Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The dreaded budget

I watch every wedding show on TV (yeah, I know) with the exception of one - Rich bride, poor bride - because I refuse to spend thirty minutes of my time watching people fight over the wedding budget. I guess it's too close to real life and TV is supposed to be about suspending reality.

I have found that when most couples begin planning their wedding, they visit a bridal media website and either print, download or use the site's wedding budget calculator to determine their wedding budget. You know, the one that lets you enter a figure and then breaks it down into neat categories like 36% catering, 10% photographer, 5% cake, 3% flowers, 2% DJ, 1% miscellaneous.

Then the couple meets with a few wedding vendors and find that catering is about 50-65% of the budget and the photographer is really 15%, flowers 12%, and so the fighting ensues, and it doesn't stop either especially in the last month when all the miscellaneous items start adding up to a figure far greater than 1% of the budget.

So, to avoid using the phrase: "I can't wait for this wedding to be over", which usually follows a fight over the budget, plan your budget realistically. I'm not totally knocking the calculators,use them, they're a good guide, but if you haven't planned a wedding or have been intimately involved in helping someone plan a wedding in the last five years and you don't watch every wedding show on TV, pick up the phone and make some calls. Surf the web. Talk to other brides in your local area in the midst of planning their own nuptials. Attend bridal shows. Read local bridal magazines. Then sit down with all the power players (the people footing the bill) to determine your must-haves, nice-to-haves and needs to come up with a figure and spending plan that works for all.

And save your fighting for the big things like whether or not the carrot cake should be the anniversary layer or the one you serve your guests.


Howerton+Wooten Events said...

Excellent post! You hit the nail right on the head Leslie! If everyone is much more realistic about their expectations and the budget from the start, then the wedding planning experience is much more enjoyable.

Love & Soul Always, Kay

Serenity J. Knutson said...

Great post! You're absolutely right: wedding costs can spiral quickly out of control, and the little things add up fast toward the end! Having a firm grasp on the necessities vs. the niceties is essential.