Planning a wedding can be stressful, especially when you begin to figure out your budget. Deciding how much everything will cost, what you’re willing to splurge on and what you might need to spend a little less money on can be overwhelming for many couples.
Oftentimes couples try to avoid making a budget and instead take it as it comes. This can work for some couples, but the majority of the time, this is a huge mistake. When booking and purchasing for your wedding, it is easy to go overboard. When you do not have a set budget in place and a specific amount of money allocated to each element, chances are you will end up in debt over your big day.
The average wedding in the United States costs an average of $44,000 for a guest list of 160 people. About 27 percent of couples cover the entire expense of their wedding themselves and almost half of the couples go over budget.
In order to stay ahead of the game and keep your budget in check, be sure that you are planning in advance and being realistic. Here are some tips to be sure that you have an accurate, realistic and efficient budget as you plan.
Where your money is coming from
In order to begin planning your budget, you should begin planning where the money you will be paying with will be coming from. Once you do this, you will be able to decide how much you can spend on each element of the day. Knowing how much you have to spend helps you narrow down your choices and make sure that you are not considering options outside of your budget. So, where should the money come from?
First, you should take a look at your savings. Ideally, you and your partner would have about three months of living expenses saved up in case of job loss, health setback or other emergencies. You should begin by subtracting that from the total amount in your savings. Once you have removed the in-case-of-emergency money, that is how much you are able to put towards your wedding costs.
You should never assume that family or other loved ones will be willing or able to help out with expenses, but it never hurts to ask. Check-in with both sets of parents, grandparents or anyone else who may have indicated they’d like to help out. Once you have a finalized list, add that to your budget.
Things to consider
When deciding how much you will need to spend on your wedding, there are a few things you should consider. First would be the guest list size. There is always a per-head cost for food and liquor, which are typically the two biggest expenses of the entire wedding. Next, you should consider the setting. If you are living in a larger, more expensive city, your venue and location are going to be more expensive than some Omaha event halls. Oftentimes venues have a headcount minimum or maximum.
As you are planning, you will definitely want to know where your money is going and how much you should be setting aside for each element. Here is a rough estimate of how much of your budget will be going to all the moving pieces.
- Reception: 48-50 percent
- Ceremony: 2-3 percent
- Attire: 8-10 percent
- Flowers: 8-10 percent
- Entertainment and or music: 8-10 percent
- Photography and videography: 10-12 percent
- Stationary: 2-3 percent
- Wedding rings: 2-3 percent
- Parking and transportation: 2-3 percent
- Gifts: 2-3 percent
- Other/miscellaneous: 8 percent
When deciding how much to put up for each element, you and your partner should decide on your non-negotiables. These are items that are important to you and you are willing to splurge a bit more on. Maybe this is your caterer, your choice of Omaha event halls, your dress or an open bar. Wherever it is, be sure to budget for those items immediately. This will give you an idea of how much you have left over for other items that are less important to you.
Lastly, do not go into debt for your big day. Be responsible when allocating for different things and only charge things that you can pay off within 30 days. It may seem like you need to spend more money than you have to get the wedding of your dreams, but oftentimes you can accomplish exactly what you’re looking for without going over your budget. Contact us today to get pricing and to start your budgeting! We’d love to be your choice of Omaha event halls!