Now that we talked on how much a wedding could be.. next step is establishing your budget!
Talk with your families about who will pay for what. How do you bring up the conversation? For many couples, talking to each family separately is the best way to have truly open discussions. Ask both of your folks if they're planning to contribute to the cost of the wedding. If so, ask them to commit to a specific dollar amount, and then add up all the contributions to create your budget.
If you're planning on a formal candlelit dinner in the grand ballroom of that amazing hotel downtown, your budget is clearly going to have to be much bigger than if you've sketched out an afternoon tea and dessert party in your parents' pretty backyard. In general, there are several major factors that will really affect what you'll need to set aside.
Guest List Size:
There's a per-head cost for food and liquor, and these two are typically the biggest expense in the whole wedding, so changing the guest list size is the surest way to increase or decrease your costs. On top of that, the smaller the guest list the more you'll save on all your other details, including décor, stationery, favors, and rentals, because you won't need as much of everything.
Some cities and towns are just more expensive than others. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are the obvious culprits, but small towns and remote destinations can entail greater costs if things like flowers and talent have to come from afar. Tourist towns can also up your wedding price tag during peak season. Be aware that many popular locations have head count minimums, meaning they won't host a wedding that's too small, and some may also have a per-head minimum that requires your event to be a certain size.
Date and Time:
Highly sought-after seasons and days of the week are pricier for obvious reasons. An evening reception is usually more expensive than a brunch or afternoon reception, not only because of higher catering costs for dinner, but also because people tend to drink less during the daytime, and many couples choose to go more low-key on elements like lighting, music and décor.
Here's a BASIC breakdown of what you can expect to pay:
-Reception: 48-50 percent
-Ceremony: 2-3 percent
-Attire: 8-10 percent
-Flowers: 8-10 percent
-Entertainment/Music: 8-10 percent
-Photography/Videography: 10-12 percent
-Stationery: 2-3 percent
-Wedding Rings: 2-3 percent
-Parking/Transportation: 2-3 percent
-Gifts: 2-3 percent
-Miscellaneous: 8 percent
To avoid stress, allot 5 percent of your budget for a "just-in-case" fund.
Way to save:
-Limit your spending on small stuff (watching Netflix instead of going out, curb your Starbucks habits and so on). These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some wedding essentials.
Staying on Budget:
Step 1: Get a System- have a routine
Step 2: Explore Hidden Costs and Extras- read the contracts and information packages
Step 3: Plan to Go Over-here are three areas where you might go over:
Flowers: A last-minute realization that something previously unconsidered needs to be decorated, or a request that an additional family member wear a boutonniere or corsage.
Weather-related expenses: Umbrellas for a rainy day, space heaters for an unseasonably cool day or additional shade for a particularly hot or humid one.
Small accidents: Gown needs last-minute spot removal, something breaks in the days before the ceremony or menus get damp and need to get reprinted.
Step 4: Be Smart (weight out your options on these topics)
-Decide What's Most Important -Pass on Pricey Details -Consider Printing Costs -Get a Smaller Car -Substitute Less Expensive Flowers -Simplify Your Menu -Save the Good Stuff for Later