Wedding Wednesday; Making a wedding budget

When I set out my quest to find a wedding location, I knew generally how much money we could spend on our wedding, it was a figure that was stuck in the back of my head and it was hanging around there doing… nothing. Yes off course I knew I could not spend the entire budget on a location, and yes I kind of knew where to spend the money on but we did not have a budget set. That became very clear when I set out to buy my wedding dress; I had no clue how much money I would be able to set aside for my dress. So after I found my perfect dress I called {I was in Europe and he back home in Thailand…} Ruben to discuss and see whether this would fit our budget. I knew this was not a good way to go forward, so once I came home we sat down and discussed budgets. 01_WeddingBudget If you know me a little, you probably know I don’t do budgets. The figures give me a headache and it’s just so incredibly boring. But I knew it was important to find a way to keep track of our expenditures and make sure we did not overspend on our big day. One thing I am good at is getting organised, and that’s a big key in budgeting, so that was where I got started.

Investigate

We already set a date and a location – which usually is done after you have set your budget – so I had to work around this a little bit. This did give me the right start to do some investigation. I knew my location and I knew the date that we would be having our party, so I was able to go online and found out what average costs are for different type of suppliers.

Where does the money come from?

Before we started making a list on where we wanted to spend the money on, we first needed to know how much money we had and where the money would come from? As we did not want to spend so much money that we would go into debt after the wedding {that wouldn’t be a great start of married life…}. Luckily we have been together for a long time, and were engaged for almost 2 years, so we were able to put money aside, plus our family also helped out in covering the cost of the wedding. Getting all these figures together gave us a number to start working with.

What do you want?

Besides a great location and the food and drinks, we went to take a look what we really wanted to have on our wedding. We thought in terms of decoration, entertainment and the likes. Some things were very important for me to have (I wanted to have a beautiful wedding dress and make sure the location looked beautiful with loads of flowers) and Ruben really wanted to have a great band for the evening, so that we could dance the night away.

02_WhatDoYouWant

Photos by Schillings Photography

By knowing what we wanted we could rank them in order of importance and knew what we would have to spend money on.

Make a budget

In the past I have been organising many events for work, for this I had created a great spreadsheet that showed the entire event – from start to finish. I used this spreadsheet to start filling in the things that we knew we wanted to have during our wedding (location / catering / floral decoration / band}. Once this was filled in I went to browse online and talk to my wedding planner to see what else we had to have, to make our wedding a success. The list became longer and longer, and my spreadsheet was turning into a real event sheet. From this point onwards, I created a budget sheet for ourselves starting with:

  • Income: how much money is there to spend?
  • Expenditure: where do we want to spend the money on? (location / decoration / band)
  • Expenditure: where do we need to spend the money on? (Invitations / attire /… )

With this list, Ruben and I went to sit down and started looking at how to allocate the money we had, which we filled into the estimated budget line. Next to this line, I added the actual amount that we were going to spend on each item, which came in handy as it immediately shows whether we were over or under spending on that item. For the budget we created, we had an amount of money we wanted to spend on our wedding – but with a background in events I knew that there are always unexpected costs to any event you organise. So we also made a stretch budget. In this way we knew that if something really needed to happen, we would have that extra amount that would help us out… Here is the budget I created:  03_Freisdays_WeddingBudget Take a look at it here {FreisDays_WeddingBudget_Sample}, download it and start amending it to your liking if you want. It helped me a lot so I hope it will help you too!

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