Planning your dream wedding?
The harsh truth is that roughly one-third of couples saying "I do" actually go over their budget, reports USA Today. Keeping your spending in check isn't always an easy task. But according to Jessica Lehry Bishop, founder and editor of The Budget Savvy Bride, it can be done—as long as you know which pitfalls to avoid.
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Below are five things that'll almost certainly blow your wedding budget.
BEING CARELESS WITH YOUR GUEST LIST
The biggest factor impacting your budget is far and away your guest list.
"For every guest, that's another place setting, another meal, another chair," says Bishop, adding that every eight to 10 guests is another table with another linen. "It's exponential for every guest that you add to your list, so it's really about reining it in and only inviting the people who are most important."
If this means putting your foot down and telling your mom she can't invite her manicurist to your big day, so be it.
INSISTING ON A DESIGNER DRESS
Let's face it—every bride wants to feel like the belle of the ball on her wedding day. But are you prepared to drop more cash than you're really able on a high-end dress? Bishop says it's one of the most common ways that brides bust their budgets.
"If you do have your sights set on a certain designer dress, sites like PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com or Nearly Newlywed both have really great designer dresses that you can get for less," she adds.
FORGETTING ABOUT INVITATION-RELATED COSTS
Most couples do indeed factor invitations into their wedding budgets. But are you keeping all the details in mind? Bishop points out that certain invitation styles are heavier than others, which requires more than just a regular postage stamp. Weights aside, square-shaped invites also cost more to ship than traditional ones.
"And there's not only the invitation that you're sending out; the RSVP card requires another stamp," says Bishop. "That's something a lot of people forget about."
OVERLOOKING UNIQUE-SLASH-CHEAPER VENUES
If you're pushing your budget to its limits, reducing your venue costs can be a game changer. Bishop recommends finding a low-cost or no-cost alternative to traditional event halls, which can be pricy. The home of a family member or friend can make for a romantic option, as can an outdoor setting like a nearby beach or park.
Wherever you decide to hold your wedding, chances are that you'll be decorating. When it comes to flowers, it pays to do your homework. "One of the best ways to keep your costs down is to choose flowers that are in season because they're more readily available, they're cheaper, and you won't have to fly in exotic flowers from another part of the country," shares Bishop.
ASSUMING THAT DIY IS ALWAYS MORE BUDGET-FRIENDLY
Most brides are logging onto Pinterest the second that ring is on their finger. But do-it-yourself wedding details aren't necessarily cheaper.
"There's this myth that DIY is always more budget-friendly, but that's not always the case," says Bishop, who adds that Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse for brides. "You have to keep yourself in check and not get overwhelmed by the plethora of inspiration on Pinterest. Plus you have to ask yourself if you're actually a crafty person."
In other words, are you going to try and make something that turns out to require way more time and skill than you're able to give? This will only result in you either buying more materials to fix mistakes, or caving in and buying the finished product anyway.