Wedding Planning 101
Due to unforeseen circumstances, you may have to postpone your wedding date, use these ideas to announce to your friendsRead More
All 2020 brides are officially allowed to be bridezillas.
Just kidding. But we can admit that being a “corona bride” is no easy feat. A wedding involves meticulous planning, lots of opinions, and it can be extremely stressful. Of course, there’s the fun, celebrations and love behind it, too. Put simply, it’s a lot of emotions to handle. Add to that a global pandemic and—see what I mean by not easy?
Pandemic aside, one of the most challenging parts of wedding planning is the budget. First, creating one and then sticking with it. Pinterest and Instagram are great tools for gaining inspiration, but there aren’t budget filters—only editing ones.
Here’s how I stayed on budget when I postponed my wedding due to Covid-19—and how you can, too.
When you decide to postpone, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. After speaking with your fiancé, venue, vendors and immediate family members, you can start migrating everything over to your new date.
Figure out exactly how much time you have until your new big day, make sure you have a copy of updated contracts and put new payment due dates on your calendar. Communicate with your guests so they can begin changing plans of their own.
If you decide to get legally married on your original date, whether you’re eloping or hosting a mini ceremony, take inventory of what you need to make that day special for you. No matter how simple or intricate your first celebration will be, you might need to consider some additional expenses, including another dress, small décor, flowers and your marriage license.
I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders when we set our (original) wedding budget. We had everything accounted for, and we could start making purchases, worry-free, because we knew our price limitations.
Revisiting our budget after we postponed was not a fun part of wedding planning. But just like the first time around, I knew it was important to have a budget in place and stick with it.
When speaking with your vendors, you might learn they aren’t all available on the same date. It’s possible you will need to change a vendor and could—unfortunately—lose a deposit in the process. (Remember, business owners are impacted by the coronavirus, too). Keep track of this in your budget 2.0 so that you can adjust accordingly. You might be able to save enough between now and your new date to make up the difference in your lost deposit, or you may need to lower your budget by that amount.
You’ll probably also be tempted to do some emotional spending during this time. That was (one of) my reactions throughout the grieving process. But when you take time to rationally go through your budget and commit to sticking to it, it will help you avoid any urges.
Like your perfectly planned budget, you probably also had a detailed planning checklist with deadlines for when various things needed to be done. Invitations sent, RSVPs received, dress altered, the list goes on.
Postponing your wedding halts everything that was already in motion. Take a step back and remind yourself what you were in the middle of pre-pandemic. You may have additional time to look at the two invitation templates you were torn between. You could even decide to scrap paper invites and go completely digital.
Whatever the case, rework your planning checklist and timeline the same way you rebalanced your budget. Staying organized will make all the difference.
I was 60 days away from my wedding when we postponed. Now I have an extra four months until our new big day.
You may have been rushing to stay on top of your many bridal tasks before you postponed. But remember, you have time to slow down and enjoy the process.
After looking back and deciding if there’s anything you want to change about your original plans, you can look forward again. Maybe you’ll decide to use this newfound time to relax and binge watch wedding movies with your fiance, or perhaps you’ll choose to DIY your entire bridal parties’ bouquets. If you’ve seen anything creative you want to incorporate into your ceremony or reception, consider using this time to make your vision come to life.
For example, we wanted to have personalized koozies at the bar but didn’t have the time to customize a design. Now, we do!
Make sure the cost of your new additions will fit into your budget, and if not, that you can save to cover this added expense.
In addition to your wedding budget, which is probably your most essential financial tool, other tools can help you save money or earn more on the spending you’re doing.
A travel credit card can be a valuable way to earn rewards on your wedding purchases. Consider applying for a rewards credit card and use it for any payments that don’t charge a credit-card processing fee.
Then, pay your wedding-related credit card balance each month from your wedding savings account. That way, you avoid interest charges and stay on top of your budget.
Finally, reap the rewards! My fiance and I earned free round-trip flights for our honeymoon from Philadelphia to Bali with credit-card points, thanks to our Chase Sapphire Preferred. Although we are going a year later than planned, we’re able to rebook without any out-of-pocket costs.
Wedding planning has its ups and downs, and redoing tasks that you previously marked complete can be frustrating. With a budget in place, make sure you’re celebrating along the way and remind yourself why you’re doing it all—because you’re getting married!
Aly Russo is the senior outreach specialist at FinanceBuzz, a personal finance site on a mission to democratize financial independence. FinanceBuzz empowers its readers by teaching them how to utilize credit-card rewards, boost income with side hustles, and more. Aly leads the press efforts on a small but mighty team.