The second step is to get estimates from all vendors and venues in writing so that you can take them home and evaluate which is going to work best for your budget. If you start to see that you are going over the amount you expected to spend, then it’s time to do some trimming. There are a lot of hidden costs that will be arising in the near future, so be sure to get the best price possible for what you need.
The key word in that last sentence is -- need. When I meet with a bride and groom who emphasize the importance of staying on budget but are insisting on Tahitian dancers and Swarovksi studded escort cards to greet their guests at the reception, I begin to wonder how serious they are about that so called budget they need stay under. Remember , if you want to share your special day with friends and family but cannot afford to do it in a bigger than life type of way, it doesn't matter! Getting married is more than putting on a show for your guests, its about love & unity and there is a way to share that without going broke!
After gathering your estimates and choosing which vendors and venues you will be working with, start making payments. The sooner you start paying small portions of your wedding, the easier it will be on your pockets. Start with initial deposits and space them out. After deposits have been paid, try to set aside money every month and pay off your vendors on the day before the wedding or one by one before your wedding date.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give you in order to make sure you truly cover all bases, eliminate a great deal of stress and get the price possible, is to hire a wedding planner from the very beginning. Wedding planners usually know exactly what you need, provide great ideas & insight and can obtain better pricing from vendors than you can as a retail customer. Most of the time you will get better quality service, more for your money and have a much smoother wedding experience. So shop around and see who can offer you the best all inclusive package for the best price. I guarantee it will be the best thing you ever decided to do, that is, besides getting married.