Today, we’re talking about everyone’s favorite topic… budgeting! (Cue the eye rolls)
Though not nearly as fun as cake tastings and dress fittings, budgeting is a crucial part of the wedding planning process. Don’t let it stress you out. We have some tips and tools to make budgeting a breeze!
While it’s easy to find ranges and percentages for spending around the web, everything is going to depend on your location and guest count. It’s important to get in touch with what is most important to you to find just the right balance. You may have to sacrifice in some areas to spend more on others. Consider your needs vs wants. If you love music and your biggest goal is having everyone on the dance floor all night, you may want to pay more for your band and spend less on something like the decorations. If you love dessert, you may want to spend a little more on a really impactful dessert bar, and skip something like a guestbook or remembrance table. The night will end, but you will have the photos and video forever, so trading up on the photographer/videographer is never a bad idea.
No matter where you decide to put your money, here are some insider ways to save:
Before locking down a venue, make sure they have enough tables, chairs and dishware for your guest count so you don’t end up having to rent anything
Some venues let you choose between “consumption” pricing (or “per drink”, where you only pay for what is ordered and consumed throughout the night) and “per head” pricing (which is a flat rate per guest per hour). Consumption pricing typically comes in cheaper than per head, but you really need to know your crowd and venue’s “per drink” pricing to know for sure. If the majority of your guest list is made up of heavy drinkers, it might be worth rolling the dice on the per head pricing, but if the number of heavy drinkers are balanced out by an older crowd, you should still be safe with consumption pricing. Pro tip: guests tend to drink more during warmer months.
Contrary to popular belief, buffets aren’t always more affordable since the venue still needs to make sure enough food is made for everyone, and family style can be even more expensive since they need to make a little extra of everything. Talk to your venue about the most affordable food options - taco bar stations are definitely trending up!
If you have a stunning vision in your head for the tables but know it would cost a fortune (i.e. wooden farm tables), scale it back to just your sweetheart or head table. That is the table that will be the most photographed and after cocktail hour, no one will notice the difference anyway.
Printed items like menus are a great place to save and get more costly as your guest count rises. Instead of printing menus for every guest, have 1-2 menus on stands at each table instead, or skip them altogether and let guests be surprised.
Ask your florist which ceremony flowers can be repurposed for the reception. A garland along the aisle can later be strewn across the head table, and bridesmaid bouquets can be placed in vases on cocktail tables or in the bathrooms for an added embellishment.
Use our easy budgeting tool to keep you on track along the way. If you go over in one area, just look at the total budget to see where you can pull from or what you can pass on.
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