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We all have regrets - three mistakes that brides can sometimes make

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Oh man, I regret…

 How many times have you said that? Hindsight being twenty/twenty and all that, we end up saying this too many times. And sometimes it is something simple that we can just brush off and mark it in our “never to repeat” experiences. But how destructive this would be when planning a wedding?

Expounding on last week’s blog about the importance of learning about your financial mindset and creating a budget, we will talk about certain experiences that real brides have had planning their wedding and things that they ended up saying “I regret” about. If you’re wondering how this links with budgeting and finance, stay with me.

Overspending on the wedding dress

Here is one that is heard a lot – “I shouldn’t have spent so much on my dress. I only wore it once and now that is money I’m not able to use (insert monthly expense here)”. Think about it. Now, disclaimer. I’m a firm believer of you finding your dream dress that will make a statement. It is your day, why not make several statements? Just consider that if you’re going to splurge on your dress, having a budget is a great visual reminder. What is that reminder saying? If you are going to spend nearly $3,000 on a dress, then you have to cut funding from another category to be able to afford it.

Not hiring a wedding planner

Another that brides have said that they regretted is not allocating funds to hire a wedding planner. A lot of times venues provide venue coordinators. Let me be the first to let you know unless they say “wedding coordinator”, expect to only receive help with areas that pertain to the wedding venue. Some venue coordinators are really helpful and do liaise with vendors that will be involved with the wedding. However, (the majority of the time) it is primarily with their preferred vendors (which you could be paying a premium price for).

There’s a marked difference between and venue coordinator and a wedding planner or day of wedding coordinator.  These brides have said that they regretted not hiring a coordinator because they were not able to enjoy their wedding day, having to manage vendors, contracts and guests. So essentially, they spent most of their wedding day in a blur. 

A wedding planner or coordinator is there to manage the background chaos that occurs on the wedding day. More like a mediator and personal adviser that navigates you through the day, ensuring that you are present in every moment. This again should be budgeted, because think about it, do you really want to spend your day managing and worrying about everything that can go wrong? Or do you want to be in the moment when you’re pronounced husband and wife so you can be excited about your first kiss as Mr and Mrs?

Not making enough time for each other

The final regret I’d like to share today is “not setting enough time aside before the wedding for each other”. Planning a wedding is stressful. With help, it can be less so. Although sometimes relationships have been known to be ruined during the wedding planning process. It is very important to set aside time for yourself and your soon to be fiancé before the wedding. This time will allow you to collect your thoughts and have a safe space that does not involve any wedding planning anything. Don’t become caught up in the phase, because the wedding day is only the first stop on the journey to forever. Budgeting is essential here too because if everything is locked into the wedding, where is the “get to grow with each other” time? You used to date each other before the proposal and the talks of marriage. Maybe it wasn’t always the fancy restaurants, maybe sometimes it was an apple pie from McDonalds, or maybe it was ice cream in the park. Budgeting a miscellaneous expense would compensate for the times when you both just need a break from the crazy, and to be able to take the time and just love on each other. Maybe this calls for a weekend where you get away or a stay-cation involving Netflix and some popcorn. Make time for fun with each other.

Hope these tidbits encourages you to try to live with no regrets and to set you up for success. Every decision that you make always has a consequence, and that applies to weddings too. There are lots more regrets that various brides have, what advice or thoughts have you come up against that you would like to share?

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$MONEY$ BABY, $MONEY$ BABY!!!

Hey everyone!  We're blessed with another day Y'all. We have another opportunity to do great things and be our awesome selves. So today, I want to continue our discussion on details involved in the wedding planning process. I am excited, are you?

The topic today is finances and budgeting. Okay, I know some of you mentally said “ugh” followed by "boring" - or your brain immediately started going into sleep mode. Because really, who thinks about finances as a fun topic other than accountants (and me on the d/l)? Well, hate to be the bearer of boring news, but finances when planning a wedding are important, so we have to talk about it.

Are you ready? Here we go.

Did you know that the number one reason for divorce today in the United States of America, is listed as financial reasons?  This is because each person has a different money mindset. I found out just yesterday that I am a financial dreamer (the dreamer part I knew because I already have franchises in my head for Unique Elements, a story for a later time). Who knew that it wasn’t just practical to have a financial advisor, it was imperative for who I am as a person/businesswoman?  It is these things that we need to know and understand before we say “I do” in order to better equip us for marriage.

You may be wondering how that applies to you.

Let’s talk about two very opposite experiences I’ve had planning weddings.

Wedding planning scenario one: the bride was very much dedicated to the wedding planning process and understood that deposits and subsequent payments had to be made to secure the vendors needed for the wedding day. The groom, on the other hand, refused to cooperate or allow her to release any payments until the vendors were basically threatening to not provide their service (a recipe for financial disaster if not corrected soon).

In the second scenario, the bride and groom had budgeted their wedding (the first scenario had a budget and due dates as well) and created a separate account to pay for all of their wedding-related expenses. Due dates were discussed and vendors that could be paid off before the wedding day were paid (e.g. florists, wedding planner, cake). Which do you think was easier to work with?

It comes back to what we spoke about last week, about premarital counseling and discovering who you are and what love languages you speak. This week I’d like to take it a step further and press you to figure out your money mindsets, one partner is always the Nerd (apologies to all who may feel some way about the use of this term) or the Free Spirit. This categorization is brought to you courtesy of Dave Ramsey, who does an awesome financial course called Financial Peace University. Check it out here. You may not agree with all of his theories, but 80% of what is taught makes a lot of sense, and I encourage every couple to take the class. At the least, it helps you to view yourselves and categorize your spending habits. This will save you tons and tons and tons, and did I say tons? Of arguments in the future. It can save you many arguments during the planning process.

Finances are important, and as every wise woman who’s ever been married before has repeatedly told me, I share this with you, "start like you mean to finish". Talk about everything. Finances, especially. Talk about who is going to pay what. Separate accounts or joint? Or as a beautiful couple who taught us about financial peace said, three accounts – one joint for billing, and two separate for pleasure - now let’s not get crazy and think 90% of the paycheck goes to pleasure and 10% in bills. Or even that it will be skewed with one person saving more than contributing to bills. This would have to be discussed at length, and a plan formulated based on your budget and to have an equal payout.

However you decide to sort it out, it is very beneficial to your marriage and mental health to know where you are financially as a couple. After all, your guy may want to have some drinks with his friends or catch a game and some drinks. And we know, us ladies want hair and nails done. It just needs to be budgeted so everyone can have some breathing room and not feel choked.  

That is why as a planner asking about your budget and helping you to formulate one if you do not have one is so important. It is like the analogy from last week — compasses and starting points. Knowing where you are and where you need to go makes it easier to chart a way to your destination. Your destination right now is marriage, with the hope of forever. The destination is not the wedding day, that is the first stop on the journey. I love planning weddings, and sharing with you helpful traits to avoid or to implement. But the ultimate goal is to succeed. Better together remember? Let’s become more aware of who we are and become more successful in our marriages. We are more than just the wedding day.    

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