Once you have gotten a basic idea of what the couple is imagining, you can begin to figure out how much the couple's dream wedding will cost, and how much money the bride and groom (or their families) are planning to spend.
Obviously, not every couple has unlimited funds to plan their nuptials. A good wedding planner will be able to take the couple's picture perfect wedding and scale it down to size as necessary to fit their budget. However, the budget will definitely influence many of the couple's decisions about the wedding. There are two ways to determine the cost of the wedding. The couple's first option is to set the budget and plan the wedding accordingly. The second option is to plan the couple's dream wedding and figure out how to fund the affair later.
Factors that will affect the cost of the wedding:
- Date and Time
- Number of Guests
- Flowers, Music, and Photography
- Ceremony and Reception Venues
You will quickly learn ways to manipulate these factors to cut costs as necessary. The bride and groom must be able to prioritize their wish list. If the couple's dream wedding is a black-tie affair in June with a catered, sit-down meal for 500 people in an expensive hotel ballroom, the couple better have a lot of cash or be ready to make some compromises. A good budget will take into account every aspect of the wedding. Your role is to help the bride and groom find ways to choose the most important elements and downscale in 30 other ways as necessary.
The black-tie affair in the fancy hotel ballroom could cost significantly less if the couple chooses to have the wedding during an off-season month or day (think a Friday night in April or November) or has a late-evening reception with drinks and dessert. An open bar, designer gown, live music, or elaborate floral arrangements are all expensive options that can be scaled back to cut costs -- unless the couple is set on that specific detail. Odds are the bride and groom are not the only ones with big ideas for their big day. Parents and families on both sides will likely have their own idea of what the wedding should entail. If the couple's parents are footing a large portion of the bill, remind the bride and groom that their parent's opinions should be taken into consideration.