The Wedding Priority Draft Pick


Sometimes money can be the most stressful part of planning a wedding. Here’s how to prioritize your wedding spending.

Every newly engaged couple quickly realizes what a huge role money and budgeting will play in their wedding planning process. Most of us want to shove the money talk under the rug, but the truth is you are way better off putting it out in the open and starting your married life off on the right foot (that is, a budget-conscious, money-communicative foot).

The problem is, the Wedding Industry (with a capital W.I.) will tell you that EVERYTHING is important. Yes, you need a designer dress! But you have to also wear designer shoes! And a designer bow tie! And a fancy winery-turned-magic-forest-with-a-view venue! And a twelve-course meal, with a twelve-tier cake!

Obviously, this is all bullshit, but the truth is that yes, some of these things may be important to you. Some of these things may be important to both of you, as a couple. If you love horses, and it would be magically-over-the-top-meaningful for you to ride in on a horse for your ceremony, then abso-freaking-lutely do that! If your fiance loves cats, and you want to have a whole pile of kittens for guests to play with during cocktail hour, then can I please come to your wedding??

The trick with wedding planning, and more importantly, wedding budgeting, is getting your priorities straight. And I don’t mean your priorities, I mean YOUR priorities, as in, you and your soon-to-be-life-partner. Together. As a newly formed love-filled unit. But getting on the same page about money, priorities, and budgeting can be hard, when you’re trying to convince the love of your life that yes, you do think an 8-piece brass band would very much enhance the reception, thank you.

So how do you get on the same page when there are so many pages to choose from? One thing I’ve found helpful when chatting with couples about their wedding priorities is a fairly simple concept:

The Wedding Priority Draft Pick

Plan an evening (or, at least, an hour) to sit down with your beau, a glass of your favorite adult beverage, and a sheet of paper, and write down all of the things you both think should go into an ideal wedding celebration. Try not to focus on what the Industry tells you, really think about the weddings you’ve been to, or heard of, and what has sparked joy or interest in your heart. Make sure you are writing down suggestions that the both of you feel connected to (separately or equally). If you need help thinking of things, sign up below for a free helpful guide!

Now for the fun part: on a new, clean sheet of paper, make two columns, and title them with each of your names. And why the heck not, put a funny title at the top, like ‘Mark and John’s Bitchin’ Love Fest’ or ‘Jane and Greg’s Sexy Soiree’. We’re planning a party here after all, so have some fun titling it.

Then, you each get to ‘draft’ your priorities, starting with number one. Take some time to really look over the first list you wrote and think about the most important thing for you. If you were having a desert island wedding, what could you not live without? Once you both have your own personal number one priority, put that in your column.

You get to do this two more times each (and you can go back and forth or do them at the same time) until, ideally, you have a Top Six list (three for each of you). And this becomes your magical budgeting tool!

Now you are super clear with each other about what is the most important (separately and together) and you can use this as a road map when planning your celebration. Spend money on these things, and spend it proudly, and chill out a little bit about everything else. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do the other things as cheaply as possible, it just means they don’t get to be the stars of the budget show.