You need to talk to whoever is paying for your Omaha Wedding. Traditionally, it is the bride’s family who pays for most of the costs of the wedding, but in this day and age, it is not uncommon for the groom’s family to chip in or even the bride and groom themselves to be paying for the wedding.
Once you have an amount of money in mind, start looking at wedding vendors. Get an overview of what you would like from each vendor and put those numbers together before you sign any contracts. Some vendors will allow you to put down a deposit to “save your date” and let you choose the details of what they will provide later. This is fine as long as they offer something that you like that you know fits in your budget. Don’t “save the date” with a vendor that only offers expensive services until you have completed your overview of all your vendors and have a good idea that everything fits in your budget.
So now you have an overview of what each of your preferred vendors will cost. Call this your ideal wedding plan. If you are in budget, great, start signing contracts and you are done. Unfortunately, more times than not, you will not be under your budget, or sometimes anywhere near your budget. It is time to take a hard look at your ideal wedding plan and see where you can save some money.
The largest chunk of your budget will go to the reception, so that is the best place to start. Perhaps the easiest and yet the hardest way to save money is your guest list. Let me explain. Most caterers charge based on number of guests. Makes sense. More people, more food, more cost. While there are many less expensive and some more expensive, plan on about an average of $50 per guest for a nice reception in Omaha at a nice hall. Simple math says that if you are $1000 over budget, twenty less guests and you are suddenly right on your target. Easy, right!
Not easy! Who are these twenty people? Are they your friends, your parent’s friends, his parent’s friends, family from distant places who may not come anyway? Cutting your guest list can be hard and can really hurt feelings. Maybe the best way to start a guest list is to know you can afford, within your budget, to have a reception for 150 people or whatever the number is for you. Take 50 of those spots for your wedding party and their families, and of course both of your families. Then take the remaining 100 and add 40 of your friends and give 30 slots to your mother and 30 to your groom’s mother. The actual numbers are not important in the plan, but you get the idea. Everyone gets to make some choices and those choices are within your budget. Also, if your mom wants to add an extra ten people to her list, and this takes you over budget, you have a very simple and obvious thing to do. Ask her to pay for the extra ten people that your budget does not include. She may refuse, leaving you having to cut your budget elsewhere, but it is a good way to approach your budget.
One thing brides leave out of their budgets is a bit of extra money for things that come up unexpectedly. It is really hard to plan for everything and something will come up. You planned to take your bridesmaids to the salon, but did not plan on buying bagels and a fruit tray. Be sure to have at least some money set aside for unplanned expenses.
Another way of trimming your budget is to reconsider your date. Many vendors will charge less for a Friday night or Sunday wedding. June is prime wedding time and June weddings cost more and are harder to book great vendors for than any other month of the year.
Also, talk to your vendors and ask them how you could save a bit of money. Most times a buffet will be less expensive than a plated dinner, and if you limit the choices on a buffet, you can save. Ask your photographer and videographer if they can give you a discount, especially if there is something in your package that doesn’t really matter to you that you could eliminate. Limit the free choices at the bar by only offering beer, soft drinks, and wine instead of liquor.
For more advice on planning your Omaha Wedding, go to OmahaWedding.tv.