When starting to plan your wedding, it is so much fun to jump into picking out colors, ask your best friends to be by your side, and blow up your wedding Pinterest board. Next, you tour some locations and before you know it, you’re signing on the dotted line and paying a deposit for a reception venue. All of this sounds great, and you’re making awesome progress, until you meet with the caterer and get the estimate. And then you look into the prices of the alcohol packages from the venue and suddenly the numbers aren’t quite in line with what you thought they’d be. You go to book a photographer... and it’s how much for 8 hours?
Unless you’re one of the few couples with wedding planning experience, it’s likely that you’ll underestimate the cost of a wedding. There are a LOT of parts that go into the day, and costs add up quicker than most couples anticipate. This is why having a budget from the start is so important. There is nothing worse than paying a deposit on a venue you’ve fallen in love with only to figure out that now you’ll end up spending thousands more than you wanted total, or to find and tour the perfect place only to realize that there’s no way it’s within your budget limits.
Don’t let this happen to you!!
While it’s not the most fun, or the easiest of conversations to have sometimes, sitting down and figuring out your bottom line is important, whether it’s $10,000 or $100,000. Where is the money coming from? Are there restrictions on how it’s allocated? And the most important question: what do you place the most importance on when it comes to your wedding day (food? venue? alcohol? dress?)? If you know how much you want to spend on every different aspect of the wedding day, you’ll find searching for venues and vendors to be a lot more streamlined and you set yourself up with realistic options you can be excited about.
By now, I hope you’re on board with creating a budget. BUT, how do you get started? Here are some tips to help you out:
1. Call me. Let me help you take the guesswork out to budgeting and let’s work together to plan your Best. Day. Ever. I will be open and honest with you about wedding cost and will work with you to create a wedding with your priorities and budget in mind.
Did you like that pitch? It’s AWESOME to be a able to hire a planner, but that’s definitely also a budget item in itself. So, if that’s not high on your priority list (or you WANT to do it yourself), consider some of these other helpful tips to creating a budget:
2. Make a list of what you want included in your wedding.
3. Do some research on the average cost of wedding vendors in your area.
4. Determine which areas of your day are the most important to you (allocate for more spending there).
5. Know that nationwide, and locally, venue and catering costs are the two biggest wedding day expenses (alcohol is another biggie)
6. Be realistic. Don’t underestimate the cost of a product or vendor because you “think you can get it that cheap.” It’ll make the whole process harder on you later.
7. The higher the guest count, the higher the price tag. This is not just true with your catering bill. For every guest on your list you’ll need space at a table, a chair, food, drink, a favor, a slice of cake… the list goes on.
Remember, as you’re starting the wedding planning process, budget first. I always tell clients it’s the least fun meeting we’ll have, but after, it all becomes real and exciting! If you find yourself stuck, give me a phone call; this is what I’m here for.