Can you afford a wedding?
It’s June once again and many couples are walking down the aisle to say their “I do.” Contrary to popular belief though, December is the “wedding month” rather than June.
If you’re one of the many couples, who are planning to get married this June or in the next few months, the number one is not love. Yes, you read it right. The number one consideration is and should always be money. If you and your fiancé/e are planning to get married, here are the things you need to factor in before you say your vows:
1. Set the budget.
Before setting the date and venue, set the budget first. Knowing how much money you have and need to still save will allow you to properly plan the date and venue for the wedding. Many couples have made the mistake of reserving a venue only to realize that it is way out of their budget.
Setting the budget also allows you to identify how much money you have and how much you still need to save.
2. Be creative.
Getting wedding suppliers can be very expensive. The more popular they are, the more expensive they can get. Your wedding is a great time to be creative to save money. If you’re into graphics design, you can make your own wedding invitations. All you need is a graphic software like Adobe Photoshop, some special paper, and you’re good to go.
You can also make place cards, name tags, and even wedding souvenirs via Photoshop. I also know some people who used their computer skills to design their own wedding albums.
When my husband and I got married, we did our own wedding invitations. We just bought some special paper and ribbons from the bookstore and other items from Divisoria. Ours was a “Message in a Bottle” and it was quite easy to assemble. We did everything ourselves from the design to the printing and the assembly. I think we just spent less than PhP500 for 75 invitations.
3. Tap your network.
If you’re not creative, you must have a friend who can do it for you. Instead of asking her to give you an expensive gift, her gift can be her labor of love. She can design the wedding invitation and you just have to reproduce it.
If you have friends who are into photography, ask them to take photos during the wedding. Friends and family members almost always bring digital cameras during weddings and you can just ask for copies of their photos so you can make a wedding album.
Friends and family members who know how to sing or play an instrument can also perform in your wedding. Same goes for those who can host.
If you intend to have professionals in your wedding, make sure you haggle. The practice among wedding suppliers is that they increase their rates every year. Make sure that when you hire your suppliers, you lock in the price so you won’t get surprised with an increase come your wedding day. Also make sure that you draft a contract to ensure that your suppliers deliver the terms and agreements.
Aside from locking in the price, ask your wedding suppliers to throw in freebies. When I ordered my bridal bouquet and flowers for the entourage from a Dangwa vendor, I asked him to give me freebies like the shower petals and the flowers for the bridal car.
5. Seek alternatives.
If you can’t afford this particular wedding supplier, choose another one. If the church you want is too expensive, consider another. Learn to roll with the punches and have other options. Don’t take an “all-or-nothing” attitude. This kind of thinking leads you to financial disaster as you will be tempted to borrow money, pay more than you can afford,etc.
If you can’t afford a church wedding, then by all means, consider a civil wedding. It is no less legal and binding.
6. Keep things in perspective.
Finally, keep in mind that your wedding is just a one-day event. Although this should be the most memorable day of your life, the rest of your life is the most important thing to focus on. Like what our elders say, “Wag gumastos ng sobra kesa naman magdildil ng asin pagkatapos ng kasal (Don’t splurge on your wedding and then be broke after).
Always resist the urge to borrow money to pay for your wedding. If you need to charge something in your credit card, it only means you cannot afford it.
A wedding may be a once-in-a-lifetime event but there’s also a “forever” after all the ceremony. You may indeed have the wedding of your dreams but if this means financial disaster for you and your spouse, then your forever may be a nightmare.