the “B” word

We are tackling a bear today, y’all. Yes, the dreaded subject of the wedding budget (Get it? “B” word?). Regardless of how much money you have to spend, this topic is usually met with a heavy sigh, or just complete avoidance.  [Budget? What budget?] We are talking about a few simple tips and tricks to get your started. We’re not diving too deep into this today, but just a few small conversations and evaluations can take a huge load off of this bear.

We’d like to put a different spin on the “moo-lah” conversation. Let’s not talk about percentages of how much should be slated to venue vs. food vs. rentals. You can Google, Bing or Yahoo Search “wedding budget” and literally 8.5 million topics appear. Just trust us. Talk about overwhelming, no? Let’s talk big picture. Let’s start at the beginning and we’ll coach you on how to do this crazy financial thing.

Put First Things First – Who is going to contribute to the overall budget and how much will each party fund? In the 21st century, long standing traditions of the bride’s family footing the entire bill are rare. Add to that, partners, grandparents, relatives and the bride and groom’s contributions and you could potentially have a crowd large enough to be considered a Kickstarter campaign for your wedding! Lucky you! On the other hand, it it’s just the two of you who are hosting this event, have a “sit down” (to use a Soprano’s term) and have a budget discussion. Nope, it’s not fun, but you’ll have 10,000 more of these in the course of your marriage. May as well start with this one!
Prioritize – Sit down and talk about your wedding. What are the items that are most important to the two of you?
Are you foodies, and you absolutely must have that custom farm-to-table, localvore menu?
Plan on wowing your guests from the moment they walk in? They venue will be a priority then. You’ll need something large and opulent enough to hold all those people.
Maybe you’ve envisioned an outdoor wedding with tents and lighting set at a plantation, then the rentals must be a priority for you.
Once you set those priorities, you’ll use this as the central, driving force for all things wedding. From venues, to caterers and rental invoices, if you maintain your priorities throughout the planning process, you will end up with the wedding you wanted from the very beginning.
Spend Smart – Seems obvious doesn’t it? Of course you want to spend smart! But with weddings, emotions are also at play and that can cause some of us to spend with our heard over our brain. [Insert: “We’re only getting married once… we can splurge on just this one thing right?]
What we mean by this is get as much for your money as possible. Love a venue because it’s pretty? That’s great, but that doesn’t help you in your quest to seat 155 of your closest friends and family. If there’s another venue that is comparable in cost, but you get tables and chairs and maybe even linens, that’s a better spend. This potentially frees up funds to be allocated to other items in your budget. Very important.
Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole – The message here is: work with what you book. If your reception is in an old historic building, work with that. Don’t fight it and try to make it a W Hotel ballroom. You’ll spend too much money trying to change something that can be fantastic. Trust us, we’ve seen it.
Babysit that Budget – Finally, watch the budget like a puppy loose in your shoe closet. The moment you ignore it, it can go off the radar. Before you know it, you’re over budget in several areas. Manage it. Keep track of it. You can “move the beans” around from bucket to bucket as you spend and save (and honestly, that’s kind of fun!) but keep your eyes on it. Because we know what a puppy can do when left unattended!
Hope you found this helpful!
Until next time…
windy-sig

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