The dream wedding day, the romantic lights, the beautiful flowers, the stunning cake—being a wedding and event pro means we get to experience love and magic all the time. Couples come to us bright-eyed, full of social media-inspired aspirations. It’s our job to gently ground our couples in the reality that magic comes with a, wait for it…budget. It’s easy to get swept up in the aesthetic details and shy away from talking about and setting a realistic and responsible budget. Discussing money can be the most uncomfortable and difficult topic in the whole wedding planning process, but you can show your clients that building a budget doesn’t have to be a daunting task. That instead, it can be a very rewarding and smooth part of the planning process. You have the power to change the narrative with the Aisle Planner Budget Tool and make a budget that will wow your clients. A great digital client experience is everything to the couples of today and tomorrow, and you can give them that and more by personalizing their budget to meet their needs!
Start With the Right Questions
- What is the estimated total budget?
- Who's paying for what? Are parents contributing? How much are they contributing and to what area of the budget? What is the couple contributing? Are other family members/friends contributing money or time? Is an aunt paying for the cake and the grandparents paying for a photographer? These are all of the specific details that need to be out in the open.
- What vendors do you want to hire? What do you plan on purchasing as is? What do you want to DIY? What other expenses are there? Create a detailed breakdown of all expenses that will be needed, right down to the engagement/bridal party and rehearsal dinner attire. Being on the same page with your clients will help you create a budget perfectly suited for them.
- What areas are a priority/what areas do you want to spend more money on?
Couples should each get to rank their preferred areas of spending and from there you can narrow down the overlap and create an agreed-upon budget for each area.
Rein in Expectations Based on Their Budget
Now you’ve gotten to know your couple’s vision better and you have a better idea of the numbers you’re working with. It’s time to get raw and honest about what the couple’s dream areas are and what the budget is. Remember that you have the experience with pricing, they don’t. They see pretty pictures online without truly understanding the price behind them. You'll have to break it to them that stationery is actually expensive and may take more money than expected. Or help them distribute their money across several areas equally or focus on a specific area.
This is when your expert recommendations and connections will impress them. Show them how they can reduce their decor budget by choosing a location that's so breathtaking already, little décor is necessary. Or teach them about all of the ceremony to reception repurposing options. If your couple is on a tighter budget or even if they aren’t, there are some wonderful money-saving ideas in this article, 5 Tips for Dealing With a Couple Whose Pinterest is Bigger Than Their Wedding Budget.
Remind your clients that the budget is there to help them stay on track but that it’s alive and subject to change. It’s not completely set in stone but it's important to follow it as much as possible and edit and adapt as needed.
"The budgeting tool is essential. I love how the invoice feature on the contacts tab populates directly to the budget. It's clean, easy, and so user-friendly. It really makes communicating the budget to ket financial contributors easier than any other method." -Natalia's Event Planning
Helpful Budget Tool Resource Guide
Aisle Planner’s Budget Tool is a game-changer for wedding pros and couples alike. With its in-depth, step-by-step customization, transparency, and accessibility, it's a fan favorite. Once you’ve organized a preliminary budget that accurately represents the client’s needs, you can introduce your clients to the budget and download the budget. You’ll get to watch them build a positive relationship with their wedding budget and see the progress right from their phones.
If you’re new to the AP Budget Tool or need a refresher, check out our intro video on how to track vendor payments, expenses, and due dates.
- An Intro to the Budget Manager
- Tracking Vendor Invoices in Aisle Planner’s Budget
- Tracking Expenses Off of the Budget
Below are all things budget categories and updates so you can simplify and organize at a level that will have your client’s in awe!
- Adding and Reordering Budget Categories
- Turning Off Pre-Populated Category Budget Estimates
- Updating Your Total Budget For a Project
Learn how to set permissions so your clients can view the budget without changing any numbers.
No couple or wedding budget is the same. Luckily you’re equipped with the Aisle Planner suite of tools to meet them where they're at and take them where they want to go.
Hero photo courtesy Lovely Light Imagery