You're engaged! You've popped the bubbly, told all of your family and friends, and enjoyed the afterglow of your engagement. You are now ready to get started planning that dream wedding! But, you have no idea where to start or what to do first. Before you start down the Pinterest rabbit hole you need to have the ONE THING every wedding must have.......a BUDGET!
Wedding budgets, in my opinion, are the number one, most important thing to do before you start planning anything. The budget allows you to plan exactly what you want at the price you want. Part of figuring out your budget is finding out who will be contributing to your wedding. Will you and your partner be footing the entire bill? Will one or both of your parents be helping out? What about your grandparents? Money always seems to be a taboo subject but it doesn't have to be. Having those frank conversations with your partner and family early on means less stress when those vendor bills start rolling in.
Once you have established your budget now is the time to determine guest count. Your guest count will help you figure out a venue and what the cost per head will be. Typically 45-50% of your budget goes to the venue, food, and beverage. From there you and your partner should discuss what are the top three things that are the most important to each of you. Then combine your answers to determine what line items you are willing to provide the most funds for. Is it an open bar? The videographer? The DJ? Floral? There is no wrong answer here.
Remember, as you are building out your wedding budget and estimating costs for each line item be sure to include things like taxes, service fees, and gratuity. These are line items that are typically forgotten that add up quickly and can blow your budget. Once you have finished estimating costs you will be able to start searching for venues within your budget.
Weddings can be expensive so if you find that your dollars are dwindling much faster than you would like you can always re-evaluate what is important and change things around. This may mean cutting back on your guest list to get the other items that are more important to you. You will find that your budget is fluid at the beginning as you decide what you want most.
What is the rule of thumb for wedding budgets? Only spend what you can afford! There is no sense in starting your married life in debt. Need helping planning out your wedding budget? Reach out! I would be happy to help!
Until next time!