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12 Tips for Planning Your Dream Wedding

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Get the dream wedding you deserve with smart wedding budget planning and more

Getting married? Congratulations! But even though you’re excited about the upcoming celebration, you’re probably also already wondering and worrying about all the things you have to get ready before the wedding bells ring. There’s the venue, catering, the guest list, and so many more things to get right.

Don’t worry: the right plan can make prepping for your big day much more manageable. It’s even more important to plan properly if you have a dream wedding that you want to realize. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 12 key tips you can use to plan your dream wedding to perfection.

Average wedding cost breakdown

It’s one thing to fantasize about your dream wedding – it’s another thing completely to actually make it happen! For most Americans, the limiting factor isn’t their imaginations: it’s cost.

The average American wedding costs about $22,500, with the most expensive part being the venue. But many other elements of a fun wedding and after-party can massively add to the total bill, including catering, clothes, entertainment, and so on.

That leads us to our first big tip…

Settle on a budget

… Which is to make a budget for your wedding. The budget for your wedding doesn’t have to be limited to what you and your partner have in your savings accounts. But you should determine a “price ceiling” for your wedding ahead of time so you know how much you’re willing to pay in the long term for the wedding of your dreams.

Budget planning for a dream wedding

A budget is useful when planning your dream wedding because it forces you to make decisions and keeps you grounded. Plus, it stops you from going overboard when getting caught up in the moment.

Live a little with the right loans

The right loans can free up your dream wedding planning and let you get the dress, venue, or cake you’ve always wanted without having to compromise.

Personal loans are usually ideal for covering the cost of a wedding. Your friends at Regional Finance might be able to help if you’re looking for a personal loan for your big day. Like our holiday loans, our fixed-rate personal loans are fast, stable, and manageable.

To make sure you stick with your budget, take out a loan only for how much you need to reach your price ceiling. That way, you can pay back the loan on time and still get your dream wedding with all the bells and whistles.

Prioritize your “must-haves”

Speaking of bells and whistles, remember that even unlimited funds can’t guarantee you’ll get everything you initially want. Maybe the venue you really want is booked on the perfect date for your wedding, or maybe the catering company you want to reserve is closing down.

Every wedding has to have compromises, so start tackling things on your to-do list based on what you absolutely “must” have. Try to reserve or purchase the most important elements of your dream wedding ASAP – that way, any compromises you have to make will affect the parts of your wedding you don’t care so much about, like the size of the cake or the band for the reception.

Choose the right destination

You’ll also want to lockdown the where of your wedding quickly. Picking the destination early is convenient for your guests so they can RSVP and so you can reserve the ideal venue before anyone else.

Want to celebrate on the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean islands or Dominican Republic? You’d better get tickets and reserve the venue fast – the best destination wedding locations are popular picks all year round.

If you’re worried that your dream wedding might cost too much because of travel expenses, travel loans from Regional Finance can help to cover the gap between your finances and the price of airplane tickets, hotels, and more. It’s your wedding and it only comes once; live a little and travel to tie the knot if that has always been your dream!

Destination wedding? Check out packages/all-inclusive tickets

If you do decide to dream big and have a destination wedding, look into all-inclusive resorts and travel packages. Plenty of popular wedding destinations have year-round specials. Picking the right one could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars and remove a lot of the guesswork of planning a wedding.

Certain packages or all-inclusive resorts also include catering, entertainment, and so on. If you’re a bride or groom-to-be who just wants to get married in a beautiful location and doesn’t want to make a million decisions, this tip is for you!

Choose the right date

Picking a good date is just as important as picking the perfect destination. Weekend weddings are popular, but remember that venue prices are usually more expensive from Friday to Sunday.

Saving a date for a dream wedding by putting it on a calendar

Seasonality plays a big role in wedding cost as well; typically, summer and autumn weddings are much more expensive than weddings during the “off-season.” Venues will also have fewer openings during prime times.

Of course, you’ll have to consider the needs of your guests when naming the date for your big day. Pro tip: send out a few tentative dates to your guest list and see what seems to work the best for most people. Then make your decision based on your guests’ responses and your personal preference.

Find an affordable venue

Remember how we noted that venues were the most expensive parts of most weddings? Heed that advice! Your wedding is about more than the chapel or dance hall where it takes place. You can often improve the other aspects of your wedding by choosing an affordable venue and using the leftover cash to pay for great catering, a wedding planner, or the dress/tuxedo of your dreams.

Cut the guest list down

By the way, no dream wedding was ever made perfect because too few people were invited, but the more guests you invite, the more expensive your wedding is. Our advice? Cut your guest list down to the people you really want to be there and who will make your day special.

If you have an aunt twice removed you’ve never met, do they need an invite? Think about who you’ve always dreamed of being present at your wedding, then invite them! A little wiggle room in the guest list is never a bad thing, of course, but keeping the list manageable is better than letting it spiral out of control.

Send the invites early

Once you’ve got your guest list finalized, be sure to send out your wedding invitations ASAP. The sooner you get your invitations to your guests, the faster they can reply and the faster you can put together the attendee list.

Doing this quickly will be a big time-saver and relieve you of a major headache. Then you can enjoy the rest of the planning process during the lead-up to your wedding!

Don’t skimp for photos and catering

A successful dream wedding needs two big things more than anything else (aside from the couple, of course): good food and good pictures. So don’t be cheap when hiring a professional photographer or ordering food.

If someone in your family is talented with a camera, you can hire them. But make sure they are up to snuff – your wedding photos will only be taken once, and you’ll want to relive the memories of your perfect day in the years to come.

Similarly, good wedding food is worth its weight in gold (or dollars, or euros). Hire a competent catering team that can whip up some tasty food for you and your guests before it’s cake time.

Consider a wedding coordinator/planner

As you can see from this basic list, planning a dream wedding is far from easy. If you’ve got a little room in your budget, think about hiring a professional wedding planner or coordinator to take some of the burden off your shoulders.

These pros can streamline your wedding day and leave you to focus only on marrying your dream guy or gal. For many couples, hiring a wedding planner is the best decision they can make and the only way they can really enjoy their wedding day in the moment.

Meet vendors in person

Last but not least, try to meet each of your vendors or major wedding staff in person at least once before the big day, including your caterer, photographer, venue lead, and so on. Meeting them in person will give you the chance to express any concerns you might have or ask questions more naturally than over email or phone calls.

Plus, in-person conversations are the best chance to make any last-minute adjustments you (or your soon-to-be spouse) want before you walk down the aisle!

Buckle up, get ready, and have fun!

The information and materials provided on this website are intended for informational purposes only and should not be treated as an offer or solicitation of credit or any other product or service of Regional Finance or any other company. This website may contain links to websites controlled or offered by third parties. We have not reviewed all of the third-party sites linked to this website and are not responsible for the content, products, privacy policy, security, or practices of any linked third-party website. The inclusion of any third-party link does not imply any endorsement by Regional Finance of the linked third party, its website, or its product or services. Use of any third-party website is at your own risk.


References accessed December 19, 2021:

The average wedding cost $19,000 in 2020, about $10,000 less than the year before

This wedding savings strategy comes with added risk

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