The 5 simple “KISS tips” below will help you stay sane and on budget. You’ll get some negotiating tips to use when speaking with vendors as well as some simple, down to earth advice for organizing both your time and your budget.
These ideas are meant to be used by anyone, regardless of your budget. And let’s not forget; they encourage a lot of KISS’ing! What’s not to like?
1) Know How To Negotiate With Wedding Vendors
When it comes to weddings, vendors automatically charge a premium. This isn’t necessarily because they’re trying to rip you off (though this might be true for some). In most cases, they’re just looking out for their bottom line…just like you.
The first (and most important) lesson in negotiating is making sure EVERYONE gets what they want. Or at least feels like the do!
Two of the simplest techniques I use are called:
- “Play Dumb”
- “Shut Up!”
These aren’t the official names, but I know from experience (both from planning my wedding to negotiating with my wedding vendors to my husband) that they’re quite effective.
I think it’s because they’re disarming and make the person feel like they’re smart and you’re listening to them. Simply put, when used together, vendors will talk until you/they eventually come to a solution that will work for both of you.
2) Always Remain A Step Ahead Of Planning
Most planners tell you what you need to do and when. BUT, what they tend to do is JUST provide you with the deadlines.
While knowing the appropriate time to complete things is important, it leaves most brides to wait until the last few months to get things done. This can lead to a lot of stress – especially if “life things” pop up. It can also lead to wasted money since you’re making quick decisions, or if you end up buying things in the wrong order.
Set up your to do’s to get most of your planning and purchase decisions completed in the early phases of planning. This leaves plenty of room for procrastination (we all do it!), work, or family issues that might arise. While my kit lays this all out for you, it’s something you can do on your own. Just do it!
3) Get A Grasp Of Wedding Logistics and “Expected” Etiquette
When you’re planning a wedding (even a simple one) you’re going to be bombarded by all kinds of advice.
Advice from parents, friends, vendors, and Jane Doe at work (who you may never have talked to before!). This is going to confuse the heck out of you. Before you know it you won’t know what “proper wedding etiquette” means to the KISS Bride or whether or not you’re doing things the right way. Heck…you won’t even know what the “right way” is any more (if you ever did).
The rules for a simple wedding are a little more flexible, but in order to make those decisions with ease it helps to have a clue about what people are expecting.
Knowing what’s expected and understanding “common” logistics makes it easier for you to tweak your budget and plans for your simple event with confidence.
4) Control Your Budget…Don’t Let It Control You!
Budget Calculators are a big pet peeve of mine. While it’s useful for a bride to know approximately how much is generally spent on the different elements many brides make a lot of the online calculators their bible. This is a classic situation of letting your budget control you.
The problem with this is that it doesn’t consider your priorities. For example, who cares if most people spend $3000 on their wedding dress. What if you don’t want to? Instead, take control of your budget. Not only will you have more fun planning your wedding, you’ll also find that it makes things seem a little more simple.
The little game I created to help me is “Save, Splurge, or Scrimp”.
As the name implies, you have 3 price-levels for all the elements of wedding planning. YOU decide how to spend your money on each one of those elements!
5) Delegate Delegate Delegate
Wait a minute… Did I tell you to delegate?
Unless you can hire a wedding planner, there are a lot of situations where you have no other choice than to take care of things yourself. But, there are times where it’s completely unnecessary for you to be in charge.
If you put together an organized list of vendors, a list of tasks separate by team member, and general outline for the day you’ll be able to hand off a lot of tasks to your friends.
The great thing about putting something like this together is that it will help you on your big day – regardless of whether or not you delegate!
6) Know Which “Cheap” Ideas To Use
There is no shortage of ideas online for couples trying to plan cheap weddings. When you’re looking at them make sure to look at them critically though. Photos can be deceptive.
The most important thing to consider when deciding on something cheap is whether or not it will cost more in the end. Picking a venue that “seems” cheap but has all kinds of hidden costs is one of the most obvious examples.
My advice here is to look at costs carefully. Venues can be tricky. Same goes with DIY projects!
- Read on for 3 cheap wedding ideas to avoid.
So, what do you think of these tips for how to plan a wedding on a budget?
Please share your ideas, opinions and tips for how to plan a wedding on a budget in the comment area below.