Budget, budget, budget. Whether you have been married for ten years and had to deal with budgets then, or only recently started your wedding planning journey, your wedding budget will always be present in all the decisions you make.
No two wedding budgets are the same, just as no two couples getting married are the same, and that is the beauty of it all. Whether you are planning a big soiree or an intimate gathering with friends and family, spending money will be an inevitable part of the journey. And as much as this may be terrifying, it could also be a great part of the journey.
The South African wedding industry is buzzing with service providers. From venues to dresses, photographers and designers, you as a couple can pick and choose not only what suits your style and wedding dreams, but also your budget. Nobody likes to be compared to anybody, but when services and budget come into play – compare away.
There is however a very important, sometimes badly over-looked, but immensely crucial aspect that needs to be acknowledges and constantly be in the back of your head – QUALITY.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m most definitely not saying that when a product is cheaper, it is of less value for money. I’m saying that when you are comparing products or services, make sure that you are comparing apples with apples. And always remember the golden rule, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you get a funny gut feeling about something, trust your instincts. They are rarely wrong as I’m sure you’ve experienced in other parts of your life before.
This is all great, and being able to name a few things is easy, but how does one actually put these things into real life scenarios. Here are a few tips to help with that –
- DO YOUR RESEARCH: There isn’t a service provider that doesn’t have some or the other social media account. Whether it is a Facebook page, a website or an Instagram account, having an online presence is not only important for the service provider but for as potential client too. Go have a look at what they are sharing, go read their reviews (it’s there for a reason) and get a general feel of their services.
- QUALITY: Whilst you are researching your service providers, make sure that the quality of the products they offer are what you want for your big day. As much as a rustic look and feel does not mean cheap, a glam look does not mean plastic crystals and blingy white, and the services you are looking at should be able to convey the correct message you want brought to life on your wedding day.
- ARE THEY WHAT YOU WANT: This should almost be the first bullet point as the importance is so often over-looked. Just because a service provider is well-known does unfortunately not mean that they are your cup of tea, and that is totally okay. Make sure that the services they offer are what you have in mind for your special day. A few very important questions to ask – Does their style speak to your heart? Do you get goosebumps because their creations make you want to move your date earlier? Are you able to connect with them as people? Yes, I might be over-emphasising this but this will not only help you decide whether they are the right people for the job, but will contribute to the journey to your wedding day and the memories you have to hold onto once you take your wedding shoes off..
- WHAT IS INCLUDED: Make sure that you know exactly what is included in the packages provided to you and if there are any extras, that you are aware of the cost of these things. Often when we see the price of a product or service, especially if the amount is more than we expected or budgeted for, we shove it to one side out of shock or disbelief. But before you write it off completely, make sure that you are aware of what is covered by that amount. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and calmly work your way through the package or quote. You might be surprised of what is included and you might even be saving money on things you didn’t even take into consideration. If there is no luck, looking around a bit more to find the perfect service provider match, should not upset you but rather be part of the journey. Making sure of the facts might just save you a lot of tears and broken memories after the wedding.
- CLEAR COMMUNICATION: As in all things, communication is key. Not only should you know what exactly you want and lay it out accordingly to the service providers but asking any and all questions or clearing up uncertainties is of utmost importance. Clear communication will ensure that both of you (bride/groom and service provider) know exactly what is expected of you and what needs to be added extra to ensure all areas of the wedding day is covered. This will also ensure that no misperceptions or miscommunications creep in and cause unnecessary havoc.
If you’ve read to here, you are probably thinking to yourself that this isn’t at all telling me how much I should be budgeting for my wedding or how much things cost in real life, and you are absolutely right. There unfortunately isn’t a magical wedding meter to tell you how much a wedding will cost as there are so many variables in the industry, but once you take the points mentioned into consideration, it will definitely close the gap and make choosing what is the best for you and your wedding day, a whole lot easier.