Budgets, budgets, budgets! That’s what it is all about when it comes to wedding planning, right!? You know by now that we love talking about Washington DC weddings and finances. Today, we are talking not just budgets, but how to stick to ‘em. As a follow up to her post on how to plan a wedding in Washington DC area for $15,000Emily is back to share her top five tips for staying on budget. Staying on any type of budget is tough, but it can be done! Take it away, Emily:

DIY-DC-wedding-Photo-Escort-Cards-Abby-Rufener-Photography DC-wedding-Donut-Cake-Abby-Rufener-Photography

Photo Credits: Abby Rufener Photography (left), IYQ Photography (right)

Be Honest
Be honest with yourself about how much you want to spend. Many people come to me with a very fuzzy idea of how much they want to spend on their weddings. Clients often have a number that they “would like to stay within in an ideal world” and a rather ambiguous maximum budget cap. Set a firm number you are comfortable with, and stick with it. It’s so much harder to hit a moving target!

Develop a Budget
Make a real budget. This may sound a little silly, but it’s the most important piece of advice. Make an honest-to-goodness budget with an allocation for each item you plan to purchase for your wedding. This takes some work, but if you don’t know how much you have to spend, or what you have to spend it on, you are guaranteed to spend more than you thought you would.

Get Help
Hire a wedding planner who will help you make the most targeted, effective use of your money so nothing goes to waste and everything is accounted for. (Check out our list of wedding planners in the Washington DC area.) Even if you cannot afford to hire a full service planner, many will provide a-la-carte services like budget preparation and vendor recommendations for a very reasonable fee.

Establish Priorities
You can go crazy adding detail after detail to your wedding plans. Keep it simple and serene by choosing a few key areas to focus on making your wedding especially lovely. Don’t worry about adding lots of small “extras” that quickly add up in terms of cost and preparation time.

Research
Find vendors that are a little off the beaten track. You might not get the best deal by hiring the first vendors that you find. These folks are surely fabulous, but there are also lots of great, perhaps less illustrious vendors, especially for stationery, favors, cake toppers, attire and jewelry. Do some research and get creative, and you will get a unique wedding and make the best use of your money.

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Thank you so much, Emily! If you are looking for a wedding planner in the Washington, DC area, be sure to check out Emily Dionne Events & Nuptials.

What are your tips or suggestions for staying on budget? Let us know!

* Emily Dionne Events & Nuptials is one of our fabulous sponsors, but didn’t pay for this feature. For more info, please review our editorial policies or consider becoming a sponsor.

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