Calendars and calculators symbolize wedding budget tips

Weddings Should Always Be Positive

Many people believe that wedding planning has to be stressful. However, we would like to debunk that myth right here and now. We completely understand why there is a recipe for stress. First, you’re making a lot of purchases you’ve never made before. Secondly, there’s a great deal of family pressure from all angles on things you’ve never considered before. And last but not least, you likely have a vision for what your perfect day will look like and want to do everything in your power to make it a reality. We feel for you, we really do! And this is why we want to share some really helpful and important wedding budget tips with you.

We’ve been in the wedding business for decades and we see the same stressed out looks time after time. With that said, we believe part of our job while working with you is to also offer our professional perspective on all aspects of your wedding. The majority of your wedding experience is spent planning the big day so that’s often where you need the most help. Most of the stress we’ve seen related to planning is based on your budget. Since we know that’s a very real concern for anyone planning a wedding in our hometown of Cleveland, here are our wedding budget tips to help you out.

Set An Actual Budget

Woman at desk with calculator, determining wedding budget.

Planning your wedding doesn’t have to be stressful. Take a breath and use SSE’s wedding budget tips to guide you along the way.

There’s a joke that’s been going on as long as any of us have been in the industry when it comes to weddings and budgets. It goes something like this…a wedding vendor will ask the couple, “What’s your budget?” and will get the reply, “We don’t really have one.”. The wedding professional, knowing they need an actual number in order to help their would-be client then says, “Great! Let me show you what we did last year for this client for around one million dollars.” (While these types of weddings don’t happen everyday in Cleveland, they do take place.) The couple then says, “Woah! We don’t have a million dollars to spend on our wedding reception!”. Then the wedding pro responds, “Oh, I see. Well, let’s look at what we’ve done for one hundred thousand dollars….”. This goes on until they actually find a reasonable threshold.

The moral of that story is, couples do have budgets. In fact, everyone has a budget for everything. The reason that budgets are seemingly a taboo subject is that this is your dream day. There should be no restrictions on a dream. Except, it’s not really a dream once you get to these meetings – you’re in reality now. The reality is, you don’t want to go into debt for a wedding reception. We don’t want you to go into one either. Therefore, the first of our wedding budget tips is you should ask the tough questions up front with everyone who gets a say in your wedding. By doing this first, you can come with your prepared budget when you meet with professionals. True creatives can and will give you at least a version of your dream within your budget. Come test out our creativity and give us boundaries!


Two people reviewing a budget graphI bet you’re surprised to see a wedding professional telling you to negotiate when meeting with vendors. The reality is, most of us are small businesses. This means the person you are talking with is more of an empowered deal maker than a difficult sales person. The disclaimer we’ll put right out there is that the more in-demand the wedding professional is, the less they have to gain from negotiating. Someone will pay their prices for what they are offering if you don’t so they aren’t likely to budge. That’s why we suggest a different tactic if your goal is to work with true professionals.

Most of the pricing you’ll see are package pricing. Anyone who believes in the value of what they offer won’t give you a discount because you ask for it. However, they will break the package apart so it makes sense for everyone. This is one of our main wedding budget tips – ask for a custom package based around your budget. Just because someone has packages doesn’t mean they only sell those. Most of the time packages exist for simplicity because clients don’t know what they want. If you do your homework, are willing to compromise, and can find a creative vendor, you stand a good chance of getting the spirit of what you want for far less money.

Communicate With Your Team

Young couple meeting with parents.Wedding budget-related stress often happens when different parties all want specific things and there’s only so much money to go around. These issues can be avoided a number of ways. High on our list of wedding budget tips is to not shy away from communicating. The old-school “bride’s parents pay for everything” tradition is becoming less common. Sharing the financial responsibilities has become the norm. Consider giving people who contribute a stake in the decision making so everything is fair. Remember, this is a party not their position in your life, it doesn’t have to be personal. Making lists of what’s important to everyone (like the guest list) and the necessities will ground the planning in reality. Ultimately, the people in your life are worth more than any element of a reception. Remind yourself of that fact as well as all involved. This will help alleviate much of the stress.

Wedding Budget Tips To Remember

Make a list from what’s most important to least and make compromises on the bottom half in order to get what’s on the top half. If a specific caterer is what matters more than anything, maybe look at a day of the week with a lower room rental minimum in order to get them. Consider that lighting covers more of the room than decor if you have a very specific vision of the ambiance that you want. If your heart is set on a specific wedding entertainer, negotiate on the length of time they are willing to give. It’s worth asking! All in all, we believe that you should do everything in your power to eliminate stress while planning your wedding and should have the least amount possible once it’s over. Of all the wedding planning tips we have this is the most important one: make the whole experience fun!