Episode 2 – All About That Budget
I know what you’re thinking…. “Wedding budget? UGH”. I get it! That’s a completely acceptable response when you hear that it’s time to put your wedding budget together. It is literally the worst *Ok. I’m maybe being a bit overdramatic. But still…it’s not fun.* Don’t worry! Today we will break down exactly what a budget is, how to start one, and how to stick to it.
Budget in a nutshell is simply – “This is how much money I have to spend, so this is all that I’m going to spend!” *I mean, who didn’t snicker a little while reading that?!* Budgeting can be difficult, but my goal today is to help simplify this process for you and make it slightly more enjoyable *again with the snickering, y'all!*.
1. First things first—think about the wedding you WANT to have. What items are non-negotiable for you and your fiancé? If flowers are your jam and you can’t imagine getting married without that amazing flower wall backdrop, make sure to dedicate additional money to your floral line to ensure you’ll get the look you’ve always dreamed of. Are those gorgeous photos and that stunning video your number one priority? Make sure to pull out those funds from your budget first. What’s most important to you is the first thing you should dedicate those dollars to. Next, you’ll want to do a bit of digging in to your local wedding market and find average price points. It’s so easy to say, “I only want to spend $1,000 on photography” but how achievable is that, honestly? *This is where a wedding coordinator comes in handy! They generally know your local market best and can provide an average price point for each vendor*
Setting a realistic amount for each vendor from the start will save you so much stress as you begin searching for the perfect partners to bring your dream day to life.
2. Now that you have an idea of how much you want to spend, what your priorities are, and what the average is in your neck of the woods, it’s time to dedicate specific amounts to each category. Pop open that Excel doc, pour that glass of vino and let’s get to work! I start with a percentage system, and fine tune from there. My typical break out looks something like:
Planner/Coordinator – 10%
Paperie – 2%
Venues – 11%
Photography/Cinematography – 10%
Catering – 22%
Cake – 2%
Bar – 2%
Entertainment – 10%
Florals – 10%
Extras (Beauty, Attire, Trasnportation, etc)/Misc – 20%
*This is based on an average $25,000 budget.*
This is just a guide, and is in no way required for a perfect, stress-free wedding. I have generally found this to be the best way to break out the wedding budget.
3. And finally, how to actually stick to your budget. *you know, like how I stuck to that diet I started in January. Ok…maybe not quite like that...* The biggest tip I can give you would be to track your spending. Download an app like Evernote that you can scan and upload receipts and contracts to. Build a spreadsheet that lists your dedicated dollar amounts for each line item and what you spend on it. If you go over budget on one line item, make sure to subtract it from another. Understand that items like insurance, fees and gratuities may be added on to final costs so be up front in asking what additional fees should be anticipated and work that in to your total. Tracking and updating your budget on the weekly, and after each consultation, will make the process less overwhelming and more manageable. Don’t let those receipts or little items pile up! Deduct those as soon as you spend it!
One last little freebie tip - Manage your expectations. It’s perfect to have dream boards and inspiration vision. Having those is what really crafts your event and brings your wedding to life! But make sure to be prepared and to recognize the time, cost and labor that goes in to create those inspiration weddings. That flower wall? Don’t be surprised if that quote comes back for a few thousand plus. Filet mignon dinner at $75 a head? Yup! It’s ok to spend a little money and have exactly what you want on your dream day, and it’s ok to plan your event for the budget you have available *mmm, especially if it involves a little KC bbq!* Your wedding will be BEAUTIFUL and a reflection of you, no matter the budget or extras. So just have fun! Enjoy the process. Let it go! *Yup, I did have to bust in to song after that one. Probably a good thing you can’t hear it. You’re welcome*