How to Create a Wedding Budget
There is no doubt that engagement season is upon us. I bet that your feeds are filled with post after post of pretty new diamonds and the smiling faces of your friends! But YOU made it to this post! So I am going to have to assume that you might be one of those lucky ladies or gents in the midst of engagement bliss! Congratulations!!! Soak it all in! I bet you are so filled with excitement and are just ready to dive into your wedding planning! Before you begin calling venues we want to make sure that you start off on the right foot by diving more deeply into an important topic, ‘How to Create Your Wedding Budget!’
This, my friends is one of the most important parts of planning your wedding. You will need to create your wedding budget regardless if you are working with a wedding planner or not. Understanding your budget will give you direction on the vendors to contact, venues to visit and decisions to make. Knowing your goals in advance will help keep you on a more relaxed and enjoyable planning journey, which is what Storybook believes in more than anything else!
So pop open a bottle of your favorite bubbly, open your notebook to a crisp new page and wrap a cozy blanket around yourself. Now, let’s get started!
Do Your Research:
I am going to be real with you all. Weddings are more expensive than you may have originally thought. The average wedding cost in Chicago was $50,934 back in 2014 and those numbers are growing each and every year. If you are a bride or groom here in Chicago, I recommend looking at costs between a city wedding and a suburb wedding as costs can decrease significantly for weddings held in the suburbs.
Take a look at websites like weddingwire.com and theknot.com to help you nail down average costs per wedding vendor that you are interested in hiring. Gather price sheets, inquire and ask them their average costs Tip: Do NOT get attached to any specific vendor or venue yet. We will get to this later. This point is solely for price research. (Once you have your budget set, that’s when we recommend finding those “perfect fits”)
Who is Contributing?
These days, we see more of our couples paying all expenses themselves. However, we encourage you to talk to your family members to see if anyone is able to contribute to your expenses.
Take Your Research and Apply it to a Spreadsheet:
Now that you have your averages costs, enter it into a spreadsheet. Create a row that lists out your ideal vendor categories along with their high and low averages in the rows next to it. Create another row that calculates the amount of money that you have either saved up, will save up, or funds that are being gifted to you to go towards your wedding.
Your heart may or may not be sinking at this point. But don’t worry my friends. We are not done yet. This budget is a guideline. It is here to help you stay on track. It will also help you decide what the most important elements of your wedding are going to be.
Select Your Priorities:
Maybe that Calligrapher you initially had in mind, can now be listed as a secondary priority; but that the wedding gown you have been drooling over on page 30 of Brides Magazine is a MUST HAVE! Highlight those important categories (ex. venue, caterer, day-of coordinator, florist) and give them each a goal budget. Once you understand the amount of funds that you have to go towards each vendor, you will feel better. This budget will give you ample time to adjust your savings goals. And, it will give you an estimated date range of an ideal wedding date. It will also let you know that you can TOTALLY book those secondary priority vendors too. However, you many need to skip a few dinner dates with your future hubby or nights out with the ladies.
Look into Cost Savers:
We are excited to share cost saving ideas with our couple’s while planning. Through each wedding, we’ve gathered ways to save money while not skimping on your original wedding vision. Read our blogs on Cost Saving Tips, HERE and HERE or inquire with us to understand the other ways in which we can handle tough negotiations, to find you the best deals with your wedding vendors. We would also love to share with you, the variety of Planning and Coordination Experiences that we offer to both align with your needs and stay within your budgets.Woohoo! You are on your way to a beautiful, more relaxed and successful wedding planning journey. Refill that glass and cheers to yourself!