1. Discuss the wedding you both want: One may care most about the beauty of the service, the décor and the fashion, while the other may be more interested in entertaining your guests. Have a conversation about your priorities.
2. Be prepared to compromise: Costs will get out of control if you aren’t prepared to negotiate. Each can make a full list about what matters, and why. Both should be prepared to scratch o less important items.
3. Set up a preliminary budget: Ask friends about vendors they trusted. Check out ads in Today’s Bride. Visit wedding shows. Get quotes from companies you are considering using.
4. Record all information: Have a budget on your computer, but also carry a notebook with you so you have prices at hand when you shop.
5. Periodically, cut an item from the budget: Review the budget regularly and decide what you can live without.
6. Rely on the internet for low-cost ideas: The Internet has made shopping easier. Get advice from bloggers. Get fresh ideas from Pinterest.
7. Put your guests first: You will have a happier wedding day if you eliminate those items that relate to just yourselves. Try to maintain a budget that still treats your guests generously.
8. Stay out of debt: Some of the loveliest weddings are done on a shoestring. Original touches can make the day special, and a price tag often doesn’t attach to that originality.
Originally published in Today’s Bride Magazine, Spring/Summer 2017.