One of the most important steps in planning your perfect wedding is determining the budget. Once you have taken special care to establish the amount you are able to spend, making decisions about other key details will become much easier. Here are a few of our tips for planning a budget.
1. Assess the total wedding fund. One of your first steps in planning will be to decide the amount of money available to devote to your wedding events. Discuss with your families how much each of them will contribute to the celebration. We see more and more that parents of the bride, parents of the groom, and the bride and groom themselves collectively contribute to the wedding budget.
2. Determine guest list. Once you establish your “do not exceed” number, it is time to create a budget to determine how many guests you will be able to invite. Often, we meet with a bride and groom who have created a much larger guest list than they can actually afford to host. It is difficult to cut down your invitations, but it is a necessary step in throwing the wedding that will best serve the guests in attendance.
3. Determine major costs. To create your budget, start by contacting a few wedding venues to get an idea of the average food & beverage costs, including tax and gratuity. The food & beverage expense will typically comprise 40% to 50% of your overall budget. Ask the venue for a sample breakdown of an all-inclusive proposal of a typical wedding held at their site in the last six months or so. Some venues will charge only a venue access fee and you will then need to meet with a couple of caterers to get separate estimates on food & beverage.
4. Assign budget values to other wedding priorities. Search for sample wedding budgets and use these as a guide to get ballpark figures on other anticipated costs beyond your venue fees. Determine what parts of your wedding are most significant to you and allocate a larger percentage of your budget there. For instance, if photography is of utmost importance to you and your family, then perhaps you can cut down on your florals budget in order to book the more expensive photographer.
The wedding budget is always a hot topic in wedding planning, so stay tuned for more Easton tips in the future!