As mentioned in a previous post, one of the first things you should plan is your budget. This applies to any event, but today's post is about wedding budgets specifically.
So, let's assume you've already had your discussion about where the money is coming from and how much you have to work with. When planning your budget, first decide what is most important to you and your partner. To help with this, here is a general list of everything that goes into a typical wedding budget:
- Wedding Dress
- Groom's Attire
- Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Attire and accessories (they traditionally pay for these, but can be given as gifts instead)
- Accessories (i.e. hair piece/veil, shoes, necklace, etc.)
- Makeup Artist
- Hair Stylist
- Salon visit (nails, massage, etc.)
- Wedding Night
- Limo/Classic Car
- Transport between locations/Transportation to airport afterward
- New wardrobe
- Airline tickets
- Lighting can be a part of this category if supplied by the DJ
- Cake/Desserts/Candy Bar
- Save the Date
- Invitations (Calligraphy?)
- Place Cards
- Menu Cards
- Thank You Notes
Using your top 3 areas of importance, distribute your budget accordingly. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Reception will easily take up around 40% of your budget. It's also in direct relation to how many people you invite.
- Reserve about 4% of your budget for a "Miscellaneous" category. Inevitably you'll find something you hadn't thought to budget for or will find something that goes over your budget a bit, but have discovered it's a MUST HAVE. (i.e. that PERFECT necklace!, or those adorable chargers, or that amazing guitarist.)
- If an area is low priority and you have a limited budget you may consider asking a friend or family member to help, but before you do just be aware of the issues that may arise. Read my post about receiving help for your wedding to discover these.
- Second hand and DIY (do it yourself) are great ways to save money, but may require MUCH more time and be sure to do your research and be careful not to spend more money than having it professionally done.
For example, you may want to create your own invitations, but if you have a full time job, kids, and go to school, you probably won't find the time and will only stress yourself. Or if you do have time, be sure you're not spending more on materials than buying them pre-made.
Have your budget in mind when you meet with each vendor and do your research!
Remember that it's not uncommon to go over your budget, but having one will minimize the blow and ensure you don't completely drown yourself.
Also, a wedding planner can do this tedious part for you. Something else to keep in mind. ;)
You may think you're ready to get started, but hold on there... There's one more step you'll need to accomplish before starting your vendor search. Stay tuned next week to check it out!
Lady Autie aka Autra