Budget is Not a Bad Word

Alright dearies, 

I’m getting on my soapbox, probably gonna step on some toes, but here we go.


I was having a consultation with a past bride; we were discussing details of the wedding day; I’m not sure what prompted her to say but at some point she lowered eyes and softly said something along the lines of “working with a budget,” like she felt bad about it.

I don’t know how many times I have read a post in my many wedding photographer facebook groups lamenting about “Budget Brides.”

And it needs to stop.

Everyone has a budget; some are big, some are small, but every single person planning a wedding is operating on a budget. I was absolutely a budget, DIY bride when I planned my wedding. Do I wish I had some more finances to work with? Sure. Do I have some things I would go back and change, probably spent more money on? Yeah! Am I glad no one went into debt to pay for our wedding day? OH yes.

Now I totally get the sticker shock that comes from wedding planning. Some is illegitimate markup for the word “wedding”, but for a lot of wedding services it is necessary for them to run a legit business that ensures you have a great experience working with them.

To recap: all brides are Budget Brides.

What’s important is that you don’t become a cheap bride. 

A Cheap Bride could have a 6 figure budget but ends up nickel-and-diming their wedding vendors because all they see is dollar signs and not the hard work those people are putting into her event; this leads said bride to never being happy with any of her wedding products or services.

Ways to avoid being a Cheap Bride?

Do lots of research! The Wedding Report will let you answer some simple questions and give you a ballpark estimate for you budget, as well as averages for your area.

When sticker shock hits: step away from the planning, breathe, stay off Pinterest, evaluate what’s really important to you on your wedding day. Pretty sure there’s a whole Gilmore Girls episode about this when Suki was planning her wedding.

Get rid of these phrases: “doesn’t cost an arm and a leg” “reasonably priced”–these phrases mean nothing because everything is reasonably priced for someone. Comments like these mean you’re simply looking at the cost and not the value. If you’re purely looking for something at the lowest price, you will be successful in saving a buck, but will you be satisfied with the end result?

Know your expectations: setting realistic expectations is the best way to enjoy your wedding and the planning process

Prioritize: if your budget size doesn’t let you have everything under the sun, pick the most important thing and ensure that gets priority in the budget. I recommend having 3-5 items that you prioritize (clearly I think photography should be one).

Think outside the box: Consider options that aren’t necessarily wedding-intended.

Remember why you’re doing this: your marriage is the most important aspect of your wedding day!

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