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How to Create a Wedding Budget

When thinking about a wedding budget most people instantly get overwhelmed and want to put off planning. Now don't get us wrong, budgets and weddings can be stressful, but there are ways to make it not so overwhelming. And the biggest advice we have is, be realistic, do your research and take one step at a time!

To start let's just throw out there that the average wedding costs $30-$35K. Not to say you can't spend less or of course more, but having this number in mind allows couples to have a little more realistic understanding as to what they may spend when it is all said in done.

Typically, our first step with the budget is asking our clients these three questions: 1. Who is contributing to the budget? 2. How much are they contributing? 3. Do you have a number already in mind as to what you want to spend? Now depending on this said number, it's ideal to allow yourself at least 8-12 months to plan. This helps break up all your payments and not have to be super rushed with booking all your vendors.

Once the budget is set, we ask our clients to really think about what is important to them. What are things that are must haves at our wedding? For some client's, florals are very important and is an area they know they want to spend a good amount of their budget on. Or some really want a specific photographer that they know is a little more expensive. This allows you to then be more realistic with what is left over in the budget after the must haves are identified.

Now, even though florals or photography may be one of the most important things to you, we do recommend starting with booking your venue. This is typically one of the most expensive areas, and once you have the venue it allows you to set the official wedding date and book the rest of your vendors! After venue, it is important to think about catering. This is also an area that tends to be pretty expensive. You need to consider if you are doing plated or buffet, plastic or real plates, 1 or 2 food options, sides, etc. All while remembering that each person you invite is a dollar amount added to your overall catering bill. Plus, you have to ensure you rent enough tables, chairs, table settings and linens to seat your number of invited guests. This can often help couples narrow down their guest list and/or decide on buffet style over plated to save a little.

Now to rewind just a little, we do of course highly recommend hiring a planner from the very beginning to help you navigate the budget process. Planners can offer you so much insight on things you might have never even thought of, suggest different ways to save in certain areas, and most importantly they have worked with a lot of different vendors. And on top of all that, Planners are there to help relieve a lot of the stress with not just the budget, but with booking your vendors and finalizing every little detail that comes with wedding planning! So why wouldn't you want to have one on your side??

Okay, so you have a Planner, Venue, and Caterer, now what? You again need to look back at those must haves. Once those are booked, you can start making your way through the rest of the vendor list. We do really recommend booking all your vendors as soon as possible, because most vendors often begin booking up a year out.

Vendors that typically fill up fast are DJs, Photographers, Videographers, HMU, Bar Bakers, and Florists. Which honestly is most of the vendors you need! So again, this is why we really encourage couples to book the vendors they want as soon as possible, and/or allow yourselves a good amount of time to plan!

Now with all your vendors make sure do your research, we suggest meeting with at least 3 in each area. This may sound taxing, but this allows you to see different pricing and packages but to also get a feel for each vendors personality. Just because someone is a little cheaper doesn't necessarily mean they are the right fit for you. Some of these vendors are going to be spending a good amount of your wedding day with you, so you want to make sure your personalities mesh well. So, take the time to do your research, and build the wedding team that is perfect for you!

Another thing to think about is the dress. A wedding dress can be a big-ticket item, and an area you don't want to have to compromise in! So, you may want to consider that be something you start looking at early on. You never know, you may fall in love with a $500 dress or a $2,500 dress. Plus, if alterations have to be made that can take longer than you think.

Additional vendors that you want to keep in mind are those rental companies with decor, place settings, linens, tables/chairs, etc., and even some of the fun extra vendors like Balloon companies and Photo Booths, if your budget allows!

You feel better? Or are you more overwhelmed?! We want to remind you of our biggest advice; be realistic, do your research and take one step at a time! You don't need to go out and book all your vendors in one day! But you do need to be aware and realistic about all the vendors you do need to book. So, sit down with your fiancé, and planner if you have one, and just start talking! What is important to you? Who is contributing to the budget? What is an ideal budget amount? What venues do you want to go see? Once you book your venue and start going down the list of vendors to book, we promise it all starts to fall into place! You just have to take the time and really figure out what you want, what you want to spend and who you want to be at your big day!

Our team of skilled planners is here help!! You can fill out our contact form on our website, call/text or email, to schedule a quick consult call with our team! Happy Planning!

Photo Credits:

Kylie Morgan

Chloe Huls

Abby Blossom

Jamie Anderson

Rosie Nary

Karli and David

Kylie Morgan

Capital Occasions


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