Post # 1
Bees, I feel kind of awkward saying this because talking money is never really polite, but my FI and I have plenty of money in the bank- enough that we could afford a pretty lavish wedding without clearing the bank account for it.
However, I am pretty practical person, I recognize that it is one day and there are other things that i will eventually think that money could be better spent on. Because there isn’t a real constraint over what we can afford, though, I am having a hard time arbitrarily choosing a number to set as our budget.
Any bees in a similar situation (or who had parents offer to pay for the whole thing) have any advice on setting (and sticking to) a reasonable budget when there isn’t a huge constraint over what you can afford?
Post # 3
The average is about $25, 000. Why not just use that? If it really doesn’t matter, it could be more of a “goal” than an actual budget.
Post # 4
Well, it really depends on where you live/are having the wedding. You can have a super nice wedding for about $30k here in Southern California (although I’m sure you can have an even NICER one for more money) but some people spend six figures on weddings. Although more money doesn’t always mean better quality – just a little side note lol.
Maybe just start researching venues, photographers, etc and see which ones you like best and go from there? Also research the average price for those things in your area so you know if you’re going too overboard or not.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We had a certain number that was allowed to be withdrawn from a certain account, but I was free to spend as much as I wanted from my own personal fun money account. So we never had a set budget. I just spent what I felt comfortable with/ what seemed reasonable for each part of the planning process.
Post # 6
Unless you’re a Gates or a Buffet, money is always an issue. Money is a finite resource. To find your target budget when you’ve got a good cash reserve, you can start by comparing a wedding to other big-ticket purchases that you are likely to make in the future. For example, a new car averages around $30k (this might not be an average that reflects a car you would actually buy, so think about what kind of car you’d buy– Sedan, sports car, SUV, etc– and get the average there). Do you think it is reasonable to spend “a car” on a wedding? Less? More? How about spending “a luxury vacation” or “the down-payment (20%) of an average home in your area”? Comparing the relative value of these different purchases can help you decide what you personally feel is worth spending on a wedding, and that can help you find your target price.
Post # 7
We never set a budget either. I just started looking at things that I wanted and ended up getting a total from all of that stuff. I looked at it like if I want X, how much is it worth it to us to pay for that? It was probably a lot easier doing it that way instead of setting a dollar amount and trying to fit everything into it.
Post # 8
If a budget isn’t necessarily a contraint, I would just approach planning by making sure that you get a good deal, do research to locate the best value for your money, take on DIY projects that are important to you, out source those things that are going to give you a head ache, and just generally try not to get too swept up in the extras… do you really need a 10 teir cake? Maybe not even though you could afford it.. Also I would prioritize the things that are important to you… maybe spend more on the band or hte food if that’s what is high on your list, and not get top of the line for the things that aren’t as important.
Post # 9
We never set a budget. We just went thing by thing and if it seemed reasonable we paid it. It worked fine.
Post # 10
@fishbone: +1 to that. Exactly, I think it’s about spending what you think it’s worth and then prioritizing the items that are most important toy ou.
Post # 11
@TeamAwesome: We were in a similar situation.
Going into the process we threw out the number of $25,000.00 because as a PP mentioned this is the average cost of weddings overall. While we did what we could to stick to this amount we realized that our taste and hopes would cost more. As we were paying for it ourselves and could afford more we went ahead with making our dream wedding a reality. In the end we spent over $75,000.00.
I think setting a potential budget is important as it allows some guidance when making those decisions and it can make those deicisions less difficult. Even though we blew our budget out of the water it did help us along the way.
Post # 12
I would just start with finding a venue that you love and working it from there. Once you get an idea of what you’ll pay for the place, and whatever else that includes, then you can figure out what’s reasonable and what you want to pay for.
I didn’t go in with a cap, but I chose the venue based on what I liked and sourced the rest from there. Then I added it up, made an awesome excel notebook, showed it to my dad, he agreed, and we went for it!
Post # 13
@TeamAwesome: Love the name! LOL
Our little weddingmoon was $3300 for all wedding things and our vacation was $3700 (we got married on the vacation). Yet that whole shebang was just 4.8% of our income.
We could have had a big wedding but we really wanted to spend it on something we wanted and not a bunch of poo-poo party guests that complained about having to come to a wedding. Making it for “us” was the priority.
So I guess try to figure out what are your priorities. Maybe sit down and come up with 3-5 of the most important things you guys want for your wedding. Then build the budget around that. Then if you get side tracked or consumed in details, you can always refer back to your priorities and ask yourself are we on track?
Post # 14
We were in the same boat too- budget wasnt an issue, but I am super frugal. We didn’t bother setting a budget knowing that if I really wanted something, no fictitious budget was going to stop me from getting it. I’d just spend reasonably and add it up at the end! We only ended up spending 22k, which I think is very reasoanble. I splurged where I wanted, got my must haves, and skimped and DIY’ed to save money on things I didn’t really care about.
Post # 15
I’m sort of in a similar spot – my father (who passed away recently) left me a wedding fund that more than covers a really nice wedding. I have a hard time with the line between enjoying the wedding and being considered wasteful.
My best advice for you would be to prioritize what is important to you and figure out how much that costs to do well.
Also number of people is key. This is where it sky rockets. If you want a lot of extra stuff, you’ll probably need to have less people. Ours is probably going to be about 40K for 200 people. The main reason it’s so high is the number of people we are having. Less people would be way less. 🙂
Post # 16
We had the same issue – I made FI give me a budget just because I need to work within parameters. I think you need to look at where you live, what you envision and start asking around for some pricing to give you an idea. Start a guest list and figure out size. Ask around, maybe talk to a couple wedding planners who have ideas on the going rates of things. Talk to a friend if you can that had a wedding you liked and how much they spent…
Have fun with it! No need to spend for the sake of spending but don’t painfully limit yourself either.