So…as I mentioned back in this post, getting your wedding budget set early on will help your wedding planning go so much smoother. It’s overwhelming — especially knowing where to start. But we’ve got you girl! Just like everything, if you break it down to small steps it gets much easier! So let’s do it:
1. HEAD OVER TO OUR BUDGET PLANNER
2. DEFINE YOUR SIZE.
The thing that is going to have the biggest impact on your budget is definitely the size of your guest list. Once you know how many people, you will be able to get more accurate quotes from your vendors, specifically your venue, caterer, bartending service, dessert provider, and invitation specialist. Use our guest list tool to create your list and track which of your guests are attending, have special dietary needs, sent gifts, or still need a thank you note!
It’s important to determine what’s most important to both you and your fiancé on your wedding day. This first discussion should have a balance of what you must have and what you dream of having. The elements of the wedding that lean toward those you dream of are the ones that you should put on your shortlist of the few things you’re willing to splurge on.
As you dive in, you’ll start to see which of these things can be worked into the budget.
4. SEE IF YOUR FAMILY IS GOING TO PITCH IN.
Oftentimes, family members offer to help out with your wedding expenses. It is important to define what their intentions are as early on in the process as possible. This will help you decide how much of the wedding will be paid for by your family vs. you and your fiancé. We strongly recommend you have this conversation before making any assumptions, so as not to be disappointed after deposits have been made.
5. START GETTING QUOTES.
Once you’ve defined your guest list and decided on your priorities, it’s time to start contacting venues and other wedding service providers to get pricing. As you collect quotes from each vendor and decide on who you are going to hire, you can begin to adjust your initial budget into a more defined document. Based on your priorities, you may need to revise price points for other areas of your day so that you stay under (or as close as possible) to your initial budget number. For example, if having a pricey wedding band is super important to you, where are you going to cut back to stay within budget?
6. PLAN FOR UNEXPECTED COSTS, CAUSE THEY’RE GONNA HAPPEN!
A common mistake when planning wedding budgets is not accounting for the unexpected. I promise you, there will be unseen expenses along the way, and especially as the day draws closer. Those unexpected costs are different for everyone, but everyone’s got ‘em. For me, it was huge drying fans on the morning of my wedding. Yup, you read that right. We had torrential rains for 3 days before my wedding. In a tent. Outside. Well, needless to say, the ground inside the tent was a swamp. Picture all the ladies in gorgeous heels sinking into the ground! It was not an option to not get these fans! But damn — they were expensive! But thank God the ground was dry by that evening and all the ladies’ heels were saved!
This ought to get you off to a good start! Of course, there are plenty of details that you’ll need to fill in along the way, but you gotta start somewhere, right?