décor accessories. (She’s so organized!) But Pinelope was also carried away looking at nail polish tutorials and shirtless Channing Tatum photos when you told her your budget. Soooo Pinelope starts showing you these gorgeous acrylic centerpieces. You. Fall. In. Love. Like, slightly more in love with that Lily of the Valley bouquet than your own engagement ring.
Just kidding, Ring, nothing will ever replace you. My precious.
So you start Googling where you can find those 3 foot tall vases and extremely rare flowers only to have a florist confirm that the acrylic pieces were indeed custom-made.
Custom-made = $$$. And that 5 tier cake your bestie pinned for you? 1/5 of your total budget. You and Pinelope don’t talk for a while. How could she?! Waving something in front of your face that you clearly couldn’t afford. Psh. What kind of friend is she? (answer: the hypothetical, anthropomorphic kind)
But then she shows you this really cool recipe for s’mores dip, and the next day you’re both looking at Channing Tatum again.
By trial and error, you’ve learned to be a little cautious of Pinelope. It was fun scrolling through wedding photos pre-engagement until you worked out the dollars and cents of it all.
Lesson: Soon after your engagement, set a budget. And once you set that budget, add about 20% more of what you’ve allotted. And then a little more.
I’ve had clients who were accountants that still went over their budget. This doesn’t mean they were bad with money, or that I referred them to the most expensive vendors I could find. It just means you need to be realistic, and that there’s often “hidden” costs (taxes, service fees, county fees, etc.)
We would all love to spend $10 a head for food and beverage. But would we all love to be in the bathroom during garter toss because of those $5 Taco Bell Gordita Supremes? Creo que no!
Your budget will depend on a lot of things. Guest count, location, menu options, vendor preference, types of flowers, etc. Sit down with your fiancé and discuss what’s most important to you in regards to your wedding. Are you set on a venue with a 5 star rating? Do you have 12 aunts and uncles on each parent’s side, step-siblings, and more cousins than you can remember the names of? Family kinda, sorta, unfortunately, automatically gets an invite- so make sure to account for a massive guest list because of this. Have you decided that your entertainer of choice HAS to be Maroon 5? … okay, maybe not Maroon 5, but your pricey local cover band “Burgundy 4”. Then that becomes priority #1. If you’ve always dreamed of a destination wedding in the Bahamas, rest assured that only a small number of guests will make it so you can splurge on other elements instead of the guest list.
Only you know what is most important to you. So communication is key. Communicate your “must haves” with your fiancé, your parents (if they are contributing to the wedding) AND your planner. She/he will become your best friend. (Second only to Pinelope.) There will need to be compromise as well. Your fiancé likely won’t understand that the Berta gown you must have is worth more than an average used car. By the same token, you probably won’t understand that top shelf liquor is his utmost priority. After all, he and his fraternity brothers have to relive those Kappa Beta Sigma Drunky parties.
Don’t get discouraged when your Pinterest wedding isn’t as feasible as you once imagined. Your planner can help you find ways to achieve certain looks and styles, while still adhering to your budget. It’s a good idea to sort through your “Dream Wedding” board and narrow down what you do and don’t like so that when it comes to the actual thing, you’re not scrolling through thousands of pictures wondering why you ever posted that dress or this color scheme back in 2010.
And it’s okay to still divulge in Pinelope’s suggestions, just make sure you don’t get your heart set on that Juliet Rose bouquet.
*That’s a 15 million dollar flower, by the way. Don’t believe me? http://financesonline.com/10-most-expensive-flowers-in-the-world-orchids-roses-priceless-plants/ )
Now go take more pictures of that ring because YOU’RE ENGAGED!