One of the hardest tasks to tackle is the wedding budget. It involves a lot of moving parts and people and isn’t the most glamorous part of planning. we get it. but no matter what the number, everyone has a budget.
We are sharing some of our tips on creating a budget before you start planning.
Determine the maximum spend. One question we ask our clients early on is, what is your budget? A common answer we receive is, “well, what does it cost to throw a party for 300 people?” We completely understand the bewilderment because once you delve deep enough into planning, you realize that the industry is ripe what feels like price gouging. Just wait till you go to the bakery and tell them you want wedding cake. But avoiding detailed budgeting will result in chaos. Utter chaos. It is important to understand that there is a range for everything: venues, photographers, caterers, etc. If you don’t decide on a ballpark amount, you absolutely will overspend. We always advise when creating your spreadsheet, to include as many ancillary expenses you can think of. For instance, rentals, travel, alterations, transportation, wedding bands, and other small items should make the list. Even if you cannot ascertain those costs ahead of time, seeing the line items on paper will help you realize how far your dollars have to go.
Have the talk. Who is paying for what? Will someone be writing you one big check or will be they more discriminate in their spending? Does grandma have her heart set on paying for your dress? (I’ve watched a lot of episodes of Say Yes to the Dress). What are the items you have decided to cover on your own? These are the questions you need to be asking early. And the only way to get the answers is by having frank conversations with your fiancé and families before you start creating your ideal Pinterest boards and calling venues. Managing your own expectations will prevent disappointment and wasted efforts.
Prioritize Once you determine the outer limits of your budget, you can begin breaking down the amounts into sub categories, starting with the big ticket items such as venue, food and alcohol and décor. Then determine which items that are most important to you. Of course, do expect some discussions because not everyone has the same priorities. You may have your eye on some Louboutins and your partner may want to arrive on an Elephant. And something may have to give. We at Cakes and Rose Events believe in a guest centric wedding, so if you asked us, venue/accommodations, food and alcohol, and music should be high on the list. I am also a big believer in caring about the photography because it is one of the few things that you can keep from your wedding (more on this later). In fact, I booked my photographer from out of state before we even signed the contract with venue! Decide amongst yourselves on what items you are willing to splurge on, and where you can save. Once you get going, you may realize you don’t necessarily need to serve Moet or have hand-embroidered goodie bags. Knowing you are spending money where it counts makes it easier to axe other items from the list
Have an emergency fund. The devil really is in the details. You think you have everything planned, and then you realize that you forgot to book a room for your wedding night or you never ordered a bouquet; and what do you mean you are 15 over the guest count? We strongly recommend anticipating spending extra money, perhaps several thousand dollars in the last few weeks prior to the wedding. I attribute this to fatigue and desperation. By the time you are close to the wedding, you no longer have the time nor the energy to compare prices and research the best deals. You need it now! Setting aside some money in anticipation of last-minute costs will ease the sting of having to spend money outside of your budget.
There is a lot to think about regarding finances and we intend to tackle a lot of the tough talk. Stay tuned!