Small Budget, Big Dreams: Practical Advice for Planning an Affordable CT Wedding - Part 1

A Connecticut wedding conjures images of luxury, beautiful beaches, and lots of restaurants and bars to keep the party going long after the reception. Every bride has varied wedding budgets and almost every bride feels as though she won’t have enough money for the wedding of her dreams. It doesn’t matter if she has fifty thousand dollars or fifteen thousand dollars; there is always the worry of having ENOUGH. Hopefully you have been squirreling away money into a savings account for a rainy day. The reality is, many couples I work with do not have much savings on their own and budget for their wedding only after becoming engaged.

There are two areas that couples overlook that can end up costing thousands: Not setting a realistic budget, and creating a guest list too late in the process. Before you start comparing the ballroom at the Waterview or The Society Room of Hartford, you need to determine what your magic numbers are.

To set a realistic budget, you need to plan. Brides  usually don’t like this exercise, but this is what saves them money. We can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “We have about 20 grand” or “Forty-ish”. If you are paying in full or contributing, calculate what you can realistically put aside each month for your wedding and multiply by the number of months you are engaged. If the number surprises you and much lower than expected, you may need to reduce the scope of your wedding or consider alternative financing. I am also going to suggest, as I do with my clients, that you create a Wedding Checking account fund. Go to your preferred bank and check out what type of checking and savings accounts they can offer that will generate the most interest. The beauty of this account is that you will not be tempted to pay off regular bills with your wedding fund. If family members have pledged funds, try to obtain the money as soon as possible to funnel into this account so that you have control over it.

Once you have your number, consider that half will go to menu and bar. This is where creating that guest list now, before you even step foot into a wedding venue, really pays off. Don’t go by gut “feel” on this one. I’ve also heard “about 250” or “around 150” too many times. The easiest way to get this accomplished is to create a list with your fiancé, have your parents create a list, and the same with your future in-laws. Compare lists, cross off duplicates and you should have a realistic guest list. This will make visiting wedding venues in CT and crossing those off your list that can’t accommodate your guest count easier. Keep in mind about 20% of your invited guests will decline.

Even if you think your budget is too small, these two simple steps will keep you from overspending, having an affordable Connecticut wedding, and keeping your wedding expenses in check.

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