It’s wedding season! Well, really when is it not a good time to think of wedding bells and marrying your soul-mate?
Back when I was young & wet behind the ears I had a passion to be a party planner; specifically weddings. While I still have the interest & my friends admit I throw the best parties; life took me a different direction. You see; when I graduated from college I had a bachelor of liberal studies to go out into the world & plan parties…except there was a recession. Having a party planner is a luxury not a necessity so there just was not a demand for my career interest.
Along the way many of my friend have used me as a resource when it come to planning their weddings. Over the next posts I want to share with you some of my knowledge & tips I have picked up along the way.
HAVE A BUDGET!!!!
No one wants to talk about money; no one wants to put a financial cap on one of the biggest celebrations in their life; but remember you don’t want to go poor trying to start the next chapter of your life.
It’s important to sit down with your partner and establish a FIRM budget. Trust me, it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement and start booking vendors and making wedding-related purchases before making a budget. A good rule of thumb is to save 20% of your income when you are actively looking to save for your wedding. It can be challenging, but a good trick to use if you’re getting married in less than a year and a half from now.
In a world of technology and being able to have an app to manage the budget you might think a physical planner is pointless; you would be wrong! By having a physical planner such as this wedding planner from Amazon you have it physically in front of you. As you manage the course of the planning process it comes in handy to tell the caterer; here’s my budget for you! Or if you run out of money you can easily flip through the binder and see where there is some give and take. Technology is good, but sometimes it’s just best to have the information in front of you.
You may even want to start slow by saving 5%-10% of your income, then start bumping it up as your wedding date gets closer.
The average wedding nowadays can start at $20,000 and balloons up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars based on where you live and what you want on your special day. When it comes to financing you might be asking yourself do I save the 20k? Use credit cards? Or just take out a loan? My personal option…live within your means! Do you really want to be paying off this wedding in a decade or more when using credit cards or loans? Don’t forget there are interest fees!
As you sit down to create your budget consider the following suggestions:
- 5% ceremony
- 45% Reception/Venue (this includes food, decor, entertainment)
- 9% Attire
- 10% flowers
- 12% Photography
- 3% Stationery
- 4% Wedding Rings
- 3% transportation
- 3% Parking
- 6% Misc/Unexpected Extras
Something to also consider is who is paying for the wedding? Or in other words; who is saving up for the celebration? If you and your partner are splitting the cost of your special day 50/50 and your budget is $20,000 each of you will be contributing $10,000.
I can not emphasize the next tip enough! If parents or family members are pitching in, be sure to make a note and confirm they understand what they are contributing and what it could be used for. A great example is a few years ago the bride’s father was willing to contribute $7,000, she used the money for a dunk tank; he was not happy with her at all for what he said was “wasting his money”.
If you are like me, you want to invite everyone you know since you were in preschool. Realistically; that’s a horrible idea! The number of people you plan to invite will play a huge role in your budget! If you have a small wedding with only 10 guests the budget won’t nearly be as large as a wedding with 100 guests.
Another thing you need to consider is location. As realtors say: location, location, location! In a couple of weeks, I will be attending a wedding in the bride’s parent’s backyard. The venue is going to be a lot easier on the budget than if they were celebrating in a reception hall downtown Chicago.
Commonly, weddings are held on a Saturday. Saturdays are also the most expensive day of the week to have a wedding. If you are wanting to save atleast $1,000 consider getting married on a weeknight or Sunday. To save even more look at non-peak season months. Generally speaking the summer months are going to cost more than say March or April because more people want to get married in the summer.
When friends come to me asking advice on a budget one of the best pieces of advice I can give is; the sooner you start and plan the better! Set a date that lets you have sufficient time to save up to meet your budget. I’ll be honest I have even heard of couples who know one day they will take the plunge to marriage; so even before getting engaged, they started saving for the big day.
Good luck on you planning! Remember..have fun! Don’t rush, don’t get anxious its about you and your love for someone else.
Make sure to check out my other posts for great advice!
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