We like to create our blogs to give you advice in the places where it is sometimes needed most. Budgets are one of those things that some people are rock-stars at, and others, need a little help. So lets talk about the subject that makes everyone want to hide under a rock when it comes to wedding planning, drum-roll… Lets talk budget!
There are the basic questions that we ask our couples, who is paying for this, who is paying for that? How are you keeping track of your budget? But there is more that goes into budgeting for a wedding, and we thought we would break it down for you. These are things to consider when developing your wedding budget.
1. Who is contributing – Gone are the days of the classic Brides parents pay for everything. With the average cost of a wedding today being $28,000, couples are getting creative when it comes to paying for there wedding. Older couples might be paying for a majority of it themselves, While some have grandparents, aunts and uncles that pitch in. Sometimes, the groom’s parents are more financially stable, and they pitch in more. So first thing first, once you are engaged, start talking to your family and see who is going to contribute.
2. Getting advice of people that come before you. Asking friends, siblings and others, how they came up with their budget. This is always nice because it can help you see what is important and what some people may have spent money on that they regret. Asking people who have been through this before will give you a great perspective on what you need to prioritize when it comes to determining your budget.
3. Hiring a planner – Yes, I know, hiring a planner when we are talking budgets? Here is the thing, you can have friends and family helping you, giving them each tasks, having them reach out to different vendors to receive quotes and putting together the best of list to send over to you. Or you can hire someone who is super organized, and is a pro at finding quality vendors that will match your vision and your budget. We also come with custom budget spreadsheets for you and we can help you in making the best decision for YOU. Be it a Day of Coordinator, Partial Planning, or Full-Service, we are there with your best interests in mind!
4. Researching your venues: Venue & Catering will take up a ridiculous percentage of your budget. We always suggest looking at the catering list before booking with that venue. We all have those dream venues in mind, and I know that the venue to some is the most important part of planning, but we would argue that the most important part is being happy that you get to marry your best friend and spend the day with your friends and family. Sometimes choosing a less expensive venue, can leave more room in your budget for decor, and any venue can be gussied up with some nice decor!
Food is a huge portion of your budget and if you have a strict one to keep, you might not be able to get that dream venue you desire unless you up your budget. We never discourage our couples from touring these venues and getting to know the catering list, but we do like to be somewhat realistic when the budget is in play.
5. Have a timeline of when payments are due. This is where an organized spreadsheet comes in hand. You will know what payments are due when. Keeping track of when the big payments are due. Always ask if you get a discount for paying in full. Again, hiring a planner will help you keep this all organized!
6. Liquor Budgets!!! This can sometimes be such a touchy subject that it requires some booze at the meetings just to talk about it. No lie, I have had parents get in full blown arguments over if the alcohol was going to be hosted or cash. As a planner, we always want our couples to be happy, but if you are the ones that are going to end up paying for all of this, we also don’t want you to have to take out a credit card just for liquor bill at your wedding. Things to keep in mind when you are putting together your liquor budget
a. Does your venue have a beverage minimum? In our last blog (click here) you can read all about food and beverage minimums.
b. Pricing out kegs and bottles of wine vs. hosting per hour
c. Consider your crowd. You know your guests best… Are they beer and wind drinkers? Or are they vodka & whiskey drinkers? Would you benefit from hosting beer and wine while having your guests pay for liquor or is your guest list small enough that hosting the whole thing won’t break the bank.
7. Lastly, Pro Tip: Don’t just go with the flow and think that you will just come up with the money as time goes by. Figuring out a clear and accurate budget, prior to starting your wedding planning will save you heartbreak and stress!
Hopefully this gives you some starting points when it comes to coming up with your budget. As always, we are available for consultations and advice anytime! Click here to read more of our blogs and stay tuned for next week when we are back with the third installment of our catering series!