Step 1- Set Your Wedding Budget

Celebrations by Brandi

Celebrations by Brandi

Southern California Wedding Planner

Congratulations on your engagement! As you embark on the exciting journey of planning your wedding, the first crucial step is to establish a realistic budget. Understanding your financial parameters will not only guide your decisions but give you clarity and direction as you plan. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to get your budget in place and things to consider as you prepare to plan.

Begin by having an open and honest conversation with your partner about your financial situation. Discuss who will be contributing to the wedding fund, whether it’s solely the two of you, each of your parents, or other family members. Have separate conversations with each person or party contributing to the budget.  Clearly outline expectations and limitations. Establish a comfortable line of communication to avoid misunderstandings later in the planning process.  Consider all financial contributions and agree on a total budget.

Once you have your overall budget, reflect on which aspects of the wedding are most important to you and your partner.  Is it the photographer?  Are you foodies who want to be sure your guests have amazing meals with lots of options?  Or maybe you are all about the dance floor and you want a DJ and dance floor add-ons that will elevate the party?  Whatever your priorities are, consider allocating a larger portion of your budget to the elements that matter most.

I am going to be honest with you, it can be difficult to stay within your budget.  Going over a little here doesn’t sound too bad, but when it is a little here and a little there, and just $200 more over there, it all adds up.  As your planner, I am a strong advocate of staying within the budget.  In my position, it would be so easy to fly to the moon with you with all the amazing possibilities, but I am the voice of reason.  Don’t get me wrong, I search for solutions and maximize your budget to the fullest extent because I truly want you to have all your heart desires.  I never want my couples to begin their marriage with financial stress because they over-extended themselves for their wedding day.

Here is a sample $50k budget using the average % of each vendor.  As you look at this, think about where your priorities are for your wedding.  If you really want to go all in with your photo and video then you add 3% there and take away your transportation and reduce your music %, or if you are all about the flowers increase your flower percentage and reduce something else.  In addition, keep in mind that there are some areas or vendors you want to include in your budget that are not listed on this sample, and there are some things on this sample that you may not need in your budget.

VendorAvg$50,000
Ceremony Venue & Officiant Fees4%$2000
Reception Venue, Catering & Bar46%$23000
Photography & Videography10%$5000
Florist & Decor7%$3500
Music & Entertainment5%$2500
Cake & Dessert2%$1000
Stationary2%$1000
Attire6%$3000
Hair & Makeup2%$1000
Transportation2%$1000
Miscellaneous4%$2000
Planning / Coordination10%$5000
The way the money is allocated varies for every wedding, but this is a good starting point. Just remember every time you add to one category you must reduce in another.

Getting your budget in place is the very first step in wedding planning. By openly discussing contributions, breaking down expenses, and identifying priorities, you’ll create a solid foundation for the rest of the planning process.   Please reach out to us if you would like to schedule a consultation call to go over our planning packages or if you would like to book a 90-minute phone call with us to guide you in kickstarting your planning.  The Kickstarter call is the newest service we offer and is $150.

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