Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Building & Organizing A Budget

Every book, site, magazine and wedding planning self help article says that establishing the budget is one of the first things to do once you've become engaged. I agree with this- to a degree.

I agree that everyone needs a number.. A number that you all want to stay under or around. But when it comes to subcategorizing that budget is crazy. They all have charts saying 15% goes to venue, 10% goes to venue, or 7% to food... blah blah blah.
For example;
'We can't go over $500 for flowers, $600 for cake, and $1,000 for the venue.'

Create an Importance List. Things from top to bottom of what matters the most. Just get the things that matter to the most to you and your fiancé done first. If photography is the biggest thing- book it first. If you are wanting tons and tons of flowers, talk with the florist first to get a quote. By doing this you know how much of that budget is going to those important things. Now you can use the remainder to the best ability. If invitations, cake, food, or decor isn't as important, you know how much you have left to use.

Before starting my last and final semester, and recently engaged, I wanted to get the things we wanted to most taken care of before starting school. Those being venue and photographer.. then came cake and flowers. These last two things you can usually email back and forth with (and the caterer) on ideas before they give you a budget. You can start by telling them what you envisioned, the feel of the wedding, and guests. Then they can get back to you with a quote. If that quote is too high, ask for something similar but less costly.... Like with flowers, I've found that peonies are not an option for our October wedding unless we had an unlimited budget. So my florist suggested other flowers that looked like these. Same with the baker- you want a certain flavor that is a 'premium' flavor.. so instead of the entire cake in that, get one layer or maybe a smaller cake and cupcakes in that great flavor.

I will be talking more about this in separate posts, but just want to make sure I say it here too.... make sure you are price checking around. Unless you know that there is a certain place or person for something you want- PRICE CHECK!!! Ask recent friends that got married who they used and get reviews, look online, look in books and magazines, call and email. You don't want to know you could've got something that is the exact same for half the price. Also ask those venders that you've already booked- that have probably worked with everyone and have good advice.

Now, how to get that budget. Money talk with anyone is awkward. Most people aren't going to come out and say 'Hey! I'm going to give you x amount of dollars for the wedding.' Which means, yep, you've got to ask. If you're a younger couple, this being your first marriage, and if they haven't mentioned it before, you have to ask your parents. Some parents know how much they will give you because they gave the same about to your siblings to make it all equal- which is incredible to know you can expect that money whenever you need. If your parents are divorced it means you have to ask twice. Just think of it like this, what's the worst that can happen, they say no? Ok, that's alright. Here's where you hope for the best and expect the worst. I also think, this is something that you need to ask your own parents, separately. Your fiancé may know about your parents financial situation, but it still doesn't make it a comfortable conversation. You ask your parents, and he can ask his. And say, it's not fun asking for money, and I know what you've been going through but I just wanted to see if you thought you'd be able to help out at all... if it's $100 or $1000, every penny helps. And chances are they appreciate that you understand, and that they will end up paying for more than you realize throughout the engagement.  

Don't forget to have fun! This is all the fun part!! Details and ideas bouncing back and forth. Accept your budget no matter what size it is and work with it. It will probably take some researching for some stuff- so have fun with that too!


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