Understanding what matters most to you and your partner will help you spend your money most effectively.
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Weddings are dynamic events with many components the hosts are excited about. Maybe you're thrilled to go dress shopping. Perhaps your partner is an amateur mixologist and has been obsessing over the cocktail list. Or maybe you two love to go out dancing with friends, and you want your wedding to be the ultimate dance party. Whatever three things get you most excited should be at the top of your priority list; in turn, this list should be used as you set your budget and to help you make big-day decisions. If you're not sure how to decide which factors matter most to you, here are some tips to help you get your priorities in order.

Make a List of All the Wedding Components

When deciding on your top priorities, it can be helpful to jot down a list of every wedding component before going through the list and giving each a one to five rating from least important to most. Have your partner repeat this task so you can compare notes, discuss, and compromise on what you'll rank as your top three wedding priorities. This might be one of the tensest conversations you and your partner have while planning your wedding, as your priorities may not align the way you'd hoped, but once you talk through it thoroughly, you'll save yourselves from a lot of conflict later down the line. Setting clear priorities makes all the other decisions a (sometimes literal) piece of cake.

Ranking the List

Wedding planner Jessica Sloan says, "Ask yourself, what are the top three things that make an impact on how you and your guests will experience the event that are most important to you? For instance, if you think that having the best food and drinks makes a difference in how the evening feels to your guests, then make that a budgeting priority and be willing to have a DJ instead of a band to save money. If a band makes or breaks your guests' experience more than food, then do the opposite and prioritize entertainment in your budget."

Review the List

As you move along through the wedding planning process, you might find that your priorities have shifted. For example, maybe you attend a friend's wedding and find that the thing you were most excited by was the live music, and you barely touched the cake. In this case, you'll want to speak with your partner about reassessing your priorities and determining whether you should bring in a band and swap your cake for something smaller. Of course, you'll need to check your contract allows changes if you end up going this route.


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