Saturday, October 6, 2007

Budget Wedding: Sample Budget

Believe it or not, weddings revolve somewhat around your budget. That is why it is very important to sit down and discuss the monetary aspects of your lives and this wonderful event.

To determine your budget amount, you should define the wedding that is appropriate for you. Some say weddings are massive parties, with the amount of food, the liveliness of the music, and the extent of the dancing being all important. Others say a wedding is a more regal occasion, with attention to detail and sophistication. To define your wedding is by determining your own style and taste carried out within the framework of personal and/or local custom.

Here are some beginning questions for you to ask yourselves.

1. Is anyone unemployed?

2. Is anyone just recovering from a failed business endeavor?

3. Is anyone still paying off medical, legal, or educational bills?

4. Has there been recently, or is there about to be, another wedding or big celebration in our immediate families?

5. How much can we afford to spend?

6. Can we afford the wedding we have visualized?

7. Who all is going to pay for the wedding?

Remember, it is not what you spend, but how you spend it that will distinguish your wedding from all others. According to various sources, the average cost for an American-style wedding over the fast few years for 100 guests at a ceremony and a reception ran more than $16,000. Wonderful weddings can be had at one-half and even one-tenth of that cost.

Write down the amount you think that you, your fiancé and your families can spend, or would like to spend. You have now determined a preliminary bottom line figure for your total expenses.

Here is a sample budget.

Budgeted Approximate Cost

Stationery _______________

Invitations _______________

Programs _______________

Announcements _______________

Thank-You Notes _______________

Reply Cards _______________

At-Home Cards _______________

Pew Cards _______________

Photography _______________

Formal Pictures _______________

Engagement _______________

Wedding _______________

Wedding Album _______________

Parents’ Album _______________

Extra Prints _______________

Videography _______________

Wedding Rings _______________

Bride _______________

Groom _______________

Reception _______________

Food _______________

Beverages _______________

Wedding Cake _______________

Gratuities/Taxes _______________

Valet Parking _______________

Music _______________

Wedding _______________

Reception _______________

Bridal Attire _______________

Dress _______________

Headpiece and Veil _______________

Undergarments _______________

Jewelry _______________

Shoes _______________

Trousseau _______________

Garter _______________

Wedding Consultant _______________

Transportation _______________

Limousines _______________

Parking _______________

Wedding Parties _______________

Bridal Luncheon _______________

Rehearsal Dinner _______________

Fees _______________

Ceremony Site _______________

Officiant _______________

Reception Site _______________

Caterer _______________

Decorations/Rentals _______________

Assistants _______________

Gifts _______________

Maid Of Honor _______________

Best Man _______________

Bridesmaids _______________

Groomsmen _______________

Parents _______________

Flowergirl _______________

Ring Bearer _______________

Flowers _______________

Ceremony _______________

Bouquet _______________

Attendants _______________

Corsages _______________

Boutonnières _______________

Reception _______________

Extra _______________

Monogrammed Napkins _______________

Favors _______________

Groom’s Cake _______________

Honeymoon _______________

Transportation _______________

Accommodations _______________

Spending Money _______________

Total Budget _______________

Total Approximate Cost _______________

In general, about 50 percent of your budget will go to food and drink at your reception. Allow another 10 percent for flowers, 10 percent to 15 percent for music, 20 percent to 25 percent for photography, and 15 percent for different purchases, fees, and attire. One thing to think about is that one of the largest variables in the cost of any wedding depends on the number of guests you invite.

Review your ideas and decide what you might have to do without, or have less of. It is easier to discard some of the luxuries you had hoped for now rather than after you have gotten used to the idea of them. You will want to revise your budget several times throughout the planning process, but it is always good to set out with one in mind.