Money…yes money. That should be one of the first things you discuss when you start planning a wedding. You need a budget, a realistic budget that everyone agrees on. Now this is a touchy subject sometimes, trust me I have been in some uncomfortable situations with clients that could have been avoided had there been a discussion before the planning process started. Honey, talking about money can be uncomfortable but put your big girl panties on and talk about it. Talk about it with your parents, with your sweetie and with your attendants.
Now that you know how much money you have….let’s figure out how to spend it. This is the fun part!
An average wedding has about 150 guests, with 3 to 5 bridesmaids and groomsmen and let’s say $15,000 to $25,000 to spend. The budget breakdown looks like this:
Your biggest expense will be the reception. The site rental, food, cake and bar will take up to 45% of your budget, (less if you have a morning or early afternoon wedding) The second biggest expense can be photography and videographer, about 15% of your budget. You can find photographers for cheaper but just make sure you know exactly what you are getting. There are few things in my house (besides my children and pets) that I would run into a burning building for and my wedding pictures are one of them. You will be heart- broken if they aren’t what you hope for.
Your wedding dress and other attire is next on the list at about 10%. Flowers, invitations and other printed material, attendant’s gifts, transportation, hair and makeup, favors, groom’s formalwear and other miscellaneous items will take up the rest.
Sit down and figure out what you have to spend on each category and go from there. Nothing is written in stone so you can take from one area that isn’t that important to you and put it towards something you want to splurge on. Be smart and compare prices. Keep track of what you spend and make sure everyone is on the same page with purchases. Communication will be very important here. A wedding planner can be very helpful in this stage of the planning.
Here is a helpful hint from me to you…..don’t ask someone’s opinion unless you really want to hear it. The less people who are involved in the decision making, the better. Not everyone needs to weigh in on the color of your flowers or the centerpieces at the reception. We all have some dysfunction so recognize it and work with it! If your mom criticizes you on your weight, don’t take her with you dress shopping. If one of your bridesmaids happens to be a negative person (God love her) don’t put her in charge of the bridesmaid dress selection. That being said, be thoughtful and involve them in other areas of the wedding planning.
This is your day. Enjoy the process. There will be bumps along the way and it won’t be perfect, nothing ever is. But with careful planning and wise spending you will look back on your wedding and know is was “perfect” for you!
and that’s the truth…..