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How to Plan an Affordable Wedding in Dallas

How to Plan an Affordable Wedding in Dallas-Fort Worth

By Sarah Farrell

January 17, 2019

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times in a couple's lives! Envisioning their future together and a what life holds is magical.

But after the post-engagement jitters ware off, it is time to get down to planning. And the first step of planning is to set a budget. 

Budget Planning 

Figuring out your wedding budget is no easy feat. Your wedding will likely be the biggest party you've ever hosted — and the priciest. The "average U.S. wedding costs $26,522 for 135 guests", according to the most recent Brides American Wedding Study. Almost half of these couples cover the entire expense themselves, while an additional 25% pay for at least part of it. But here's the kicker: One in three couples goes over budget!

To make a budget, you'll need to tally up your savings, maintain a detailed spreadsheet so you don't go over during the planning process, prepare for unexpected costs, as well as make meaningful cuts if you do exceed your total budget. It's hard work, we know, but putting in the time and energy now ensures you'll live happily ever after (wedding-debt free).

Track Your Spending

Create a spreadsheet with three expense columns: Estimated, Modified, and Actual. Amounts under Estimated will be driven by the research of costs in your area (check sites like Weddingwire to find local averages for venues and vendors), proposals from the vendors you choose will go in Modified, and the final amount you pay them will go in Actual.

Adjust your estimates after calling in vendors' costs. Start with the venue because it's the biggest piece of the wedding pie and a major factor in determining the guest count. When vendors give you estimates, verify if the tax is included. If not, do the math yourself with state and local tax rates to adjust the proposal.

Find Ways to Save

  1. Edit the guest list: Each attendee costs far more than his or her meal when you consider the invitation, welcome bag, transportation, slice of cake, and favor.
  2. Order all of your own paper items yourself: This means ordering or creating your own wedding invitations and appropriate inserts. Later, you'll be ordering place cards and table numbers and maybe programs and other things, too. Technology has made it easy to do a lot of this stuff on your own at home. The bride and groom choose the appropriate paper (most companies online will send free samples) and print them on their own printer, then assemble, stuff, and mail them. Even if you choose to order printed materials through a stationer, be sure to do it yourself.
  3. Address your own invitations: Paying for calligraphy is not cheap. If you must have calligraphy on your invites, consider buying a calligraphy pen and practicing until you get it right. It's not that difficult. And only an expert would notice it wasn't done by a professional. As a starting point, there are tons of tutorials online.
  4. Save money by using fewer vendors: If your DJ also offers lighting services for your venue or your cake lady also offers edible wedding favors, consider hiring that vendor to provide more than one service for your big day. You'll always get a better rate if you're getting more from one vendor, plus you won't be paying multiple setups or delivery fees, the way you would be if you had hired separate vendors for each individual task.
  5. Change the venue: Raw spaces like barns and lofts seem like a steal, but you could spend a lot making them wedding-beautiful. Consider somewhere like The Wyndham Garden Dallas North that would allow for all your guests to stay under one roof and the wedding/reception to take place!

Remember: Your wedding is about the two of you and your marriage. And that will last much longer than one day of celebration. Through all of the wedding planning, remember not to lose sight of what truly matters. Spending a ton of money on your wedding day won’t prove your love for one another, but it can leave you with an empty bank account. It’s completely possible to throw a budget-friendly wedding that’s beautiful, stylish and affordable!

You can have the gorgeous, debt-free wedding of your dreams, but only if you have a plan!

By Sarah Farrell

January 17, 2019

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times in a couple's lives! Envisioning their future together and a what life holds is magical.

But after the post-engagement jitters ware off, it is time to get down to planning. And the first step of planning is to set a budget. 

Budget Planning 

Figuring out your wedding budget is no easy feat. Your wedding will likely be the biggest party you've ever hosted — and the priciest. The "average U.S. wedding costs $26,522 for 135 guests", according to the most recent Brides American Wedding Study. Almost half of these couples cover the entire expense themselves, while an additional 25% pay for at least part of it. But here's the kicker: One in three couples goes over budget!

To make a budget, you'll need to tally up your savings, maintain a detailed spreadsheet so you don't go over during the planning process, prepare for unexpected costs, as well as make meaningful cuts if you do exceed your total budget. It's hard work, we know, but putting in the time and energy now ensures you'll live happily ever after (wedding-debt free).

Track Your Spending

Create a spreadsheet with three expense columns: Estimated, Modified, and Actual. Amounts under Estimated will be driven by the research of costs in your area (check sites like Weddingwire to find local averages for venues and vendors), proposals from the vendors you choose will go in Modified, and the final amount you pay them will go in Actual.

Adjust your estimates after calling in vendors' costs. Start with the venue because it's the biggest piece of the wedding pie and a major factor in determining the guest count. When vendors give you estimates, verify if the tax is included. If not, do the math yourself with state and local tax rates to adjust the proposal.

Find Ways to Save

  1. Edit the guest list: Each attendee costs far more than his or her meal when you consider the invitation, welcome bag, transportation, slice of cake, and favor.
  2. Order all of your own paper items yourself: This means ordering or creating your own wedding invitations and appropriate inserts. Later, you'll be ordering place cards and table numbers and maybe programs and other things, too. Technology has made it easy to do a lot of this stuff on your own at home. The bride and groom choose the appropriate paper (most companies online will send free samples) and print them on their own printer, then assemble, stuff, and mail them. Even if you choose to order printed materials through a stationer, be sure to do it yourself.
  3. Address your own invitations: Paying for calligraphy is not cheap. If you must have calligraphy on your invites, consider buying a calligraphy pen and practicing until you get it right. It's not that difficult. And only an expert would notice it wasn't done by a professional. As a starting point, there are tons of tutorials online.
  4. Save money by using fewer vendors: If your DJ also offers lighting services for your venue or your cake lady also offers edible wedding favors, consider hiring that vendor to provide more than one service for your big day. You'll always get a better rate if you're getting more from one vendor, plus you won't be paying multiple setups or delivery fees, the way you would be if you had hired separate vendors for each individual task.
  5. Change the venue: Raw spaces like barns and lofts seem like a steal, but you could spend a lot making them wedding-beautiful. Consider somewhere like The Wyndham Garden Dallas North that would allow for all your guests to stay under one roof and the wedding/reception to take place!

Remember: Your wedding is about the two of you and your marriage. And that will last much longer than one day of celebration. Through all of the wedding planning, remember not to lose sight of what truly matters. Spending a ton of money on your wedding day won’t prove your love for one another, but it can leave you with an empty bank account. It’s completely possible to throw a budget-friendly wedding that’s beautiful, stylish and affordable!

You can have the gorgeous, debt-free wedding of your dreams, but only if you have a plan!