I am very excited that my younger sister is finally getting married this fall. As excited as I am, I must admit, I had forgotten just how time consuming it is to plan a wedding! Being the sister, maid of honor and the only real family member round, I’ve been asked to help the couple take care of a lot of things. Not that I mind, but my to-do list seems to be growing by the day! Though it’s been a few years since my own wedding, there are few things all couples should consider when planning a wedding.
For me, it goes without saying that the very first thing that needs to be decided is the budget, but I have friends who planned their weddings with seemingly unlimited funds. There is no need to start your marriage taking on unnecessary debt for a party! Once the budget is decided, a more realistic timeline can be established too. Another friend of mine was engaged and married in less than five months because she determined her budget, figured out what she wanted and executed quickly.
Most engagements are at least a year in length giving time to save and plan appropriately. Take the first few weeks to sit down and figure out what you can pull together in your desired time frame. Don’t start really planning anything until you have money figured out (this includes finding out if parents plan to help financially). I had my heart set on a venue that, in the end, there was no way we could afford at the time we were married. Don’t go too off the rails with plans until you know you can make it happen!
The Legal Stuff
I had to accompany my sister when she went to the court to apply for her marriage license. On our way there she mentioned that they’re considering getting a lawyer involved regarding a pre-nuptial agreement. Even though neither one of them has much in terms of assets right now, they want to consider what will happen as her soon-to-be husband is likely to come into money when his terminally ill mom passes away. I thought it was a great idea, if nothing else, to get the advice of a professional. This advice goes for any couple who has one or both parties coming into a marriage with assets. A family lawyer in Sydney could help with this process if you’re in the area.
Where the wedding will be (not specifically at ‘X’ venue), will obviously need to be determined. When you decide on location, consider lodging, how far, if at all, people will need to commute and if that will factor into your budget and planning timeline. Planning a destination wedding will be much different in many ways than a local wedding close to home.
Once these first few things are established, especially the budget and location, the other (more fun) plans can really start to take off!
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.