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Weddings are a big expense….especially if you’re on a small budget. Now, “small budget” is a relative term. For you, a small budget could be $10k. For some brides, a small budget could be $20k.

As a wedding planner, I have brides who come to me at various stages during the planning process. Often, I have brides hire me after they’ve booked their venue and are looking for advice on how to make the remainder of the wedding budget cover all of their wedding desires. Now, here’s the part where I address the #1 way to blow your wedding budget BEFORE you’ve even gotten deeply imbedded in the planning process…it’s booking a venue that you cannot afford.

In defense of many brides, they don’t realize that they are about to book a wedding venue that they can’t afford. These brides travel venue-to-venue with their mom, honor attendant and maybe the groom. They view several venues…hotel ballrooms, country clubs, historic homes, wineries and many others until they discover THE ONE. This venue is beautiful. It’s majestic. It’s breathtaking. And they can’t afford it.

How do I know our imaginary bride (you) can’t afford it? This venue may cost $4000 to rent. Maybe it’s $6000. For that amount, you get a ceiling, a floor, some walls, tables and chairs. You still have to pay for linens, centerpieces, catering, dishes, etc. And that’s in addition to your photographer, your gown, stationery and all of the other elements of your wedding.

So, after you pay the thousands of dollars to rent this magical space, you might contact me, the wedding planner, and ask for help stretching the remainder of your budget. If you have a $10k budget, you may have blown $4000 on a venue that is simply a structure that doesn’t include catering, dishes or staffing. Now you’re stuck trying to buy a dress, hire a photographer and do everything else that you want to do for your 120 guests on the $6000 you have left.


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