It’s all too easy to be overcome with financial wedding stress. WAY too easy.
And if you’re reading this then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You probably never anticipated having to pay for a new house and a wedding simultaneously, or you didn’t realize just how expensive weddings actually are until you start breaking down the numbers. Maybe your budget just flew out the window and you’re over budget.
I’m sure you have a vague (or super detailed) vision of your dream wedding, and you should! But then you start thinking about the numbers, and all of a sudden the thought of your wedding starts to feel impossible, overwhelming, and you’re questioning if whether or not you should just call everything off and elope instead.
And guess what? You’re not the only one who feels this way!
Financial wedding stress is something almost every. single. bride. feels at least once or twice while they plan your wedding.
And if you’ve dared looked up the average wedding cost, you’ll be shocked to find that it’s anywhere between $20,000 to $50,000.
Holy shit that’s a lot of money.
If you’re in the beginning phases, midway, or even near the end of planning your wedding and you’re overcome with an insane amount of wedding stress….then you’ve come to the right place.
I’m going to help carry you through this touch time and bring you out on the other side.
But before I do that, I need you to do 2 things for me.
Take a deep breath.
Seriously, do that right now. Close your laptop, lock your phone screen, put everything away, and take as long of a mental break as you need to clear your head- even just a little bit. This blog post will still be here when you get back.
Okay, did you do it? How do you feel? If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, then follow my next piece of advice.
Know that everything will be okay.
And how do I know that? Because I just do.
Now hear me out. I know that I don’t know your exact financial situation. I don’t know if you’re horribly in debt, can’t make your next vendor payment, or if you’ve just had to cut your guest list in half. But what I do know is that you aren’t going to make decisions that are going to cause your own personal armageddon.
When I was living from paycheck to paycheck, my mind would just to worse case scenario anytime my bank account went dangerously low. For me that would look like getting evicted from my apartment, being unable to feed myself or my dog, having to sell my car and getting a third job.
But the thing is that I never gave myself any credit for the things I was doing right. I was cooking at home instead of eating out, declining going out with friends to put money in savings instead, and constantly revising my budget so I knew what I could and couldn’t spend.
All of this to say- you’re smart enough to not let your worse case scenario happen in the first place.
I can almost guarantee that you won’t let your wedding costs set you so far back that your life will come crashing down around you.
Okay so let me say this again, and believe me when I say it- everything will be okay.
Now that you’ve de-stressed a little, taken a break, and you actually believe that you might be able to do this thing (you totally can, but you have to start somewhere), let’s start looking at some actionable steps that you can do TODAY to start relieving some of that financial wedding stress.
7 Ways to Overcome Financial Wedding Stress
1. DIY Parts of your wedding
You can DIY, even if you’re not a DIY’er. Trust me, it can be done! There are so many things you can DIY for your wedding, and in the long run you can save big bucks by going this route.
Where do you even start though, you may ask?
Sign up for a free subscription to Skillshare for in-depth tutorials on your DIY projects.
You can get your first 3 months free when you sign up, so sign up when you feel like you’re in a position to start your DIY projects. Youtube is great for some tutorials, but I’ve found the tutorials on Skillshare to be more in-depth than anywhere else.
Make a list of the things you’re okay with DIY’ing as opposed to purchasing and hiring out.
These things can include:
Florals (I’m talking boutinniers, hair accessories, bouquets, etc.), place settings, invitations and save-the-dates, signage (seating charts, welcome signs, etc.), wedding favors, etc. etc.
Ask to borrow DIY supplies from your friends and families!
Don’t have a hot glue gun or fabric scissors? Your mom or grandma probably has an old one sitting in the recesses of their closet somewhere.
The list really could go on and on.
I recommend making a list of the things you wouldn’t like to spend a ton of money on that you could dedicate a weekend to making.
And making all these things doesn’t have to be a chore either! Rope your friends and family in with you, order some pizza, put on some music, and have a DIY party! As someone who is big into the DIY community, DIY parties are a lot more common than you think.
And if you need a little inspiration on all of the DIY possibilities, check out this awesome blog post from the Budget Savvy Bride on their “Top Ten DIY Wedding Projects.”
2. Get a side hustle
Don’t underestimate the power of working for yourself, even for little bits at a time.
There’s surprisingly a lot of money to be found by working a side hustle for even once or twice a week!
In college, instead of going to the bars for thirsty thursdays I would drive for Uber and drive drunk people around. From the hourly wage and tips, I could easily make $100 in a single night. And if I really needed money, I would work Thursday-Saturday from 9am to 4am (a great time to drive on the weekends if you’re looking to rack up as much money as quickly as possible).
Granted, I was exhausted by the end of it but my hefty paycheck made it all worth it.
Here’s an awesome list of side hustles you can get started on by the weekend
3. Saving Methods
You’re here to get out of a financial bind, and obviously one of the best ways to do that is to start saving as much money as you possibly can.
I took the easiest to implement and most aggressive saving methods out there and listed them here:
The envelope saving method, direct deposit into a separate checking account, automatically set money aside either monthly or weekly, the 50/30/20 savings plan, pay off one big thing at a time, and purchase smaller items a little bit at a time.
Next week I’ll write up a blog post called “Top 6 Saving Methods to Fund Your Wedding” and link it here when it’s live.
Do you feel your wedding stress heading on it’s way out the door? Let me know in the comments below!
4. Choose a venue you don’t need decor for
I love decorations as much as the next person, but if you’re on a tight budget and you reaaaaally don’t want to compromise on your top priorities, then you might want to consider choosing a venue you don’t have to decorate!
The average wedding venue costs roughly $15,539 (according to The Knot)
And that’s just for the venue! That’s not including table decor, place settings, signage, party favors, and all of the other small details that most venues don’t provide.
But there are more than plenty of venues out there that you can get married at with beautiful views, architecture, and artwork! So technically it’s already been decorated for you 😉 Take that wedding stress!
Need some ideas? Consider these amazing spots!
5. Cut back on what you can
Before you start making budget cuts left and right, make a list of your must-have’s for your wedding. These are the things you refuse to compromise on.
Once you’ve made that list- STICK TO IT. Your must-have’s list is going to be your guiding north star.
Now you can start taking a look at your wedding from a bird’s eye view and finding things you can cut back on. This can be your guest list, an extra hourdierve at cocktail hour, deciding not to have an open bar, reducing your wedding party, or even cancelling everything altogether and eloping!
The most important thing about your wedding is that you’re getting married- everything else is just details.
Not having custom made napkins isn’t going to make your wedding any less special.
6. Set up payment plans with your vendors and note payment dates in your calendars
Most wedding vendors offer payment plans, but if you haven’t taken them up on it, make sure you do! Breaking up the big payments into smaller chunks can really help you in the long run.
But don’t forget to mark your next payments in your calendar.
Personally, I use Google calendar for everything and if I don’t then my life will fall to pieces.
Use any calendar that you continually reference for important due dates and put down every payment you have to make in that calendar.
Doing this will give you a look at everything you have to pay for from now until your wedding date so you can budget accordingly!
7. Set your wedding date far enough in advance so you can budget how you need to
Kinda piggybacking off the note above, if you can’t afford your dream wedding on an 8 month timeline, then it’s okay to set your wedding date back by a few months, a year, a couple of years, or however long you need to.
There’s no definite rule that says your engagement should only be 9-12 months long. It’s your wedding, so you can do it your way!
That said, if you have family members who might not be able to attend your wedding if you push the wedding date back, then by all means keep your wedding date.
There are all sorts of other ways to make your wedding happen (just look at the other tips above!)
You made it to the end.
I hope you found a golden nugget or two of advice to help you along your wedding journey. And remember- take a deep breath and know that everything will be okay.