Post # 1
Fi and I opened a joint bank account for wedding stuff in November and have been putting in 1,500 each month, so it would be about 22,000 dollars by the wedding date. It’s important to both of us that we pay for our wedding in cash, and that we don’t dip into our savings too much. We also talked about cutting back on travel(we are long distance) and both expect that we would put lump sums into the wedding account closer to the day.
My Dad just told me this weekend that he wants to give me 15,000, to be honest I”m not sure I feel comfortable taking this from him, but if its going to hurt his feelings I might just take it. With the amount I have in savings and from what Fi said I think we can spend anywhere from 50 to 80 grand. Although I’m not sure I want too. The Three places places we narrowed it down too are cool non-profit venues which would allow us to bring in our own caterer and alcohol, and all cost under 5000 grand to rent out the buildings. Although Fi has made clear to me that he doesn’t want “wedding food” or caterers that he wants to hire a nice restaurant that does catering and he is willing to pay top notch for it.
Even though we have this money at our disposal and we don’t technically have a wedding budget, I’m still feeling a little uncomfortable and I don’t want to go in to places and tell them that we don’t really have a budget and have them go all out and try to get us to spend a ridiculous amount of money.
I guess I’m wondering if its helpful to to make a budget? I also still want deals. How did you deal with vendors and make sure they were giving you nice things but not jacking up the price because of your budget? Is it easier to pick a specific number or budget, to help keep us on track? We are almost a year out so we are going to start booking our big things like venue and photography, and maybe a wedding planner. Anyways I just need advice on how you approached wedding planning with a big budget. Thanks Ladies!
Post # 3
Set a number you’re comfortable with spending. Aim to keep things at that, and if you’re under, fantastic; if you’re over, you aren’t going into debt. We have a fairly large budget, but are trying to keep it lower than the budget so we don’t have to take so much money from my parents. I definitely wouldn’t go into places and tell them you have no budget, because they’ll start seeing more dollar signs than they already do with weddings.
Post # 4
I think having a budget is a good idea. Think about how much you want to spend on the wedding. Just because you can spend 80k doesn’t mean you have to. You might decide that it makes more sense to spend 30-40k and put the rest towards a house or rainy day funds. You can definitely have a fabulous wedding for 40k. How many people are you having? This will be a big factor in budgeting. Try the wedding budget calculator at the knot to get some ball park figures of what you get for 40, 60, 80k and go from there. 🙂
Post # 5
Yes, you should absolutely set a budget. And yes you should tell the vendors you have a X budget w/o telling them what amount.Because you DO have a budget, it’s 50-80K. If you say you don’t have a budget you can have 200K to spend on a wedding for all they know.
Question, if you will save up 22K by the wedding and your dad is giving you 15K how does that equate to 50-80K?
Also, depending on where you are 50-80K might not be a “big” budget if you are thinking you can go all out.
Also, I guess my question is if you were prepared to spend only 22k on a wedding why not stick with that budget and do something else with the 15K? Like a down payment on a house or towards a nicer honeymoon than you were anticipating? Just a thought.
Budgets have a crazy way of ballooning on a lot of couples especially if they don’t have a budget. I think you’re safer to aim for a lower number than you have to spend. That way if you go over you’re not going into debt even after all this extra cash you’re dad is giving you.
Post # 6
Thanks for the responses so far. You guys raised good points I don’t want to come out with a 200,000 dollar bill. I will check out The Knot.
We both are planning on putting lump sums into the account sometime next year.I’m putting my tax return in there, and am also going to dip into my savings for another 12,000. Fi is willing to put in anywhere from 25 to 40 thousand(at this point we are saying 40,000) in there. Plus if we take the gift from my Dad it adds up to over 80,000.
I guess our issue at the moment is we have a range in mind with no solid numbers. We also both own condos at the moment, and have no plans to buy a house anytime soon.
Post # 7
If you can bring in your own alcohol, then you’ll save a ton over the places where you must use theirs. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t mind splurging on the food itself.
I would make a list of the things that are most important to you. Have Fiance do the same. Take the top things from both of your lists, and then plan to “splurge” on those items. For the rest of it try to keep the prices very reasonable. (If you need to see what reasonable is, get a few quotes and see what the median seems to be).
Post # 8
Even if you are willing to spend $80k, that doesn’t mean that you have no budget. $80k is well over the national average, but it’s not unheard of. I know people who spent much more than that on their weddings and still had to cut back on some things they wanted, so it’s all a matter of expectations. Things add up quickly.
You definitely shouldn’t tell a vendor that you don’t have a budget, or even what your total budget is. You should find vendors you like and find out how much they cost. If I were in your position, I would add up the approximate prices for the venue, food, dress, flowers, etc. that we wanted and see where it comes out. If it’s under $70k then you will have a lot of comfortable wiggle room. I wouldn’t go for more expensive things just because the money’s there, but it’s nice to know you have a lot of financial flexibility.
Is any of this budget also going towards the honeymoon?
Post # 9
Have you thought of not taking the $12k out of your savings since your Dad is now offering $15k? That would be my first cut right there, but I am also a crazy saver so savings is incredibly important to me and I’d hate to touch it for a wedding. I will echo the others that you DO have a budget- a max amount you *can* spend. However you seem not too cozy with spending that much so you need to sit down and decide: what am I willing to spend? What can I take out of savings and be okay with it down the road? Just because you can spend 80K doesn’t mean you have to. In the same breath if you have the means to spend it and feel comfortable doing it then there is your budget. Good luck!
Post # 10
It is amazing just how quickly wedding budgets get out of control. Do not tell anybodythat you have no budget, you do have a budget. Based on what you have told us, I’m not even sure you can gurantee that 80K as your Fiance has said anywhere fro 25-40K which is a massive range. Start by deciding what is most imporatnt (venue, catering etc) do some research into general costs typically associated with teh type of wedding you want to have and then go from there.
Even if you are not looking to buy a house, you don’t absolutely have to spend the money if the things you want end up costing less. Allow yourself an extra 10k withinn whatever budget you set for the unforeseen. Things like increase in fuel prices, bad weather etc can really have an impact on your expenses. For example, when I was planning my wedding I got raw bar quotes included in my catering. By the time I got married, the prices of oysters and shrimp had more than doubled because of the oil spill in the gulf. I still went with it, but only because I had factored a buffer into the budget.
Post # 11
I’d have to agree with everything the PPs said. My budget was in your range and in NO WAY did I consider myself to have a big budget. In fact, I would say my wedding budget was average for the area and the group of friends and family we come from.
Yes, you absolutely still have to set a budget since you really don’t have unlimited funds and the cost of a wedding can snowball REALLY QUICKLY. And as you said you don’t want to be dipping into your savings or going into debt so you most definitely need to set a budget to keep on track. We just had a ball park figure of how much we wanted to spend for each item, it was mostly what we are comfortable spending and that the grand total stayed within a certain range. You also want to decide early what exactly your wedding fund is going to include, like the wedding bands and honeymoon.
Post # 12
No matter whether you have $5,000 or $500,000 to spend on a wedding, it’ll probably be really helpful for you to set a budget. Wedding costs add up quickly and can be overwhelming. It’ll be helpful for you as your plan to know how much you want to spend in each different area.
Post # 13
I’d suggest you put your budget on paper with a $50K target – it adds up really quickly – example:
$20K Food & Beverage
Boom – you’re at $50K without anything that looks unusually high, some lines actually look a bit low to me 🙂 If you are aiming for $50K and you find something that you simply can’t live without (like a photobooth or something) you will have no problem spending a little more knowing that you can go over.
When you meet with vendors you don’t need to tell any of them the budget for your entire wedding (I never told anyone – not even my planner), just tell them what you have budgeted for that particular service (and fudge a little lower than, because they will inevitably come in higher than whatever number you give them).
Post # 14
@CallmeC that is a very good idea. But part of me feels bad just because Fi is paying a lot for the wedding so I feel I should have to contribute somehow. I am trying to be as fair as possible about it.
@plantains That is just a range. It’s guaranteed that Fi has the 40,000 that is just his max for food and the bar. When I said we didn’t have budget I meant itemized budget for everything. Our top was Eighty grand, with the money from my Dad it actually takes it to about 95,000 which is why I’m not so sure we should take it.
@yellowshoes My city is really expensive too, but because of the non profit venues we looked at I felt like we could easily spend 25,000 and have a really nice wedding. I just joined weddingbee so I have to look around more, but most of the budget breakdowns I’ve seen have been a lot lower then our estimates.
Thanks guys, there is a lot of good advice.
Fi is looking into Steak Houses to cater, and I know that easily is going to be over a hundred dollar per head without even including alcohol. However he only has a few request and I don’t want to be a party pooper and tell him no, especially because its his money and he can afford it.
I guess I’m just nervous because this is the first big thing Fi and I are spending money on together. I know he is responsible with his money however I’m a little bit surprised at how relaxed he seem to be about spending that amount of money, when we first sat down to talk about budget he told me it was fine as long as we stay between 100,000 and 125,000! After I stopped hyperventilating and picked myself off the floor we came down to eighty. I want this to be collaborative process between us, but I like set numbers, and Fi is always talking in ranges, so we have to try to get on the same page I guess. I want to set a budget sooner rather then later, but he thinks we will have plenty of time. I was just curious about how other people in our price range approached spending their money.
Post # 15
It was very important to me to have a set budget that I make myself work within. Originally, I set myself a $25k budget, but we decided to increase that to $35k to accomodate our dream venue. I’ll be honest, if I hadnt’ set a budget for things I would be spending at least $50k right now because EVERY vendor has tried to upsell me by thousands of dollars. Here is my rough breakdown:
Venue/food/alcohol/cake — $28k
Dress — $600 (could have been $5k)
Flowers/Decor — $650 (could have been $15k)
Photographer — $2500 (could have been $8k)
Hair/make-up — $100 (could have been $800)
Shoes — $60 (could have been $600)
Music — $400 (could have been $5k)
You see how many things that I near my budget on, rather than just buying what was available? Venue was important to me, but it was also important to me to not spend $50k on a wedding. I am comfortable with my $35k budget and get pleasure from negotiating with vendors to stay there.
Post # 16
@reebee: I TOTALLY agree about a) never sharing your total budget and b) fudging on the low end of what your budget is for a particular service because they ALWAYS come in slightly above.