Whether you have a modest amount or a lavish bankroll for your wedding, you’ll need to have some sort of plan for how that money will be spent. Weddings are expensive, and there are so many delightful things to add that the cost can creep up much higher than you anticipate. Set up some budget basics in advance and stick to it, and you’ll feel great about your plans instead of being anxious about the rising cost.
The Food and Drink
One of the first things to consider is the number of people you’d like to have at your wedding. Talk with your soon-to-be spouse and come up with a general estimate of the number of guests. From there, you can work on the cost of the food and drink at the reception. Come up with a per-head cost that you’re willing to pay for liquor and food.
Once you figure out the crowd size, you can budget for the venue. If the venue has an on-site catering service, make sure that the options they provide fit within your budgeted amount for food and drinks. Note the head-count minimum and maximum for the venue, and ask about any provided extras such as wedding coordinating services, lighting, sound system, and other options.
The Decor and the Flowers
Flowers and decor will take up another large chunk of your allotted wedding money. Get estimates from a few florists and select one that’s within your price range. Sometimes, the wedding venue will have an on-site decor service and a number of florists with whom they usually work. This can be a convenient way to compare prices without having to find the vendors yourself.
The members of the wedding party often cover the cost of their dresses, tuxes, and shoes, but it’s up to the bride and groom to purchase their own outfits and accessories. Remember to include extras like hair, jewelry, and makeup in this cost category as well.
Are you planning to have a live band or a DJ? Will you have live music during the ceremony? Will there be a photo montage or video? All of these elements will have costs attached.
Don’t forget to include miscellaneous items in your budget, such as the cost of invitations, wedding rings, parking and transportation, and gifts for the wedding party. You’ll also need to budget for wedding favors for all your guests.
If you’re having trouble making the wedding you want fit into your budget basics, you can adjust a few significant factors. Shrinking the guest list can definitely help with the cost. You might also need to consider having your wedding during an off-peak season. If there’s a particular buffet item or drink option that’s hiking up your costs, consider a less pricey item instead. Most importantly, keeping communicating as a couple, and establish shared priorities for your ideal wedding.