For most couples starting to plan and get ideas for your wedding is stressful but then adding the cost to the mix can make it all seem even more stressful. It is hard to know where to even begin budgeting for your day, as this is most couples first time planning a large event.
To start figuring out a budget that will work for you, we suggest sitting down as a couple and decide how much money you can and want to spend. Once you have come up with a number you feel comfortable with you can start using these budget recommendations to allot your money.
Ceremony & Reception = 45% (Venues & Food)
Photography & Videography = 18%
Florals & Decor = 15%
Planner = 10%
Paper goods = 6%
Entertainment = 4%
Miscellaneous = 2%
Use these percentages just as a basic guideline. If you aren’t hiring a planner but plan to have awesome entertainment all night for your guests feel free to allot that 10% to your entertainment. It’s your day so do what works for you!
*Note: The above calculations are just a general guideline and by are no means all of what is needed, required or what you may want for a wedding. These percentages are just a starting point to help you.
Next we would suggest deciding how many guests you want to attend. This part is HUGE for budgeting. You would be surprised at how only a few extra people can make the cost add up.
To give yourself a small idea of your budget and guest list, start with some simple scenarios. Catering always seems to be one of the most costly parts of a wedding so, I would take a look at those numbers. For example, if you have a $10,000 budget and a guest list of 125 (including bride, groom and wedding party) you could start looking at different price point catering options. This will help give you a feel for what you may want to spend. Start with a low point and move up from there. So, if you have 125 guests at $25 a plate = $3,125 – that would amount to 31% of your entire budget. 125 guests at $30 a plate = $3,750 – that is almost 38% of your total budget. These numbers are also not including your venue cost, G.S.T. or gratuities so, keep the number of guests in mind at all times.
A couple of other budgeting tips are, having a long engagement this way you can lock in this years prices but you still have tons of time to save and prepare. Also, get as many quotes as you can from local vendors. You might be surprised at what vendors are more affordable then you thought. For example I had my first meeting with a florist in the small town (where my wedding was being held) which I thought would make things more affordable. Well after my initial consultation I was so bummed, it felt like they weren’t listening to what I wanted or understood my vision. Thankfully my awesome fiance told me to try another florist and just see what they could do. So, I decided to contact a florist whose work I had admired for quite a long time. Not going to lie I was really nervous because I had a feeling her work was going to be out of my budget. Lo and behold she was CHEAPER then the first florist I had met with. I was then able to get the flowers of my dreams and SAVE money!!! You seriously never know so, reach out and contact lots of vendors and get those quotes.
Our last tip for budgeting is staying on top of the budget and be organized. We highly suggest having a wedding binder to keep all quotes, pamphlets and contracts together in. Also create a spreadsheet on the computer or in a notebook to keep track of your budget. The one I created for my wedding looked a little something like this.
|VENDORS||BUDGET||ACTUAL COST||DEPOSIT||OWE||PAID IN FULL|
I did add extra details such as, dates of when the final payments are due by, dates I paid the deposit, and dates we made our final payments on. Feel free to add any extra info to yours to keep you up date and organized. The best thing about using a spreadsheet like this is, I only had one piece of paper to refer back to. I never had pull a bunch of contracts out to check payment dates or prices.
We hope with a few of these tips it will make your wedding planning journey more enjoyable and stress free. If you have any awesome budgeting tips or advice leave us a comment down below!