To splurge, or to save? That is the question
Updated: Dec 1, 2018
The age old debate when planning a wedding is what to splurge on and what to save on. Whether you have a bottomless budget or a strict one, this topic is bound to come up.
Your wedding day will be one of the most important days of your life and its significance will last generations. Because of this when considering how you will spend your budget it is prudent to invest time to delve a bit deeper and consider why you are either splurging or saving on something.
You don’t want to look back on the day with regret saying ‘I wish I spent more money on that’, or ‘I wish I hadn’t spent so much on this’.
Here are my top suggestions for how to work though this:
Look at the Priorities As I have written in previous blogs each party involved in the wedding will have ideas around what ‘their’ important areas of the wedding are. Whether it be the bride and groom; the people contributing financially to the wedding or your very traditional grandmother, it is important to find these ideas out earlier rather than later.
For my clients I have a tool I use called a priority matrix to tease out these priorities. If you are having a go at doing this yourself then you could use the following:ask the key people involved in your wedding to rank their top 3 important wedding elements. It may be venue, food, location etc. (note key people are those that will have an influence over the wedding planning)compare the results and see what ones align to you and your partners answersHave a look at any outliers (these are the ones that don’t appear on the bridal couples list and appear as a priority on another’s listDiscuss the results openly to see why these outliers are important to those people.Based on the ranking results and the subsequent findings from your discussions, confirm your top 5 ranked priorities and make sure all key people are aware of them This sounds a bit excessive right? Well it may be, but it can save you a lot of hassle and arguments later on if you are all singing from the same song sheet upfront. Having clear priorities provides you with an idea of where you can splurge (the higher the priority the more likely you can splurge on it) and where you can save (the lower priority the more likely you can save on it).
Be aware of Misconceptions You may identify something that is a quick win for saving money, in my case it was the flowers. The attraction to save money on these misconceptions can cloud your judgement on their importance; both on the day and how you look back at your day. Generally these things can be supplemented for something else that you are adequately happy with or you can get the same product/ service cheaper.
Flowers to me was low on my priority list and were too expensive to justify, so I decided to make paper flowers to have as decorations and bouquets. What I underestimated was the level of time it was going to take to achieve this. I ended up doing a mix of both paper and fresh flowers and while it made my decorations unique the effort that went in to them far outweighed the cost if I had just got standard bouquets and floral decorations.
Consider ‘Forever’ vs ‘For a day’ Still lost? A good rule of thumb to use if you are wanting to splurge is to do it on something that will last forever; for example the wedding bands, the photographs or the big ticket items that contribute to the overall feel of the day (as that’s what people will take away with them).
Remember the best things in life are free One of the things I hear time and time again is that the things that people remember the most are the individual touches (that often don’t cost anything). The perfectly written vows, the adherence to family traditions, candle or sand ceremonies or personalize rituals all help make your day unique and memorable.
To summarise, knowing the priorities can help you determine what it is best to splurge on and what items it is best to save on. If you are saving on an item make sure you have thoroughly considered any implications that may arise from your choice, and if all else fails look to invest in the items that will make your day last forever. This is your day and you can have the best of both worlds!