You just got engaged and don’t know where to start? We encourage you to start thinking about your wedding budget. What do you want to invest in your big day? Somethings might be more important than others, such as food, photography, and location. You should feel confident when you’re reaching out to vendors. Many vendors will ask what your wedding budget to see if they will be a good fit for your wedding.
One of the first questions we had from couples is where to start and what are the top priorities for a wedding. Every couple is different, and every budget is different, but we wanted to provide some suggestions when getting started.
Establish What’s Important
Before you start talking about money, you have to decide what is most important to both of you. We recommend you both make a list of what is highest to lowest priority. Then compare both of your lists and see what you have in common. Maybe some of your priorities match, and some don’t. This helps establish open communication before making big decisions.
From here you can start to work on budgeting for your wedding. It lays out where you should invest more of your money and what’s most important to both of you. Your wedding will be beautiful no matter what but doing this puts your wedding into perspective for you and your families.
Talk to Your Family
This is a significant factor for your budget. Are you and your partner paying for the wedding all by yourself or is someone in your family contributing to the investment. Maybe one of your family members wants to chip in for the bar or your wedding dress. Before you decide on your all-in budget talk to anyone that has communicated that they might want to help with your wedding funds.
If your family hasn’t brought up contributing to your wedding funds, don’t be afraid to ask. Some families might say “yes,” and others might say “no.” Maybe approach it with curiosity rather than with a request. An honest conversation about finances and your wedding is important.
Set Your Numbers
After talking with anyone who is contributing to your wedding, it’s time to find that magic number. What do you want to invest in this celebration? There isn’t a number that fits all budgets. This number should not hinder you and your long term goals. Start by figuring out how much you can comfortably pull from your daily budget without taking away from your other expenses. Talk about the future and see how much you can save in the long term. We recommend giving yourself ample time to get to this goal. Maybe you just got engaged, and you’re eager to get married, but think about, how you will save enough for your wedding? Giving yourself more time and having a longer engagement can sometimes be beneficial.
Who to Invite
After you set that magic number, it’s time to start thinking about who to invite. Whether you are inviting 10 to 150 there are many factors that go into those numbers. It will determine your venue size, your food, and the alcohol budget. Take some time to think about the guest’s size and how it factors into your budget. From our personal experiences, catering starts at $70 – $100 per person. This is an all in number for service, China & Flatware, and food; kid’s meals are typically lower in cost per child. Food and service are two memorable experiences for your guests.
Some venues have food in-house, and others require your event to be catered. The Elm Estate is a venue that you have to work with their premiere catering companies and the price will be higher. The venue is a significant factor in how many people you can invite. Think about multiple scenarios; will you have more guests or a more intimate celebration. Think about how you can budget based on your guest count?
Research is Important
Many couples miss this step and are overly excited about getting engaged. First, talk about your budget, and decide on a realistic number. Location is one of the most significant investments, and it will set the overall cost of your wedding. Venues vary in price based on their amenities, location, services, and quality. Typically the weekend is higher in price over the weekday. Maybe you fall in love with a venue, but they are a little higher than you planned. Maybe talk over the ideas of getting married during the week. The time of the year is a big contributor to the price. There are ways to get your dream wedding; you may have to make some sacrifices and compromise.
When planning your weddings and budgeting for everything, just remind yourself that it’s okay if everything doesn’t go as planned. This experience is supposed to be fun and exciting. Set your goals! Set your overall wedding budget and do research. These things will help you with your wedding planning. Your wedding will be beautiful no matter how much money you invest. The most important part is marrying your best friend.