How to Make a Wedding Budget in Percentages - Part 2 of 3
I can't guarantee your sanity
so let's be completely honest - making a wedding budget is difficult. As far
as wedding stress goes, I would rank it right up there with making your guest
list (for those of you who have not experienced this joy yet, don't worry, you'll
soon understand). Now, I am not trying to get you down, and I certainly would
not want you to go into this with a bad attitude - I just want to warn you that
creating a budget is not what I would call fun. But as I said in the last newsletter,
it is very important.
is going to make this a little more difficult for you is that I am going to
share with you one way to create your wedding budget, but you are going to need
to change and adapt this to your situation. I mean, let's face it, none of us
are in the exact same situation. Some of us have parents who say they are going
to pay for everything. Some of us have divorced parents where the mother wants
to pay for the dress, the father wants to pay for the dinner, his mother wants
to pay for the flowers, and his father wants to pay for rehearsal dinner - and
they all want to pay for cake. Each of you is going to need to figure out what
is best for you. But here is a place to start. (By the way, no matter how frustrated
you may get, don't give up! It truly is important, you will survive, and you
can accomplish this!)
and possibly the hardest part, decide the total amount you would like to spend
on your wedding. The national average is around $20,000. But, if you are having
75 guests this is probably an obnoxious number. If you are inviting around 200
guests, it is not out of the realm of possibilities, however you may want to
challenge yourself and say "Then I am going to try to only spend $14,000," -
or less! Many of you know right off the bat that you only have $7,000 to spend
on your wedding - and that could really be to your benefit to have that cut-off
point! But, for those of you who have been given free rein, I would suggest
to try and go easy on your wallet and your parents'. It may seem like your wedding
is the most important thing now, but someday you may find yourself wishing you
hadn't spent quite so much money so you could afford the house you want, etc.
you have picked the total amount you want to spend on your wedding, I would
recommend taking $2,000 off that total. If you said $9,000, change it to $7,000.
If you said $15,000, change it to $13,000. Of course, if you said $2,000 this
is going to be difficult - instead, take off $200 or so. The reason I recommend
doing this is because of all of the last minute expenses that you aren't going
to think of right now. For example, are you going to remember to budget in money
for fancy nylons? How about new makeup? Or, a rehearsal dinner dress? There
are things that you may not think you are going to want or need now, but once
you throw so much money around, it becomes very easy to throw more around, and
you will need to be careful. So, if you take off $2,000 now, all those little
expenses that add up quickly will still fit into your budget.
communication, as always. Sit down with your fiance and decide what the most
important parts of the day are. Do this by first making a list of all of your
expenses. Here is a list of the major expenses to help you out:
Wedding and Engagement Rings (15%)
Wedding Dress and Veil (5%)
Reception (Site and Catering) (35%)
Wedding Party Gifts (2%)
Rehearsal Dinner (2%)
Officiant/Ceremony Fees (1%)
Pre-Wedding Parties (3%)
decide, of these things, which are the most important to you - pick 2-3. When
my fiance and I did this, for us the flowers and musicians were very important.
We really wanted a beautiful ceremony and to us that meant flowers and music.
And for you, it may be the dress or the photographer that is really important.
But, make sure to decide this together and to talk about why it is important
you have picked the 2-3 really important things to the two of you, decide a
percentage to assign to them. In parenthesis after each of the major expenses
there is a percentage that is national average*. Please understand that just
because something is the national average, does not mean that it is the right
amount for you - you need to decide this for yourself. And, this is why I had
you choose 2-3 very important things for you. If you feel that they are so important
that they merit a slightly higher percentage, go ahead and change that. But,
for every percentage point you raise, you will need to lower something else
by the same amount. In the end, your percentages should add up to 100.
before you get too into that, I would like to point out a couple of things that
the national average did not take into consideration, but that you definitely
Stamps for Invitations and Thank You Notes
Gift for Bride/Groom
Dry Cleaning of Wedding Gown and/or Preservation
Keep thinking, I'm sure there's more!
all this in mind, begin forming your budget - and make sure to write it down
or type it! At the top of your budget write the total amount of your budget
(minus $2,000). Make three columns:
The Expense Item
The Amount (multiply your total budget by the percent to get this number).
Make adjustments where you feel necessary, until you have your finished wedding
You will have completed a major hurdle for most brides and you should be very
proud of yourself! In two weeks, I will give you some advice on what you should
now do with this budget - and you thought all you had to do was write it down!
hope this article is a source of help to you and your wedding planning and I
wish you much happiness always!