Wedding Debt is a Real Thing, Here’s How to Avoid it

Sometimes the fairytale day we’ve dreamt of doesn’t have those fairytale prices. It’s no joke that weddings can be expensive, and planning an affordable wedding can be stressful, not to mention wedding debt is real. No one wants to go into debt over a singular day, even if it is a very special one. It’s important to know that you can have your dream wedding, without breaking the bank, and if you want to find out how — keep reading!

Photographer: Brett Loie Photography
Event Planner: Feathered Arrow Events
Florals: Inessa Nichols Design

Get Customized Proposals and Bids

At WedBrilliant, we try to balance having your perfect wedding and not breaking the bank or starting out your lives together in debt! That’s why you can post all your wedding needs on and get customized proposals and bids from wedding pros like hairstylists, photographers, caterers and cake designers who can help you make your day magical, within the budget you’re working with! Once you receive bids from vendors, you can select the vendor that best fits your vision and your budget. With WedBrilliant, you can get a good sense of what services and products will actually cost and select vendors to work with who are available on your dates and can help keep you financially on-track! – Melissa Wilmot, Founder & CEO, WedBrilliant 

Set a Budget from the Start

The best way to avoid wedding debt is to set a budget from the start and stick to it! Laying out a budget and knowing what that number is helps you to not look at venues or vendors that may be way out of your price range. It’s so easy to fall in love with a place or a vendor and then realize you can’t afford it. It sets you up for disappointment. I also tell my couples to really think about what is important to them and spend their money there. At the end of the day, if certain details or decor are not as important but flowers are, allocate more of your budget towards that instead. It’s important to know what you can spend so that you don’t go into debt and stress out about money after the wedding. – Kari Dirksen – CEO + Lead Planner, Feathered Arrow Events 

Photographer: Deyla Huss Photography 
Event Planner: Bridal Bliss 

Cut Things that Don’t Impact Guest Experience

I always counsel my couples on what they can cut if they’re feeling pinched: things that don’t impact guest experience. Do away with favors, the floral that is in low-traffic areas, and shave the hors d’oeuvres offerings down to three during cocktail hour.”-Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events

Rainy Day Fund for Your Wedding

Just like you keep a normal savings account, a rainy day fund for your wedding isn’t a bad idea either. This can help with the sticker shock of having to add a tent last minute due to weather, or pay for your photographer’s extra hours if needed.” – Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events

Utilize spreadsheets and software like Rock Paper Coin

The easiest way to stick to a budget is to actually create one before anything is booked! So many couples book their venue and realize they have overspent after it is too late and it sets them up for failure. Determine your budget, and stick to it! Utilize spreadsheets and software like Rock Paper Coin to keep you organized and easily track where all your funds are going. You can also automate payments to ensure no late payments will be due in the future! – Nora Sheils, Founder Bridal Bliss 

Photographer: Wild Whim Design and Photography 
Event Planner: Feathered Arrow Events 
Florals: Shin Dig Chic 

Know How Much Everything Costs

Working with a planner will also help you stick to a budget. He or she can help you create an accurate budget to start–they’ve done this before and they know how much things cost! That alone will set you on the path to success and along the way if you are considering an item over budget, he/she can help you reallocate funds in your budget or put you in check if it’s going to blow it. – Nora Sheils, Founder Bridal Bliss

Wiggle Room for The Items You May Love

We like to call it the wedding faucet! Sometimes it just keeps going, especially the last month. To avoid this, try to make payments throughout the year to your vendors so you are not hit with big remaining balances the month of. We also like to budget an additional 10% on top of your original wedding budget. This way, you have some wiggle room for the items you may love. The easiest way to get back to your desired budget is the guest list. If there are cousins of cousins you may not have seen in 15 years, then maybe reconsider the invite. This will save on meal cost, decor, flowers and maybe a whole table! – Erica Trombetti, Infinite Events 

Do Research

Plan your budget for the long term, and not “as you go”. Do research and make sure you plan for all expenses along the way. Our general rule of thumb is that the venue, catering and bar come to roughly 50% of the total wedding budget with the other half being used for all of the vendors and decor. You’d be surprised at how many people think the venue cost is the total wedding budget only to be surprised later when they start working on vendors! – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides 

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