A Bride's Story - The Budget

Hey guys!  It's been a busy week here at LaurieLouis.com.  I'm working on my advertising budget for the year and which magazines and websites I want to work with.  We mailed out all of Amber and Dan's Save The Dates this past week and I'm getting ready to work on some new designs for our midseason collection.  Today's blog by Amber is something that all couples need to think about but most don't want to deal with....the dreaded budget.  Believe me, I know all about it these days. 

 

 

Week 15

Hello, friends!! Here we are, just days away from the 9 month mark and all of the big stuff has been accomplished. In today’s blog I am going to talk to you about some of the dreaded stuff…budget and checklists.

When I first started the planning I realized that there were a million different checklists out there and each one had different timelines. The wedding industry has now come to a point when not having a year to plan seems like sacrilege. I have friends that have planned lovely weddings in as little as two months, so don’t think you don’t have enough time to get things done if you want to get married sooner rather than later! Just know that you may have to make some concessions with date/time/venue/etc. with a shorter time frame. Dan and I had originally planned on getting married in October, but when the venue we chose wasn’t available, we shifted it back. We knew that the venue was important to us and made the necessary concessions, that being said…remember that we got engaged on November 4th, 2014 and our wedding is November 21st, 2015. It’s kind of funny that in the calls that I made the week after the engagement we learned that early to mid-October was impossible for this and many venues!! That being said, he and I have no regrets with pushing the date back because we found the best possible venue with the best staff around! They have helped us in so many ways already and I have no doubts that our wedding is going to be absolutely perfect!

I mention all the different timelines to point that after some digging, I found that Martha Stewart’s wedding checklist was the easiest to manipulate and painted very broad strokes of when things needed to be done. Some will say that X must be accomplished at 11 months out and Y must be accomplished at 10 months out, etc.; but Stewart’s checklist states that things should be done six or more months ahead…four to six months…two to four months, and only zeroing in when it reaches one-two weeks or day before. I found her checklist here. It’s under the checklists and gives far more than a to-do list, but many more useful tools. Find whatever is comfortable for you and please, do your own research before making a choice for any “helpful” tools. Every bride and every wedding is different, but remember that these are just suggestions and if you don’t get it all done by the times listed, don’t panic! A panicked bride turns into a bridezilla and nobody wants that!!

As for the budget, whether your family, families, or you and your fiancé are paying for the wedding, you need to set a budget as soon as you can! I would recommend a window budget and by that I mean if you’d like to spend no more than $5K, say $3-5K and be aware that as things come up, you may go over budget. If you give yourself a window budget ($3-5K) it will allow for any worst case scenarios (i.e.: the DJ you really want is available and costs $1500, but you only budgeted $800). Besides the worst case scenario side of it, you will feel so much better when you wind up at $5K and know that you’re not in for a horrific fight with parents or your new hubby! What I have chosen to do, and I know you will be shocked by this, is keep an Excel spreadsheet with all the vendors and cost of deposits so that we know how much money we have already spent leading up to the biggest expenses. Remember that the reception alone is usually the largest expense (most say it’s at least half the budget) and you won’t have an exact amount until after the big day. Keeping up with it as I go has made it far easier to keep track of it in real time. I input the deposit amount and I have a running tally of that line so we know how much we have already spent. Trust me…it adds up VERY fast.  A $300 deposit doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you do that for several vendors and add in the venue deposit (generally 25% of the minimum), it’s a domino effect! Most importantly, talk to your fiancé (or parents if they’re helping) and be honest about what matters the most to you. If photos of your big day are what mean the most to you, spend your money there! If he is all about those expensive gifts for his groomsmen, spend it there! Remember that this wedding is for you and your fiancé and you should both have the things that mean the most to you make the difference. That being said, if there are things that neither one of you really care about, don’t put your money into that area because you “have” to. This is your wedding and you don’t “have” to do anything, except marry the love of your life.

Until next time, friends!

Amber


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