On many a sales call I’ve had a great repour with a bride or groom, talked about all the services and their benefits we provide, answered all their questions and then quoted our price, only to be met with ‘that’s more than we budgeted’. When I have inquired further how they came up with their budget, they didn’t have an answer and only a handful had done the research to back their “number”. A true budget is not an estimate of what you think something costs, but what the actual cost range of what that item can be secured for. Many brides and grooms actually go over budget on the majority of items at their wedding, leaving them to cut back items later that they would have wanted to spend more on. A combined national survey said that after their wedding, 70% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment. In that same survey, entertainment was chosen 9th out of first 10 items purchased. Virtually no other service you choose will have a bigger impact on your reception than the entertainment. That being said here are some steps to creating a budget that will still allow you to have the day of your dreams within your budget.
1. Determining your date is paramount. the month and day you choose will affect your cost with all your vendors.
2. Make 2 lists, one for the ceremony and one for the reception.
3. List the items that are must haves for each. Wedding dress, tuxedo, ring, clergy etc., for the ceremony; location, food and entertainment etc., for the reception.
4. Place those items that you feel will have the biggest and most lasting effect on your family and guests, in priority order for each event.
5. Call at least 3 vendors and service providers for quotes based on your date and time for the services you absolutely want.
6. Place the quotes you like next to the item on each list and add it up, this is your true estimated budget for both your ceremony and reception.
7. List those items that you feel will have the biggest lasting impact on your family and guests. Now, If you need to adjust your budget based on your total, this will make it easier for you to adjust an item in either your ceremony or reception budget without sacrificing the overall impact of your wedding day.
Best of Luck with your budget!