The budget is by far one of the hairiest topics in the entire wedding planning universe. Brides often wear it as a badge of honor, if they feel they’ve saved enough, or as a scarlet letter, if it’s been blown to kingdom come. For those of you looking to save, we’re going to have a quick discussion of what to look out for if you’re on a budget and determined to stick to it. It is beyond important to remember that cheap and affordable are not always the same thing. Be wary that you do not sacrifice quality for the sake of price. The truth of the matter is that you do indeed get what you pay for. That isn’t to say that there aren’t high quality vendors in every budget category- because there certainly ARE! Talk to your recently married friends, ask around, and see what you can find. But be cautious, because occasionally, a deal that is too good to be true is exactly that. Get references, check for insurance and make sure you don’t settle. This is your big day after all.
There is a screaming difference between cheap and affordable. Things that are cheap tend not to be well made. If you buy cheap furniture, it will likely fall apart when you move it to your next apartment. If you buy cheap clothes (you know, the ones you plan to wear to the club once and done?), they’ll likely fray and fall apart in the wash. The deal is the same with wedding vendors. The “cheap” ones are probably cheap for a reason. Do your homework, be a well educated bride, and if you get a bad feeling- DON’T SIGN THE CONTRACT! Trust me, you’ll regret it later- and I know this from experience. A bride I know signed with a photo/video studio for what she thought was a great price. Turns out it was “cheap,” not affordable. Six months after the wedding, the studio closed its doors for good. This bride didn’t get her albums or her video and she was out quite a bit of money. And you know what? That bride was me!
An affordable wedding vendor is one who has packages in your price range, and is not afraid to admit that some of what they do may be too expensive if you’re on a tight budget. They’re proud of their quality, and they understand why they charge what they charge. They value their time and yours, and expect you to do the same. And their services will be oh so worth the investment. To sum up, there is a difference between cheap and affordable, and you will know it when you see it.