Wedding Plans on a Budget
"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."~Antoine de Sainte-Exupery
Planning a wedding can be daunting as much as it is exciting. There are so many things that need to be taken into consideration but the most important factor is the BUDGET. Both you, your partner and in many cases, your families need to be on the same page when it comes to your finances. When budgeting for your wedding, champagne taste on a beer budget definitely won't work. However, a sensible financial plan will help you achieve realistic goals.
There are so many new and tantalizing products and services available with each passing year. As we all know, most of these products and services are featured at all the major Bridal shows. There you will see all the latest fashions, trends and services. From wedding gowns to cake toppers a veritable visual feast and all under one roof........sensory overload indeed! STOP DROOLING and get ahold of yourself! Remain mindful of your budget and be prepared to shop around.
Budget on Track
In order to stay on track, you should create a list of expected expenses. You may be asking yourself what percentage of your budget should be allotted to each expense? Don't worry, it really isn't that complicated. Below is a list which breaks down each element with a "suggested" percentage that should be allocated.
Percentages of budget that should be allotted for various elements:
-Reception-40% to 65%
-Bride's Wedding Attire-13.5% to 18%
-Ceremony-8% to 12%
-Photography-7% to 12%
-Rings-7% to 10%
-Flowers-5% to 13%
-Miscellaneous-4% to 12%
-Music-2% to 10%
-Stationary-3.5% to 5%
-Gifts-3% to 5%
-Church costs-1% to 3%
-Wedding cake-2% to 2.5%
-Transportation and accommodation-2%
As mentioned previously, this is a "suggested" percentage allotment. Some couples place a greater emphasis on certain other elements. For example, flowers may be more important to you than say gifts, so in this case just readjust the percentage for gifts to 2% to 4% and flowers to 6% to 14%.
Creating a budget breakdown list is pretty simple for such an important aspect of your wedding plans. The great thing about preparing such a list is that it gives you real direction and it makes following your budget so much easier.
As you may have noticed, each expense has been referred to as an element. Wedding and Event Planners often refer to them as such when putting together the various aspects of a function. We will also be looking at each element in greater detail in the coming weeks and try to understand why we allot certain amounts of our budgets to them. For example, the Reception will require anywhere from 40 to 60% of your budget. It sounds pretty scary, but it is an important part of your big day. This is where everyone finally comes together to celebrate this special day and truly enjoy the fruits of your labour. Skimping on this important element can ruin an otherwise perfect day. Some couples, against better judgement, place greater emphasis on attire, flowers or transportation only to have everything fall apart at the reception. Don't try to economize here, you want to finish your day off with a bang.
When working out your budget, you may be "guesstimating" what the various vendors such as the florist, photographer, caterer and so on might cost. A vendor's fee may depend on a variety of factors:
-Years of experience
-Supply and demand
-Quality of work
-Competition in local area
-Hours of service being provided
Each vendor can set their own prices for services or products offered so it is up to you to do your homework and shop around. You and your partner may have a personal priority, however, as mentioned before, it is up to you to decide how you wish to allocate your funds. Be advised to always use your discretion and spend your money wisely.
When putting together a wedding budget, you need to figure out what you can afford to spend. You need to decide what is of importance to you and your partner and apply your funds accordingly. Always remember that a memorable wedding day can be had regardless of the size of your budget. Making smart decisions from the beginning can help to keep your costs under control. Here are a few ways that you may successfully keep your wedding costs down:
-Keep It Small-Inviting your closest family members and friends to the wedding will help to keep your costs down but will also create a memorable occasion because you both will be able to spend more time with each of your guests.
-Shop Sample Sales-Buying your bridal gown at a sample sale can save you upwards to thousands of dollars. You may just find a fabulous designer dress at a fraction of the cost.
-Borrow-You can save some money by borrowing possibly shoes, a headpiece or even a bridal gown, (if it works for you).
-Reduce Amount Of Flowers And Decor-By selecting flowers that are in season and reusing ceremony flowers at the reception venue, you can save quite a bit. Also, cutting back on other decor aspects at the reception such as seat covers.
-Eliminate "Atmosphere Enhancing" Gadgets And Props-Many couples love the idea of using the ever popular dry ice or bubble machines at some point during the evening, (usually the first dance), or lighting shows and themed screens to name a few. These options can definitely help to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the affair, however, sometimes less is more so it is not necessary to spend money on any of these gadgets and props.
-Choose All Inclusive Venues-It is far more prudent to choose venues that include everything. Contrary to popular belief, it is not cheaper to rent a space, hire caterers and rent chairs and china and so on. Believe it or not, it may end up costing you considerably more than you think.
-Buffets Are Not Created Equal-Buffets are a great idea but remember that it may end up costing you way more than a sit down meal when it comes to a wedding. Although buffets eliminate the need for extra staff, buffets usually cost the caterers more to produce because they usually require a great deal more food. On the other hand, if you have a cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres and choose a menu with an appetizer, salad, entree and wedding cake for dessert, it will be more than enough food and it will definitely save you money.
-Choose Uncommon Days And Times-Most couples usually select Saturday evenings for receptions but if you opt for a Saturday afternoon, Friday evening or perhaps a Sunday brunch, you will save quite a bit of money which can be utilized elsewhere.
-Choose An Uncommon Month-While many couples want to get married during the spring and summer months, you will save a great deal of money by choosing autumn or winter months. Imagine the the warmth and colours of autumn or the majesty of a "winter wonderland" wedding. Vendors are willing to be far more flexible with pricing from January through March. Also, this time of year can be quite romantic and elegant. However, please note that prices may be more expensive in and around Valentine's Day in February.
-Don't Book Too Far In Advance-If you are willing to book a date closer to your wedding day, vendors will be more flexible because they do not make any profits for dates that are not being utilized. If you are able to arrange your wedding in six months or less, you will be able to negotiate some
Romantic Autumn Wedding
The wedding budget is the most integral part of your planning. It determines everything from number of guests to whether it will be a formal or informal affair. If you follow the tips and steps that have been provided in this article, you will be able to achieve your dream wedding no matter how big or small your budget may be.
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