(Closed) setting a budget

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
228 posts
Helper bee

I don’t have any wisdom about calculating a budget, still working in that myself. But I heard somewhere that you and your Fiance should each list the three most important things to you about the wedding and then focus your budgeting and planning on those elements, with less stress & money devoted to the other stuff. It has helped us to know each others priorities.

Post # 4
Member
1222 posts
Bumble bee

@jessierose: First, talk to your Fiance and discuss what’s most important to you. Three hundred people? A sit- down dinner? Lots of flowers? A huge dress? And then decide what you know you can live without and what you don’t mind going cheap on.

Then research stuff on the internet. Most vendors will have a price list up on their website; this will help you get an idea of what kind of wedding you can have in your area for what price (for instance, where I live, it’s easy to have a nice wedding and sit-down dinner reception for $10,00 or so for 100 people, but in some areas of the country, $10,000 wouldn’t even pay for the venue and catering!).

These two things should help you get an idea of what you’re looking at spending.

Post # 5
Member
1608 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

1.  Don’t feel you have to have a wedding to match others.   Dont borrow for a wedding.  Dont spend what you dont have, but dont think you have to spend all you have.

2.  Build in a reserve for unforseen expenses.  I would say 10%

3.  Dont forget less obvious expenses — tips, service charges.  Are you going to have favors?  I would vote against.  Gifts to Brides Maids?  In My Humble Opinion, if you demand they do their hair a certain way, you should pay.  The only thing your attendants should have to pay for is their dress, AND you should ask for their budget.  

4.  Saturday night is most expensive –

5.  Narrow down vendors.  Check out one cheaper than you want, and see if the differences matter.

6.  Your reception can be as fancy or not as you want.  If not a meal, it should not be at meal time.  It can be a desert reception or a brunch, depending on time of day. Everyone invited to ceremony must be invited to reception.

7.  IMO, cash bars are not acceptable, but wine and beer only is fine.   Even dry is fine. 

8.  Centerpieces are nice, but not necessary.  You can do candles or something else.

9.  Tell your Inlaws and your parents, you have this many invites.  No extras.  And that includes all people, so if aunts and uncles are married, they count as 2 people.  Agree on guest list with FDH and NO EXTRAS. 

10.  You have to invite spouse, fiancee and long term/live in partner of any guest.  Keep in mind that some people may pop up after you do guest list.  Build in a few extras if needed.  I do not think +1s are generally necessary, especially if singles have other friends or relatives there.  But if you have only one friend or one cousin that is a single, you might want to think about this.  I would think — can I have a table where singles are comfortable.

 

Post # 6
Member
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I would agree-prioritizing is key. What is important to you and your Fiance, and what isn’t? Then, I would look at prices for your area and see what’s realistic. Think outside of the box for venues: do you attend a church that would allow you to have both the ceremony and reception in the same place (that’s what I’m doing–it’s not the prettiest, but it’s SUPER affordable to have our reception in the church gym!). Large guest lists definitely rack the budget up: are you able to keep your wedding small? That really helps! I would also advise looking for a venue that allows you to bring in your own food and alcohol (really helps save money). Do you have any friends who can help out with wedding services (“friendors”)? I wouldn’t suggest NOT paying them or ripping them off, but often they can perform these services for less–one of my fiance’s friends is serving as DJ for us. 

For us, having a big wedding was important, so instead of cutting the guest list we cut other things. We’re having a dry wedding and instead of doing a big evening affair we’re doing it in the afternoon and serving a light lunch catered by a chain Mexican restaurant instead of a big, expensive plated service–for only $10 a person (still our biggest expense of the day). We’re having our wedding on a $5,000 budget which I think is extremely reasonable: it’s taken a lot of prioritizing, but it’s totally do-able!

Good luck: if you need anymore tips, just ask! Sometimes, thinking outside of the box is really the best way to save money: no one says you HAVE to do a wedding in a certain way!

Post # 7
Member
1608 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I agree with think outside the box for venues.   If you are interested in a summer wedding, you might check any private/religous schools near you, they may be interested in renting out their chapel/cafeteria.   You may just have inside cafeteria as “backup” and weather permitting, have outdoor reception.

Post # 8
Member
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Juanita mentioned some great ideas for thinking outside the box for venues.

Often people will come up with a lump sum that they will not go over (like $3000).  You’ll probably need a lump of that money upfront to book certain things (photographer, venue, etc).

Then they do the research and discover things are much more expensive than they thought!  So you could do some research prior to guage what things cost in your area.

 

Or you can look up how other budget brides did their weddings and look for cost breakdowns to get an idea.

 

Here are two DIY weddings with cost breakdowns:

http://2000dollarwedding.com/2008/07/from-conception-to-reception.html

http://www.younghouselove.com/wedding-album/

Post # 9
Member
1608 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would also like to add that the number of attendants can drive up costs.  With a small number of attendants, the Rehearsal Dinner can likely be held at someones home, and if necessary, pizza or cold cuts.  A larger number may not fit anywhere.  If you have a large number of sisters, you may have no choice, but I would try to keep number down.

Post # 10
Member
1649 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I was hoping to find a post about setting a budget! I’m not engaged yet, but probably will be in the next month or so. My guy and I have been talking a little bit about planning a wedding and I’ve been doing a bit of research, but I have no idea how much money we will have to work with (we’re hoping to buy our first place together within a year).

I’ve started doing research and in my area of the country (CT) it can be really expensive to get married. I’ve found that getting married between November and March can help cut down on costs since it isn’t prime wedding season and a lot of places are willing to give discounts to get more business. Also, like someone else mentioned, Saturday evening weddings are the most expensive to host. Maybe you could have the reception at a restaurant you like or at the house of a friend or family member.And if you’re able to have a smaller wedding that can help to cut expenses too.

And do your best to remember that not everything has to look like it belongs on a pinterest page. My personal dream wedding would be going to the Court House and getting married there, but my guy is a bit more traditional and I’m a big believer in compromise so that probably won’t happen. I do plan on getting my dress cheap from a department store or David’s Bridal and I’m hoping to convince my boyfriend that November or December is a great month to get married. Smile

Post # 11
Member
7689 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@jessierose:  I started by setting my budget (as low as possible & not taking on a loan and meeting my daughter’s “must have list”), LOL, and a tentative guest list. I sent you a Private Message.

 

Post # 12
Member
18 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@LoggerHead91207:  Regarding the price of a dress, don’t underestimate sales on sample dresses at local boutiques.  I found an exquisite dress that cost far less than some DB dresses!

I’m still working on my budget and since lots of people are important to Fiance, I’m seeing how significant a cost it is.  Unfortunately, we can’t narrow down the guest list too much.

Post # 13
Member
1649 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@hlob:  I have so much to learn! It’s a good thing I’m not planning a wedding yet, I had no clue about sample sales! Lol!

Even if you can’t cut down on the guest list you can still shop around for an affordable venue. Keep a running list of things that are important to both of you. If you feel like you’re spending too much you can use the list to make some cuts or adjustments (I do lists for everything).

Post # 14
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

There are several good ideas about saving money and cutting costs listed here. 

I read your post as “help me figure out how to allocate my money” or “How can I figure out what I’m realistically going to be spending.”  If you’re looking for that kind of advice try searching the boards for budget breakdowns.  If you google “wedding budgeting” you’ll find some sites with recommendations about what percentage of your budget should be spent on each area.  This might be an OK starting point, but I found that my expensises divieded up significantly differently than the recommendations provided by planning websites.

I eventually just made my own excel spreadsheet with every expense item I could think of listed by row, and columns for “Estimated cost”,” Actual Cost”, “Paid-to-Date” “Gifted” and “Balance”  And I summed each of those columns. – It helped me keep track of what I’d spent, and what I still needed to pay for.  And because a few of our family members gifted services or centerpieces – or parts of these things (etc.) I kept track of “gifted” costs – to make sure that everything was taken care of.

If you would like a copy of my spreadsheet I’ll be happy to share it – just PM me with an email address. 

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