Happy #WeddingWednesday loves!
Over the next few posts, I'm giving you some helpful tips for planning your wedding with less stress!
Let's get started with the most important- your Wedding Budget !
So, you got engaged to the love of your life, and you've called all of your friends and family, cried over your gorgeous new bling, and run out to your nearest Barnes and Noble and purchased every copy of every wedding magazine on the shelves..... right?! Ok, here's what I need you to do next..... STOP, and take a breathe! You will have time to choose the perfect flowers, dress and venue but first I need you to choose the perfect BUDGET!
If you don't sit down with your fiance and talk about your budget before you start planning, I can guarantee you will spend your entire engagement stressed about money and I just can't have that for you, so I'm going to give you the skinny on creating a wedding budget.
The average wedding budget in Chicago is $50,934 ( The Knot) . Now, no one is saying you HAVE to spend that on your own wedding but just to give you some perspective on what the average couple is spending in the city. In the suburbs, the average is around $35,000.
Trying to figure out where to even start with your budget? Check out this site which, after a quick set of questions, will give you an estimate on what you could expect to spend for your wedding based on your theme and guest count.
Sit down and have a serious talk with your parents/grandparents/ any family member offering to help out about what they are comfortable with contributing financially to your wedding. I've seen couples who naturally assume their parents will foot the entire bill only to have to come back to me and cancel half the services because they over spent.
NOW you and your fiance can sit down and discuss what you want to spend for your wedding. Start with the top five : Venue, Catering, Entertainment, Photography and Decor. If you notice I haven't mentioned a Wedding Planner, then you're right. The way I look at it, these elements truly make a wedding and until you figure out what your budget is, then you shouldn't even think about calling a Wedding Planner or any other vendors for that option.
Ok, for sake of this post, let's say your wedding budget is $45,000. You easily figure out what you can afford to spend in a few ways. If you're savvy, creating a simple Excel spreadsheet to manually enter your numbers works. If that idea scares the everlasting crap out of you ( as it does me!), then your other option is to use the free budget planners The Knot or Wedding Wire offer. These sites will allow you to stay on top of your wedding budget and will do the math for you!
Now back to our example wedding budget of $45, 000. Here's how that breaks down from the largest expense to the smallest :
40% (Reception)- $18,000
10% (Attire)- $4,500
10% ( Music)- $4,500
8% ( Other: Transportation,Tips, Gifts,etc)- $3,600
7% (Flowers)- $3,150
5% ( Cake)- $2,250
5% ( Ceremony)- $2,250
5% ( Stationary)- $2,250
Obviously, your numbers may increase or decrease depending on several factors, I hope that seeing them broken down will give you a better idea on what you could expect to spend BEFORE you start meeting with vendors and get sticker shock!
I hope this post gives you a bit more insight into budgeting for your special day. I will be back next week with another #WeddingWednesday post to get you one step closer to Wedding Planning with Ease!
Please ask questions and comment below and share this post with a friend!
Until next time,