Make an initial budget.
This can be daunting when thinking about all of the details that go into a wedding. My recommendation is to sit down and list all of the things you would like to have at your wedding first. Start with the big things, AKA vendors!, Venue, Catering, DJ, Cake, Bar, Flowers, Rentals, Hair and Makeup, Photographer / Videographer, Wedding Planner etc. Don’t forget the other big expenses that aren’t vendors; Wedding Dress, Rehearsal Dinner, Tux Purchase or Rental, Transportation and Hotel Blocks. You can either look up the average cost for each of these in your area, or ballpark what price you would ideally like to pay for that service. Just remember that what you would like to pay could be very different from the average cost!
Add all those numbers together (this will be the first number that you hang on to). Remember to consider things like contributions from family and how much you will be able to save before your wedding date- put these numbers off to the side. We will use these later!
Photography by Ashlee Kay Photography
Don’t forget the little things!
It comes natural to think of all the big vendors, after all who forgets about food and drinks at the wedding! It is typically the smaller details that tend to fall through the cracks. Don’t forget about things like stationary, personalized decor, bridal party gifts, ring boxes, jewelry, guest book and pens and anything else you would love to have for getting ready, photos and ceremony! Add all of these numbers together, and viola! you have the second number that you will need!
Put it All Together.
You should have two numbers by now, one for the big ticket items and one for the smaller details. Combine these two numbers to see what the total of the wedding will be. Subtract any contributions from family (I told you we would use this later) and see how much you and your future spouse will have to spend and/or save for your big day! It is always a good idea to add in an emergency miscellaneous fund to this number. It is a good idea to budget $500-$1,000 for this so that you are prepared if an expense comes up that you were not prepared for!
Talk about it!
If this number sits well with you then you did it! You have your budget and you can start to collect all the details and pay the deposits for your special day. If this number is a little steep for you, consider what you can cut out or downsize on. Maybe limiting the guest count, doing less flowers or looking into fresh floral alternatives may help you get to your ideal budget! If the total is less than you expected, then you have more freedom for fun add-ons! Think about adding things like a late night bite, a photobooth, an open bar or fun favors for your guests!
Get off Pinterest
Pinterest can be helpful when you are collecting ideas and trying to decide what you would like your day to look like. However, when you have your plan and your budget already nailed down, Pinterest is not your friend. Keep in mind that just like Instagram, Pinterest is the highlight reel for weddings and events. The photos that you see on Pinterest are typically from styled shoots put together by professionals. Gather ideas on Pinterest during the first step of this process so that you can see what add-ons and details you would like to have but after you have your budget, theme and vendors picked out – do not fall down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest Weddings! (You’ll thank me later.)
Have you set your budget yet? If not, what are you waiting for?! Do you have specific questions? Go ahead and ask them in the comments!