To offer our brides-to-be a lay of the land on wedding planning and budgeting, we’ve created a three-part series filled with helpful information to make your experience more enjoyable. In Part III, we indulge in the endless possibilities of wedding planning over $50,000 – get the wedding of your dreams!
TIPS FOR PLANNING A WEDDING WHEN MONEY ISN’T A CONCERN
For those who are lucky enough to have either saved or been gifted a large sum of money to put towards your wedding, you are in a unique and fortunate position to not have any budget restrictions.
This means you get to plan your perfect wedding exactly how you’ve always imagined. However, when planning a big wedding with a budget of $50,000 and up, it can become easy to get lost in the shuffle and overwhelmed throughout the planning process.
With unlimited options and the ability to say yes to almost anything, it can be difficult to narrow down your vision and decide on all the things you actually want.
So, to help you keep your head on straight and ensure your budget is being allocated wisely – and that you are not spending unnecessarily just because you can – we’ve compiled our top wedding planning tips to help you during this incredibly exciting and stressful time.
SAMPLE BUDGET – WHERE TO ALLOCATE YOUR MONEY
- Venue (all-inclusive with open bar): $20,000
- Flowers & décor: $7,000
- Photo & video: $4,000
- Dress and accessories: $5,000
- Hair and makeup for bride and bridal party: $1,000
- Cake and desserts: $2,000
- Music: $2,000
- Wedding planner: $4,000
- Miscellaneous costs (officiant, bridal party gifts, groom’s attire, etc.) $5,000
- Paper goods (invitations, name cards, menus, etc.): $700
PLANNING TIPS TO AVOID GETTING OVERWHELMED
AVOID MAKING YOUR GUEST LIST TOO LARGE
When planning a formal, luxurious wedding, it can feel tempting to invite anyone and everyone to share your special day with. However, remember that you also want to enjoy your wedding and take everything in. Inviting 300+ guests means you will end up spending the entire night thanking guests and making your rounds instead of hitting the dancefloor and having fun at your reception.
To avoid getting completely overwhelmed, try to keep your guest list to 250 people or less.
HIRE A PLANNER
It’s no secret that planning a wedding, in general, is incredibly stressful. But when managing a budget of $50,000 and up, trying to coordinate your spending and all your vendor meetings becomes near impossible to do. So, if you have the room in your budget, we highly recommend hiring a professional wedding planner to help.
Plus, a planner will be on hand to help you coordinate the day of your wedding to ensure everything comes together perfectly and goes off without a hitch. This takes the stress off you and your bridal party and allows you to focus on the most important thing – getting married!
LIMIT THE SIZE OF YOUR BRIDAL PARTY
When it comes to choosing your bridal party, you want those closest to you standing with you at the end of the aisle. So, narrowing your bridesmaid selection down to just a few select people can feel impossible, as you don’t want to leave anyone out.
However, also remember that for the next year or more of wedding planning, you will be spending countless hours with this group and have to coordinate all communications and other important wedding events to make sure they line up with everyone’s schedule. This can become extremely difficult with so many hands-on deck.
Plus, when you have up to 10 or more bridesmaids, conflict and clashing of personalities become inevitable, oftentimes resulting in unwanted drama.
So, to avoid the added stress of having a large bridal party, try to keep the size of your bridal party to around six people or less.
And in the event that anyone who was left out has their feelings hurt, explain to them your situation and find other ways to include them in your wedding.
ESTABLISH EARLY ON WHO IS PAYING FOR WHAT
When planning a big-budget wedding, there’s a good chance you are not paying for everything yourself. Most couples in this position often have help from family members who are contributing financially to their wedding.
In these types of situations, though, there can be a conflict if the family members are not happy with certain decisions. For instance, maybe they’d rather a band over a DJ or a traditional wedding dinner instead of a trendy food truck. For this reason, it’s important to sit down early on in the planning process with any parties that will be contributing financially to the wedding and establish who is in charge of paying for what. This way, the family members will know exactly where their money is going and can offer up feedback when appropriate.
THINGS THAT ARE WORTH THE SPLURGE
THE DRESS OF YOUR DREAMS
You’re already planning the wedding of your dreams, so make sure you have the perfect dress to go with it. When spending so much money on various elements of your wedding, it’s important to prioritize yourself as well. It is your day, after all. So, don’t feel guilty about splurging on a gown that is truly spectacular and makes you look and feel like your most beautiful self.
Whether it’s a princess-worthy tulle and lace ballgown, or a tight fitted dress with stunning intricate beadwork – or both! – look for a gown that fits with your venue and the tone of your wedding while also lining up with your vision for how you want to look on your wedding day.
Besides having a photographer and videographer on hand to capture your big day, consider paying a bit extra for a photo booth and some props.
Photobooths are always a big hit for guests as it allows them to show off their goofy side and create their own memories of your wedding.
Your wedding venue is the most important element of your wedding as it will dictate the entire look, feel, and vibe of your event. In fact, your venue is where you should be allocating most of your budget. Therefore, it’s important to find an all-inclusive, well-rounded venue that matches your vision for your big day and offers:
- Catering service
- Service staff
- Tables and chairs
- Dishes and flatware
- An open bar
- Good lighting
- Lots of parking
- Easy to access location
- Separate ceremony and reception site
- On-site accommodations for bride, groom, and bridal party
One of the things guests remember most about a wedding is the food, so it’s highly important that you make this a top priority.
Because, no matter how great the music is, your guests won’t feel like dancing if they are left feeling hungry and unsatisfied from dinner.
Work with your venue or caterers to plan out an amazing meal that will appeal to a variety of tastes and accommodate any dietary restrictions. But also take into consideration your own tastes and preferences. Because even if your guests are happy with the meal, your memories of your wedding will be clouded if you didn’t enjoy it yourself.
Also, make sure your guests are well-fed all throughout the night. This means having plenty of appetizers and hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour and some post-dinner snacks as well. Because no matter how delicious your dinner is, your guests are bound to work up an appetite after hitting the dancefloor.
FLORALS AND DÉCOR
While florals and décor can seem superficial when it comes to the big picture, they are important to have to help fulfill your vision for your wedding and create a beautiful atmosphere for guests.
Fresh flowers can get expensive, but if you have a large enough budget, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Work with a florist to find the best floral options for your wedding that are in season and can be incorporated into your ceremony with a beautiful arch and aisle decorations.
Also ask your florist to help you design some beautiful centrepieces and table decorations.
When it comes to pulling off a great wedding reception, the key word to remember is fun.
Whether it’s through dancing and live music, cocktail hour games, or fireworks at the end of the evening, it’s important to keep your guests entertained throughout the night. Nobody wants their wedding to be remembered as a boring night where people went home early.
When planning your wedding, try not to stress about the little things and focus on the big picture: throwing an amazing bash that both you and your guests will never forget.
Because with a healthy budget, an amazing planner by your side, everything is bound to fall together perfectly, resulting in the wedding of your dreams and amazing memories.