How to Budget Your New England Wedding and Still Get Everything You Want

Wedding Budget Blog title

In the form of the game “Never Have I Ever”

Everyone loves a good love story, especially when you’re the star, and your wedding is the ultimate portrayal of one. But will wedding debt become a costly factor that interferes with “happily ever after?”

When The Fear of Debt Starts

“Future you” returns from your honeymoon with a new tan, new spouse, and a whole lot of OnDemand to catch up on. And while it seems there’s no moment in life that can’t be improved with a good movie and loving companion, debt can be an awkward third wheel. Such as when you two finally agree on a comedic horror flick (with an underlying romantic storyline of course) but argue over the cost of HD. All because of the mucho dinero dropped on the wedding.

The looming horror of wedding debt will extend beyond weeknight TV decisions, but is preventable when following our suggestions on how to budget your New England wedding.

Never Have I Ever Had Fun Budgeting…

So 10 fingers up! Let’s play “Never Have I Ever” to “altar” your spending habits.

From past to future, the debt game is about to change when it comes to the happiest day of your life.

  1. Never Have I EverHad Too Much Money Saved

Never Have I Ever Had Too Much Money SavedIf you don’t put a finger down for this, you’re probably good to go.

As for the rest of us…

The fairytale image of a wedding usually exists as if money’s no object… Etta James comes back from the dead and sings “At Last;” Magnolia Bakery provides a customized cupcake tree. The serious montage of events, each one more important than the next and, is like deciding which shoes to give away from your giant collection — each one’s necessary for a hypothetical occasion that probably won’t happen.

And to that effect, even if the date is far off, start saving. Now. You know, just in case reviving legendary soul artists becomes a thing. But it won’t. Still (back to reality) recreate your fantasy by over-saving and under-spending; Vet the best soul singer in your area, who may still even be in music college…

Slowly commit to purchases. Weigh decisions thoroughly. Just because you step outside your fantasy slightly doesn’t mean you aren’t creating something out of a dream; your wedding day will come together in a new imagined way, one that you won’t have to pay forever for, and one that’ll still serve cupcakes.

2. Never Have I Ever Asked Someone For Help

Never Have I Ever Asked Someone for Help

Find out if either families or friends want to help. Don’t be afraid to suggest specific options of how they can contribute.

You: Boy Uncle Joe, I wish we could eat Magnolia cupcakes at the wedding.

Uncle Joe: Me too, I remember eating them with you when you were a kid, you had like 10 in one sitting and —

You: — Anyway, if you haven’t gotten me a gift yet, maybe we can make this tasty dream happen.

Uncle Joe: What a wonderful suggestion! A gift we can all enjoy, especially me, and even more, especially you.

The sentiment is a shared experience. These days, not all contributions are ironclad to the registry. In fact, older, more traditional wedding rules tend to be more costly than necessary.  Businesses capitalize on… well, tradition, and do — cough cough Hallmark. An extra blender pales in comparison to an extra hour of open bar.

Cut out traditions you don’t care about. When the wedding industry is overrun with a high demand for certain products, those products become more expensive… ahh the beauty of supply and demand.

The solution?

Don’t be afraid to invent new traditions — ones you’ll pass along for generations to come.

If he’s a little bit country and she’s a little bit rock and roll, an edgy, inexpensive farm to table will satisfy all tastes, and keep costs low. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next innovator in the industry… look out Anna Wintour, balling on a budget is the new Vogue.

Other Wedding Crowdsourcing Tips:

  • Consider using a site such as to crowdsource your honeymoon. This site is setup to make your ultimate honeymoon possible with the help of loved ones. Just pick and choose features such as swimming with dolphins and Saturday morning all-you-can-eat buffets. Then, thank your coworker Cindy for supplying you with a romantic dinner for two when the website kindly spells out who did what for you.
  • Take a gander at While this site does solicit strangers for money, it can work in your favor if you have a story to tell.
  • Make a website. Might sound lavish, but with platforms like Wix and Squarespace, it’s super easy to do. A website also keeps everyone incommunicado. Post updates on your planning endeavours, and thank those who help along the way. An Internet community of supporters encourages a team effort, which in the end bonds everyone involved.

3. Never Have I Ever Paid for a Service I Could’ve Done

Never Have I Ever Paid for a Service I Could've Done

DIY: Not just the popular trend clouding your Pinterest, but actually a fun/useful time-killer, primarily when paired with a Netflix marathon and cocktail of choice.

Figure out what projects will be fun to get your DIY on with. Do you have a friend that makes heart-shaped pinatas in her free time? Invite her over for some wine and extra candy you don’t use.

Or scout out a graphic designer friend to design invitations. Fancy designs and lavish creations, when done professionally, can be bolstered by the cost of vendor reputation, added service fees, or the company’s busy schedule.  

You may think you can’t compete with professionals, and we’re not saying your self-glued centerpieces will be sturdier, but they will be yours.


Don’t have time?

Ever heard of Fivver?

4. Never Have I Ever Not Followed A Schedule Perfectly
Never Have I Ever Not Followed A Schedule Perfectly

As your wedding date nears, scheduling the day faces increased complexity: When will grandma get tired, and who is going to keep your boss away from the photo booth long enough to make a toast?

The day you got engaged, scheduling probably wasn’t on the brain. But it is now.

Here’s a quick and dirty tip from us:

A schedule, if not followed, can incur extra fees. Even though you’ll want to extend every special moment of the day, not wanting it to be over like the jeggings trend of 2003, your wedding will have to end at a predetermined time.

Avoid time gaps. Remember, you always have the after party, and that can only be interrupted by the morning.

Designate someone to be the time police, whether they work at the venue, or are the DJ or esteemed maid of honor, give them the same speech you gave your girlfriends when Nordstrom had their last blowout sale, “No matter how much I put up a fight, when the mall closes, lead me out the door and quickly take me to get fro-yo.”

So now, let’s keep you up to speed with more wedding budgeting…

5. Never Have I Ever Skipped the Bread Basket

Never Have I Ever Skipped the Bread Basket

The proverbial piece of cake being not-so-easy is enough of a burden when it comes to deliberating which carbs need to go and which can stay. You gotta have cake, but the bread, eh — if the salads hit the table soon enough, hunger growls won’t alert guests that you may have skipped the tiny matter of the bread basket.

Breaking bread with new in-laws will happen, whether dough has risen or is scarce in your pockets. Some venues and caterers have package deals, and believe it or not, eliminating bread is one of the little things that adds up. Also, guests will enjoy the super amazing entree you had planned that much more.

We all fill up too much on the bread basket.

Now let them eat cake!


6. Never Have I Ever Been Excited About Practicality

Never Have I Ever Been Excited About Practicality

It’s no secret that champagne is an accessory for the moneyed, but lavish accessories can be consolidated with rentals to make them (gasp!) practical.

Wedding rentals make life easier by providing you with royal amenities just for one day — the exact compromise your wildest dreams were looking for.

Technically, each item you rent should serve more than one purpose, meaning aesthetically pleasing should combine with usability, like a privacy wall that’s also rustic. No matter what you choose to keep or nix on the wish list, you’ll see that every cent that’s consolidated into multiple items is an extra one in your pocket. And you still get everything you want — which is what we promised remember?


7. Never Have I Ever Re-Used Flowers

Never Have I Ever Re-Used FlowersImagine all the things you could do with $1,000:

Swim with dolphins twice or maybe three times on the honeymoon.

Get 1,000 life refills on Candy Crush.

Buy a moped.

That’s the average cost of wedding flowers.

What many don’t know is that brides can reuse their ceremony flowers at the reception. Entrust someone with the task of transporting them over to the venue before guests arrive.


Also, choose flowers that are in season and are from local vendors.

Bringing us to our next point…

8. Never Have I Ever Stuck to Local Only

Never Have I Ever Stuck to Local Only

Keep an eye peeled for local vendors: Caterers who also support seasonal products, venues that don’t typically host weddings (rustic barns, beaches etc.), and wedding photographers who capture that money shot right away. The more you develop a relationship with vendors, the more they’ll be willing to work with you rather than just for you, and that includes on pricing.

Tip for the tip: Most local vendors are going to expect a tip! Add that into the budget.





9. Never Have I Ever Considered the Offseason

Never Have I Ever Considered the Offseason

Once nicknamed Yankeeland, settlers were less concerned about money and more concerned about staying warm. Now that we’re settled, the opposite is true. But you don’t have to be cold to beat down your wedding’s price point.

Any New Englander is hyper-aware of the frigidness September brings, but there’s more than one way to stay warm — and that’s not just an innuendo. A fall wedding makes for both a nice outdoor cocktail hour and a comfortably sweaty evening of getting your groove on — all just in the knick of time before freezing temps take over our land!

A heated tent and some extra beer for added warmth forgo the no-no of spending more. The overall budget evens out: When booking in the offseason, you’ll pretty much get everything at sale price.



Need some not-poisonous antifreeze?

A signature drink at an open bar saves you money and amuses guests. Put a little pep in their step with a warm cocktail.

You picked a good time to be in love.

Congrats! We Got Through This Together


Even though “Never Have I Ever” tends to be translated into “Don’t Judge Me But…” here we are, at the end of the road, hands formed into fists, ready to punch through financial woes.

And although tradition suggests that now you must drink, instead, let’s celebrate the glory of the game: The loser essentially gets rewarded.

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to receive exclusive deals.

In the meantime, enjoy these existing ones, but hurry, because they won’t last forever…

Groupon NECR Deal


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Before You Go

We want to leave you with this quote from Sharon Stacks, international event planner and blogger for Huffington Post:
“There are many ways to have a wonderful celebration; cost should not be the factor. Love and shared values are most important. If your budget doesn’t allow for an elaborate celebration, the important thing is to surround yourself with loved ones and friends.”

Bride illustration

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