Budget Breakdown

Wedding planning means different things to different brides.  On the one hand, it is filled with champagne, tulle, and all things blush and bashful (spoken like a true southern, Steel Magnolia belle).  On the other hand, it can be a soul-sucking anxiety train that makes your hair fall out.

I don’t care how “chill” you are as a person.  There will be a day that planning your wedding will get the best of you and you find yourself shaking in a corner.  Whether this presents itself literally or figuratively, it doesn’t really matter.  Just know, that every bride faces that moment.  Also, know that there will be fights.  Between you and your fiance, your florist, your bridesmaids, your mother…  And they’ll be over something stupid.  *stay tuned for the ridiculous first wedding related blowout between Paul and I later in this series.

Knowing these two things ahead of time and coming to peace with them is half the battle.  The other half of the battle is doing your best to keep the fights to a minimum, remember that this day is about you and your fiance starting a new adventure together (not the flavor of the cake or the favors or the band), and keeping on BUDGET.

95% of wedding related fights are about the budget.  Therefore, it is the most important thing to establish before you hit the ground running and booking vendors.  Statistically speaking, if 95% of fights occur due to budget, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I only have to take the obligatory 5% in pre-matrimonial misery.  And thus, we began our wedding adventure hammering out what we could realistically afford.  Which leads me to my second point:

Do NOT go into debt for a wedding.

One night vs. the rest of your lives.  I’m most definitely not a math person (which has been the case my entire life and is why I’m an event planner/writer), but I do know that this wedding business can break the bank.  Trust me, I’ve watched a couple ladies spend what most would spend on a house for one night.  For the rest of us, who will be eating Ramen and anything on the manager’s special section of Kroger for the next year, budgeting is key.

Paul and I decided early on that we would take full responsibility of our wedding and it’s costs.  13 month engagement=$13,000 budget.  That number right there makes me want to weep.  I look at it and think to myself; “I could buy a new car with that”.  I do this as I drive down 400 everyday, holding my phone at odd angles as I try and get the tape deck adapter to work so I might listen to “Fancy” .  In my 2000 Nissan Maxima GLE (that I’ve named Onyx).  With it’s 250,000 miles…  But a new car will have to wait and I will find that walking down a candle lined aisle toward my Prince Charming will outweigh the rattling noise that my car makes.  …my priorities may be a little skewed.

Another very important reason to budget is that it helps to mold and shape your big day.  Our budget immediately began shaping our wedding into an intimate, close friends and family only affair. I saw candle light and romantic draping and soft shades of blush…very Twilight meets Jessica Simpson’s first wedding to Nick Lachey.

Our budget guide comes from the Knot Book of Wedding Lists and looks a little something like this:

Reception and Rentals: 48% (this includes food and alcohol) $6,240

Ceremony: 3% or $390

Wedding Rings: 3% or $390

Stationary: 3% or $390

Flowers: 8% or $1,040

Photography/Videography: 12% or $1,560

Wedding Attire: 10% or $1,300

Entertainment: 8% or $1,040

Transportation and Accommodations: 2% or $260

Gifts: 3% or $390

With that being said, something that I ask all of my brides before we really delve into details is this: What are the 3 most important elements of a wedding to you?  This question is usually met with a little bit of confusion, but it’s designed to see where we can move around funds within our budget.  If you couldn’t care less about flowers, but want a vintage get away car for the send off, it gives us wiggle room to work in everything you want in your big day.  For me, it’s always baffled me why we have to have altar flowers if you have a beautiful altar.  Why buy $500.00 altar flowers, when you can take that money and put it into an amazing hanging flower installment?  Or a bourbon bar?  

Stay tuned to see what our top three are!  Budget..check!





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