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Wedding Financial Planning: How to prepare for your big day


The jittery feeling and excitement may have not settled down after the proposal or the decision you both finally made to tie the knot. 

And then you go to Google, type in the search box: "Things to prepare for wedding"

Hands up, ladies, we are all guilty of this.

From wedding invitations, decorations, color themes, wedding gowns, venues, entourage and guests - these all need preparation. 

But what MAY come last to our minds is how to get these all items ready. We need the moolah.

Here is our friendly advice (from experience) on how you can prepare for your big day - a wedding financial plan. 

Disclaimer: Please note that this worked for us, and it MAY or MAY NOT work for you. If it is sensible (and humane) enough, do give it a try.
Wedding Financial Planning
Are you ready for the BIG day, especially financially? 
A little background of my husband and I: we have been together for 7 years, so naturally, getting married has been talked about. And because that is where we intended to go, we started saving for it in about 1 year before we wanted to get married.

Separate Bank Account for Wedding Budget

Though we both have different savings accounts, we set up a separate bank account for our wedding budget we call it "Wedding Fund."  

Every pay day (or commission cycle), we would set aside 20% of our income to our wedding fund. Initially, our goal was to put up minimum 100 thousand pesos (but it went up to almost 300k!): that is 50 thousand pesos per person. 

We monitored our savings monthly and encouraged each other. We raced as to who gets to the 50k mark first. There were times when we slacked off, and times when we did great catching up with the goal. It was challenging, but it was actually fun. 

What happened? We really did it. Hooray! We were financially ready! 

But we wanted more. So we continued saving after our 50k mark. 

We also wanted to get the most out of our money. So, we assigned value to the expenses and we weeded out what is not important and what can be DIY-ed (do-it-ourselves)

Here's what we did:

Hotel Wedding Package

We got the most out of it. We booked a not-so-big hotel. We cancelled out what we didn't need and requested for what we wanted instead. 

We took out the photographer (because we did not see his works, and we wanted a great one). 

We haggled out with the florist and the cake supplier. We also had discounts for rooms.

Wedding Planner or Coordinator

We chose an on-the-day coordinator only since I can do the research and most of the planning. We just need an extra hand on the day. 

Our coordinator was a friend of my sister-in-law so I got a little discount and some extra complimentary service. 

The best thing about getting a coordinator is that they know suppliers for your budget. Our supplier scouted for us the best deal on the projector and mood lights. Even our photographer himself was amazed on the deal we got for the quality of the projector

Prenup

Our prenup. Ooh. It was fun. Two locations. All Free. 

First one was in a resort, since I was given a VIP accommodation from a client. 

The second location was in a public park. Our photographer is a friend who wanted to practice for his portfolio. 

He made us a teaser video too! We did the slideshow through Movie Maker.

Wedding Photographer

Our photographer? We didn't skimp on this. We got a good one since pictures are what you look at for many many years after the wedding.

Wedding Videographer

Didn't get one. We think we won't be watching it anyway. 

Wedding Gown and Dresses

I hunted for a first-user wedding gown and gowns for the female entourage (I wouldn't want to spend for gowns that I would never use again), while the male entourage had their barongs rented. 

Tip: haggle for the best package price and feel free to take off items in the package if you don't need it in exchange for a lower price, or swap it for something else you need. 

Wedding HMUA

Our hair and make-up artist was a friend of my brother-in-law, who also did HMUA when they were married. So rate was discounted and there were free made-up faces.

Choir

Our choir was referred to by a friend. Very minimal cost and very beautiful. The entourage's and bride's processional song was in mp3 played through a phone.

Wedding Invitation

We made our own invites with our desktop computer and home printer, only printed out for our sponsors and important guests, sent out  to other guests through Facebook and received RSVP through google docs. Thanks to National bookstore for affordable card-stock.

Wedding Cake

Our wedding cake doubled up as our souvenir. We opted for a mini cake on top of a tower and the rest are cupcakes. 

We had our supplier prepare boxes for the cupcakes so guests could easily take them out. 

We also prepared personalized pencils (stripped off a regular yellow pencil and placed a sticker), which guests could use for the puzzles (see below), and take home. 

Flowers

The flowers used in the church were taken to the reception area after the wedding sacrament. The flowers in the reception area are very minimal. We instructed for fun items on the table instead.

Wedding Program

Our program host was a friend, who had the experience and was very into her role so she basically prepared the flow of the program and games with our coordinator. It basically cost nothing, except for a little token and a big thank you. 

Wedding Tokens and Giveaways 

We assembled our own tokens of appreciation for our primary sponsors. We put in together coffee beans, flower tea, honey and a teaspoon (with a heart) in a box, added personalized labels and wrapped it in a box. It was more personal. 

Where did we get the items? Grocery (a simple repackaging and labeling can do wonders), a small souvenir shop (for the teaspoon and honey jar), and from China (through a friend).

Photo Booth 

Our photobooth was simply a tarp with repeated icons we made with our initials and the props we made were only DIY (illustration board eyes and glasses in a balloon stick)

The photographer for the booth was a friend (FREE again! yay!), or people could just use their own phones. We also prepared small while-you-wait puzzles, simply printed in colored boards.

Conclusion:

Basically, your best tool to get discounts and big savings for your wedding day are to DIY, have talented friends and friends who have connections. It's who you know. 

After the wedding, we still have enough money in our wedding funds, invested majority of it and bought some goodies for ourselves. 

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