Prepping for Meetings With Your Wedding Vendors

Wedding Vendor MeetingsIf you’ve already started planning your wedding, you’ve probably realized that you need to deal with a seemingly never-ending parade of wedding vendors in order to organize everything you need for your big day. Everything from your flowers shop to your caterers will have a liaison that you need to deal with personally, and the number of meeting you need to schedule and attend just to get everything finalized can seem very overwhelming. Fortunately, prepping for meetings with your wedding vendors can be a fun and relaxing experience if you know what to expect and what to ask. Below you will find some things to be prepared for before you go to your meetings so you can get every detail right without pulling out your hair or going gray.

Know Budget and Priorities

Before you schedule any meetings with your wedding vendors, you need to know your exact budget. This will help you figure out which vendors can take priority financially over others so you can negotiate the best prices. For instance, if your really want your reception dinner to be delicious, you can set aside more budget room for the caterers. If you really like the taste of a fine wine, you can make you alcohol budget a little larger and cut back on something else. Your wedding budget priorities are a personal choice and completely up to you as a couple, but you want to make sure you have the details worked out before you go to your meetings with your wedding vendors.

Shop Around

Before you schedule and vendor meetings, you should get an idea of their prices and shop around with their competitors. The cost of a specific wedding service can vary from vendor to vendor, so shopping around can end up saving you a big chunk of money. Also, don’t be afraid to use a vendor’s competition as leverage to try to get a better deal. Mentioning that their competition offered you a better price can sometimes get them to beat their price or offer you a more inclusive package. Doing your negotiating with multiple prospective vendors instead of price shopping in advance will add unnecessary time and stress to the planning process, so try your best to get this taken care of before you go to your vendor meetings.

Be Detail Oriented

Focusing on the details can not only ensure you find the perfect vendors for your wedding, but it can also ensure that you get the most or your money. Make sure you talk in depth with each of your vendors to make sure that you know exactly what services they will provide you and how much it will cost. The last thing you want is to be expecting something on your wedding day that isn’t delivered because it was never part of the original agreement. The best thing to do with your wedding vendors is to put everything in writing so both side know exactly what to expect when your big day arrives.

How to Budget for Your Wedding

Wedding BudgetYour wedding is likely going to be one of the most expensive purchases you make other than a house or possibly a new car, so making sure you get the budgeting right is very important to making sure you have a successful celebration. When you sit down with your pen and paper to crunch the numbers, it can be difficult to know what you should plan to spend for each element of the wedding. Most people only plan one wedding in their life, so you probably won’t have to much experience with the costs of wedding items. Fortunately, there are some tips that can help with how to budget for your wedding so you know what to set aside and who is in charge of what expenses.

Organization

Organization is one of the most important elements to successfully getting your wedding budget pulled together. Most people feel like budgeting will be difficult if they don’t have math skills, but fortunately there are many spreadsheet programs that will take care of crunching the totals for you. As long as you sit down and create a very organized list, you can just plug in the numbers and let the software take care of the rest. You may need to adjust your numbers a few times to get the bottom line to add up to something you can afford, but all it takes is some diligence and organization to make sure everything works out in the end.

Monitor Expensive Items

The best way to make sure everything fits within your budget is to watch the costs on your most expensive items. Things like the venue, reception hall, and your wedding dress are typically the most expensive parts of the wedding, so trying to reduce the costs on these major components will leave more money for the extra things. It can be really stressful to try to pay for all the little things after you’ve committed to paying for some of the more expensive elements, so keeping these under wraps will eliminate stress down the road.

Who Pays for What?

Most people agree that your wedding expenses should be shared by both families, but it can be a little unclear as to who should pay for what. Traditionally, the father of the bride is supposed to pay for the ceremony and other major expenses, but this ideology is dated and no longer in general practice. Instead, many couples embrace the “FLOP” method of financing their wedding which means that the groom’s family pays for the flowers, liquor, orchestra, and photography, and the bride’s family pays for the rest. Though this isn’t an exact formula and everyone’s budgeting plan will be different, it is a great place to start so you can figure out how much you have to spend on your wedding before you start creating your budget.