When planning a wedding, Pinterest and all those lovely wedding blogs inspire big dreams and make everything look possible. But before you start delving into your next DIY project or hand over half your wedding budget to book that vendor you simply must have, it is important to get all your financial ducks in a row so that you know how much you should plan to spend in each area. Throughout the planning process, money can prove to be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you spend too much in one area early on, your budget can be in some serious trouble later when you still have five more vendors to book and very little funds left to do so. To help you figure all this money stuff out, this week we want to give you a few tips and tricks to tackle the daunting task of appropriately budgeting funds for your celebration.
Step 1: Determine Your Total Wedding Budget
You’re engaged, congrats! After the champagne has been poured and the well wishes have been bestowed, before you make a single plan for your day, you need to connect with the people who will be helping you throw this shin-dig to find out how much money you have to work with. It is super important that you have a firm idea of what your total budget is for this celebration prior to creating your guest list, determining your venue, or booking any vendors.
Step 2: Utilize the Marisa Nicole Events Percentage System
You have a number (or a range) of how much you and/or your families are able to contribute to your wedding. Huzzah! Once again, we beg you to hold off on booking anything! Take your overall budget and apply the guide below to your finances to determine how much you should plan to spend in each area. You will notice that we are giving you percentage ranges, not hard numbers. In this system, our base numbers equal 100%, however, we know that every couple is distinct and will choose to value certain sections of their wedding more than another. It is for this reason that we have kept our breakdown fluid, so that you can choose to spend more or less in an area depending on where that section lands in your hierarchy of wedding priorities.
- Hair & Makeup: 2-3%
- Transportation: 2-3%
- Cake/Dessert: 2-3%
- Lighting & Sound: 4-5%
- Dress & Accessories: 5-7%
- Tipping: 5-7%
- Venue Rental: 5-10%
- Entertainment: 5-10%
- Video & Photo: 8-12%
- Flowers, Linens, Decor: 10-15%
- Planning, Design, Coordination: 10-15%
- Food, Beverage, & Functional Rentals: 40-50%
- Extra Cushion: 2-3%
Step 3: Pick a Venue That Fits Your Budget
To pick a venue that fits within your budget, we encourage you to evaluate the total costs of the venue location fee, food, beverages, and rentals. If these items combined equal less than or equal to 50% of your budget, then having a wedding at the location are you considering is a viable option for your budget. All venues set up their packages differently. Some will come with the caterer and all rentals, while others will come with nothing. Before you book, it is important to glean an estimate of what these costs will be so that you can determine if this venue is in or out of your budget. Once you have selected a venue and evaluated these costs, you will be ready to create a more detailed, line-item budget for your wedding.
We’ve only scratched the surface on the inner workings of budgeting for a wedding, however, with these steps we know you will be well on your way to a fantastic day that actually fits within your budget!