Thursday, January 15, 2009

Budgetary Spending ...

I've been thinking a lot lately about budgets and wedding budgets (in this economy, its not hard to!). When I meet with potential clients one of the first things they mention is that they don't want to overspend because a wedding is one day and the marriage lasts a lifetime. I agree, but there are ways to make your budget (regardless of size) work to bring your amazing and personal wedding to life, without overspending.

Firstly, there are lots of elements that contribute to your wedding and your budget needs to account for all of them, including any miscellaneous, last minute items (for my wedding this included an extra tent for the cocktail hour as the lovely Hurricane Hannah decided to join us that evening ...), so make sure that your original number includes any last minute, forgot about items. Here are the elements that your budget should include (and remember, just about everything gets taxed and if its service related, factor in gratuity, and if someone is delivering something, its going to have a delivery fee as well)

Ceremony Site - check if being a member of the congregation gets you a discount, otherwise you probably will be paying for usage, music, clergy people, programs etc

Venue - this could include a site fee, a per head cost, valet or parking fees

Catering - food, staffing (service), gratuity for all those servers, and the possibility of insurance / permits (always check to make sure your caterer can actually legally serve food and drinks)

Bar - alcohol, mixers (fruit juices, lemons, limes, mint anything that makes drinks even more yummy), ice

Florals - flowers that are out of season = imported from Holland which means that there will be a higher cost per stem (I always suggest sticking to what will be in season, there are amazing florals out there that are always in season), don't forget that you'll be charged a delivery fee and possibly a pick up fee if they need to return at the end of the night, and you could pay for the truck rental

Photographer / Videographer - what is expensive is everything you get once the wedding day is shot. If you don't think your grandparents want 1000 images in wallet size, remove this from your package. Shooting a wedding is not where the price comes in, its the product you receive afterwards

Entertainment - if you go the band route, you pay per piece, DJs just for the DJ himself, you'll have to tip everyone again at the end of the night, so factor that in as well. This goes the same for anyone you hire to play during the ceremony and cocktail hour. If they are traveling to your event, you probably have to pay for travel too

Wedding Planner - some price on a flat fee, some on a percentage of your total expenditure. Go over the package details with your planner during your consultation and make sure everything you want is in there and take out items you don't want. Your contract should include the price and any other related fees i.e. travel or lodging

Transportation - gratuity for the limo or bus driver

Dress - check if alterations come with the price of the dress, shoes, undergarments, hair accessories - should all be accounted for

Miscellaneous - umbrellas, extra champagne for the limo, bridal magazines (yes, this should definitely be in your budget!), hair and make up trials, rings!, if its a destination wedding - your travel costs during the planning phase, site usage fees (i.e. using elevators for load in/out, security guards, list goes on and on!)

Tented wedding - building a kitchen, all serverware,

Rentals (linens, tables, chairs, cutlery) - do these come with your venue or must
your rent them yourself?

This is just a brief list, but as you may see, there are a ton of elements that contribute to your budget, so make sure you cover as many as possible when you are putting together your budget.

If you have any questions regarding putting together a budget, or want to know more factors to include in your budget, just email me and ask! I'd be happy to answer any and all questions!

Happy Planning!

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