Congratulations! You’re engaged! That also means that you have scraped up enough money to buy a beautiful diamond ring. If that was hard for you, boy are you in for a challenge- a dream wedding can be expensive.
Now that you are committed to getting married, you are probably going to set a date far enough in the future to get all your plans in place and save the money you need to put it on. One glitch though- you’re going to be spending money well before the big day.
Think of the wedding as the grand finale of a fireworks show. For 20 minutes, the technicians set off small to medium sized fireworks, just to leave 40% of their supply for the last 3 minutes. When you are planning a wedding, you will be spending money related to wedding expenses on a regular basis, even if 40% of the costs come on day itself. You’ll be paying bills for invitations, clothing, accessories, décor pieces long before the wedding day.
But you knew that of course.
What you might not have realized is how many expenses there are at the very beginning of the process, especially if you are set of having certain vendors that book very far in advance. Here are some examples of expenses that you might occur even more than a year prior to your wedding:
Deposit on your venue
- Wedding venues are known to be booked even as far as 2 years in advance! If you have your heart set on a certain date in the venue of your dreams, you will most likely have to pony up at least 10% of the cost at the time of reservation. Depending on the number of guests you are having and the price of the venue this can be anything from a thousand to several thousand dollars!
- Deposit on your photographer/videographer
- Documenting the happiest day of your life is important and it is worth spending time and money to secure a professional that will give you the results that you want. Once again, weddings are a major source of income for photographers and they need to feel secure that you will not change your mind and go with someone else last minute. And how do you give them security? With a cheque.
- Don’t let your getaway car get away
- Whether you are planning to get around in a limo or a vintage Cadillac on the day of your wedding, you will want to look into this quite early as these are in limited supply- especially on Saturdays, the day the majority of weddings occur. Car rental is usually paid upfront, so that is another expense that comes early in the planning phase.
- Secure your decorator
- Depending on the effect that you want at your wedding, your chosen decorator might ask for more than a reservation deposit. That’s because he or she might need to purchase materials and invest in rentals in advance in order to achieve your vision.
Now ideally, these payments would all be spread out so that you don’t have to eat bologna sandwiches for every meal in order to make it to your next paycheck. The reality is that they can pile up all in one month. If you had anticipated this beforehand, you would have set some money aside to cover these initial expenses. Otherwise you might have to forfeit some aspects of your wedding vision, even if you could have technically afforded it later on.
So if you are still at the stage of setting the date, don’t make the mistake of thinking you won’t need to spend money until the wedding. Give yourself enough time to gather your savings for the initial expenses and deposits so that you can have the wedding that you always wanted, without compromise.