Planning a wedding is so much fun that it can be easy to understand. Splurge here, spend a little more there, and before you know it, you’ve committed to a wedding that’s beyond your means. With deposits placed and final payments looming, this can be a very scary situation for the bride or her parents. Find out what steps you can take to save your wedding when you run out of money.
It is actually very easy to end up planning a wedding that costs too much, especially since planning can take many months. When you’re only paying one-third to one-half of what they actually cost, it can be easy to lose sight of the grand total. For some families, it’s not until they get closer to their wedding day and start adding up all the final overdue payments that they realize they can’t cover their bills. This is a horrible situation for any family. What do you? Cancel the wedding? Make your suppliers rigid? Charge the entrance to the reception? No no and no.
The first thing to do is have a frank conversation with your wedding venue and vendors. Explain your situation and ask how you can resolve it. Be clear with them that it is important to them that your bills are paid so that no one thinks that you are trying to avoid paying what you owe them. Perhaps the florist would be willing to downsize the centerpieces to cut costs. Or you could skip the expensive extras like crystals in flower bouquets to match your crystal bridal jewelry. The photographer may allow you to reduce to a smaller package or have him come to the ceremony and only through the cutting of the cake, rather than taking pictures from the pre-ceremony to the last dance. As long as the vendors haven’t wasted money on supplies for your wedding, they may be willing to renegotiate your contract.
As for your reception location, call the event manager immediately and make an appointment. Calculate your finances before the meeting to get a clear idea of the difference between what you owe and what you can actually pay. If the gap is not insurmountable, it might be possible to get creative with the wedding menu to reduce the balance (again, this would have to be before anything has been ordered for your reception). Choose less expensive entrees and appetizers, substitute imported French champagne for sparkling wine, or switch from a full open bar to just wine and beer. In some cases, this will be enough to reduce your balance to what you can afford.
If you still can’t pay what the venue owes, you will have to consider more drastic measures. Could you change the time of an evening wedding reception to brunch? You could save thousands that way. Another possible solution is to change the wedding day from Saturday to Thursday or Sunday. Sites generally charge less for non-prime days and may be willing to let you make a change to save something from the situation. While the idea of changing your wedding date may be difficult to accept, remember that you will still look just as gorgeous in your wedding dress and pearl bridal jewelry on a Thursday as you would on a Saturday.
Finally, you should get rid of the extras that you have not yet committed to buy. You can have a wedding reception without favors, just like you can have a ceremony without a soloist. Trimming can be difficult, but it will be worth it to find a way to save your wedding.