Why your Wedding Budget Should take First Priority!

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, 

XOXO Amber 



amber sanders

My journey to becoming an Event Planner dates back to my childhood, assisting my mother with planning and executing parties at our home and for my dad’s fraternity. I was training to be a professional dancer at the time, so I never thought about being a “Party Planner”, it was just fun for me to help her. After a fabulous and exciting dance career that spanned 20 plus years, I began working as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in downtown Chicago. Because of my excitement for our studio events and knack for organizing parties, I was soon promoted to Guest Director. This position allowed me to see that Marketing and Event Management was something I enjoyed, and it was then I realized this could be my next career move! I spent the next two years learning as much as I could about the Event Industry, including an internship with Desiree Moore Dent, Owner of Dejanae Events,as well as studying and becoming a Certified Wedding & Event Planner/Designer through Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute. This is how I learned more about the business side of running your own business, which was invaluable information! During this time, I offered my services to family and friends for any event they may have been having to gain as much "real world" experience as possible. In May of 2013, I decided to get my business license and launch Events with Ambiance. It has truly been eye opening that I am now an entrepreneur, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I am grateful to have family and friends support me, my company has truly become a Family Business!! I am blessed to surround myself with people who are just as passionate about my business as I am; for me, Event Planning is about more than just throwing a great party, it's about creating an unforgettable experience for my clients and their guests!