You know that weddings come in many shapes, sizes and most importantly, price tags. You have probably already given a lot of thought to the dream wedding you would like to have, but it’s time now to sit down and get serious about planning a wedding budget.
So, grab a cup of coffee, find someplace quiet and think about some things that you might want to include.
Be realistic in your initial thoughts and planning so as not to set yourself and your future spouse up for disappointment as you begin to explore the actual cost associated with all the wedding preparation.
For instance, don’t entertain the idea of having your family and friends fly to Hawaii, for a beach wedding, if you know it is not something that neither you nor they will likely be able to afford.
Your Choices Will Dictate Your Final Costs
You and your future spouse should decide what type of wedding you want, formal, informal, Do-It-Yourself, Destination, somewhere in between or a combination of one or more of these ideas.
If you are planning a formal affair with say 200 guests, heavy hors-d’oeuvres with a sit-down dinner; you may be looking at a pretty significant price tag.
If you are planning something more modest, say 50-100 people or so, your decisions will still dictate the final cost. If this is a second wedding or perhaps a mature wedding, you may want to skip some things you did for a previous wedding. Family, including children and grandchildren, may be more important than before.
Make sure you think about all the things that are really important to you and your future spouse as you begin your initial planning.
The Number of Guests is Crucial
There is a difference of course in having 100 people at your wedding vs 200. Most venues charge by the person and an extra 100 people will double the cost of your wedding reception pronto! So, think very carefully about the cost as you make your wedding guest list.
I will go into some detail in future posts about building your guest list. You may have to make some hard decisions about what family and friends to invite depending on your family makeup and circumstances.
I will say at this point that it is not necessary to invite all your co-workers as that can add up quickly and be a budget buster almost immediately.
A rule of thumb – if you have an “outside-the-office” relationship with a co-worker, include them. If you do not, then it is not necessary to invite them.
Wedding Time of Day
Will you have your wedding in the morning, afternoon or evening? This decision alone can make a huge difference in your final cost. Morning weddings tend to be less expensive for a variety of reasons and evening weddings the most expensive.
One reason, of course, is that people generally eat less and expect less of everything in the morning than they do at evening weddings.
The evening is dinner time and your guest will have expectations in-line with the hour. There is also entertainment, liquor, dancing, cake, etc. expected at evening weddings, all making it the more expensive option.
Because morning or afternoon weddings do not require the same level of food, drink, or entertainment, they have become a viable option for many brides looking to have a lovely, but less expensive wedding.
Wedding Decorations Expense
The cost of your flowers will vary based on the type you choose. Whether it is fresh or silk, in season or out, the size, the style, and any extra touches you may select for your florals — all will dictate how labor intensive and expensive your bouquets and other floral arrangements may be.
If you decide on fresh flowers will you buy them from your local florist, big box warehouse store, or order them wholesale.
Remember that you will need floral for both your wedding venue and reception venue if they are to be held at different locations or even in different rooms.
You can apply this scenario to almost anything from the other decorations you will need, to your dress, the reception venue, the cake, and the honeymoon. The price, in the end, will be what you make and your future spouse decide to make it.
Reception Expense – What You Decide to Serve
Depending upon the number of guests you invite, and whether you have a breakfast buffet, a formal sit-down dinner, serve wine and beer, or have an open bar, all this and then some will figure prominently in your final cost.
Will your reception be at home in the back-yard, hotel or wedding venue? Will you be able to negotiate a child’s price if at a wedding venue?
If it is to be a back-yard reception, how much will it cost to rent the extra tents, tables, chairs, etc. that will be required to turn the backyard into a beautiful reception area?
Yes, there is a huge difference in price in almost everything associated with your wedding. The idea at this point is just to build a bare-bones outline of what you may consider as a part of your wedding budget.
We will be getting into more detail in future posts about some specific items you can explore before you make your decisions final.
As you are in the beginning stages of planning your wedding budget, do “let the juices flow.” that is, be open to new ideas and new trends for your wedding.
You can always explore these new ideas and discard them if they don’t fit into your final thought process and/or budget.
Above all, planning your wedding should be a joyous and fun experience for both you and your future spouse. Make your wedding your own, as you make it about you and your loved one by having it reflect who you are, during your wedding ceremony and your reception.
Your wedding, your choices, and it is you who is ultimately in charge of how much or how little your wedding, reception, and honeymoon will cost. The price, in the end, will be what you make it. Happy Planning!
Before you go I would like to hear what you think of this post, so please take a moment and let me know. Also, please feel free to leave any suggestion you may have about a wedding topic that you would like to see a post on.
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