It’s no secret that one of the hardest parts of any event is managing the budget. How to choose between all the beautiful decor, Pinterest ideas and bar options so that it meets your bottom line is a tall task! First and foremost, plan your entire budget at the beginning instead of making it up as you go along. Do research on typical costs for vendors and services such as catering, photography, transportation, attire, etc. so your budget is realistic and you can manage your own expectations for what you want vs. what you can afford. Next comes the task of prioritizing, and make sure to discuss with your partner! What is a small, nonsensical detail to you might be a critical component to them. This overall strategy will help divide up your budget and spread it appropriately. Here are some general guidelines on how much of your total budget to allocate to the big ticket items:
- Venue and catering (including the bar): 50%
- Photography: 6%
- Wedding attire (Bride & Groom) + beauty: 10%
- Music & entertainment: 5%
- Flowers: 8%
- Decor (this varies widely depending on type of venue): 5-10%
- Rings: 5%
There are so many other components to keep in mind – favors and gifts, stationary, dress alterations, transportation, the cake…so plan to be under-budget and you just might meet your bottom line.
Now – how to make the most of your budget? Timing is everything and if you have a year or so to plan, mark your calendar to make certain purchases when your dollar will stretch.
Keep your eyes out for trunk shows and sample gown sales. This can be a great way to get designer gowns at a reduced cost. These happen periodically throughout the year so follow your favorite designers and bridal boutiques on social media.
The holidays, the holidays, the holidays. Most people are shopping for friends, family and trying to snag electronics but save some of your spending budget for wedding items! You can save big on things like wedding albums and guest books (we love these from Artifact Uprising). If you’re ordering invitations online, check out companies like Minted around December for sales on foil stamped collections and more.
Last but definitely not least, if you’re planning to purchase any wedding decor yourself like seating card holders, centerpieces, Mr. & Mrs. chair signs, monogram cocktail napkins, etc. definitely shop the holiday sales. Craft stores often have up to 50% off coupons and in January you can find sparkly holiday decor on clearance like glitter letters for your bar or sweetheart table design.
Photo Credit: Caroline Lima Photography