Today’s post is about what we all dread when planning a wedding, event, or party…the budget. It’s not fun to create a budget and it’s even less fun sticking to it. While creating the budget can be a stressful task, taking some time in the beginning to set a budget will save a ton of stress in the long run. In this post we’ll give you tips to help you with the budget breakdown and we’ve even included a free printable budget sheet for you to fill in. The good news is, if you take an hour or two to knock this out of the way, you can move on to the fun stuff like food and dessert tastings and dress shopping!
There are a few things you should do before you actually start creating your budget breakdown. First, you should think about the kind of wedding or event you want. Do you want a large event or a small and intimate gathering? Do you want it to be at an elegant indoor venue or a beautiful outdoor setting? Do you envision elaborate decor or is understated decor more your style? What kind of food and drink do you picture being served? Next, you need to talk with everyone who may be contributing to your wedding or event, whether it’s just you and your fiance, your parents, your fiance’s parents, or some other family member. That way you’ll know exactly what kind of budget you are working with. Then, you should research wedding costs in your area. There are several websites that show the average wedding cost for your city. Do some preliminary research on vendor pricing as well. Now, think about your wedding or event again and reevaluate what this vision will look like based on your budget and the cost of weddings or events in your area.
Now that you got through all of that, you should pick the top three things that matter the most to you at this event. If you’re planning a wedding, have your fiance pick their top three priorities as well. Then, you can make a list of the top three most important things to you as a couple based on both your lists and make sure you allot a good portion of your budget to those items.
*Tip: Guest count plays a MAJOR role in your budget breakdown! The more guests you have, the higher your food and drink budget will have to be. You may have to book a bigger, more expensive venue that can accommodate the number of guests you have. With more guests comes more tables, which means more linen rentals and flowers you need to order. So before you start inviting everyone you’ve ever met to your wedding or event, think about the numbers and how that will affect your budget. If you need some help deciding who will make your guest list, check out this post with a free printable.
It is finally time to print out or download the budget sheet and get to work! I’ve included the average percentage of your budget you should spend on each vendor as a guideline. But, feel free to adjust these percentages to fit your needs. Everyone’s budget breakdown is going to be different since people have different have priorities. You can also customize the sheet by taking away any categories that don’t apply to you or adding vendors/ categories not listed. This list only includes vendors. It does not include percentages for expenses like attire, rings, or the honeymoon.
*One last note on guest count: Like I said earlier, guest count plays a huge role on the amount of money you are going to spend on your wedding/event. Think about the maximum number of people you are going to invite. Typically, about 20-30% of guests will rsvp no. You can start basing your budget according how many guests 70-80% of you max guest count is. Keep in mind a few factors though. If you are having a destination wedding, a the percentage of guest who will not attend will likely be greater. If you are having the wedding/event locally and most of your guests are local, the percentage of guests who will not come may be significantly lower.
Click here to view the wedding budget sheet.
*Note: This sheet is available to print out and fill in on paper. It will not let you fill in the blanks on your computer. Downloadable version coming soon! 🙂