Tag Archives: Vancouver Wedding show

How to set your Wedding Day Budget!

23 Sep

wedding-budget-ideas

Congratulations on your new engagement, now the fun begins – It’s wedding planning time!! 🙂

Today, we focus our post on Bridal Budgets; as this is the first of your major steps that will determine the general planning of your entire wedding event!

After many years now of working within the Bridal Industry, I seem to hear the same “problems” over and over – spoken by many future Brides-to-be, the forums are flooded with posts about it, followed by “It’s not within my budget”….. to which leads me to present the very first question that needs to be asked before anything else.

How do you plan a Budget for your wedding day if you have no idea what your vendors, venue, and other services, are going to cost you??? So what IS your budget then?

Most Bride’s are planning for the FIRST TIME.

Here in lie’s the first hurdle that can bring down both wedding plans and add unnecessary stress along the way….. Ask yourself this; Did you just Guesstimates your totals, or have a vague recollection of what you ASSUME these vendor services should cost?

Make sure your budget is realistic!

The reason 50% or more of couples go over budget in their planning, is because:

1) They do not allow for financial changes in their own plans (Job loss, illnesses, etc)

2) They don’t add in the recommended 20% ‘cushion’ – Think in terms of a home reno – things ALWAYS Pop up!

3) Most people do not set realistic budgets pertaining to their vendors and the services they are looking to book.

Another thing that often ends up neglected is the ‘final’ total of the wedding day itself, from final taxes to your wedding vendor’s gratuities pertaining to services…we touch on this later though in another post about vendor gratuities.

Also other “missed” areas within a budget plan, just a few small examples of commonly missed areas: Alternation costs, Gifts, Favors/Supplies/Goody bags, Babysitting costs, Valet/Parking fees, and let’s not forget the MANY different “bridal parties” BEFORE the actual wedding day  – stagette, bridal shower, rehearsal dinners, etc.

Wedding day Budget

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One of the best things I ever heard came from one of my brides this year, Sara, and thus the entire basis of this post as it is still to date one of the smartest pre-wedding plans I’ve come across!!

Her Mother in law had made plans BEFORE ANY PLANNING was to start, for her son, his future wife (Sara) and her to visit a few of main Vancouver Bridal Shows.

This gave them the ability to not only scope out future ideas for their wedding-to-be but most importantly, MEET some of their potential vendors face to face!

They grabbed business cards and price quotes from many of the vendors they liked, found out packaging options and more that agreed with both their tastes but also their potential wedding size as well.

This gave them a whole slew of information, pricing and other options that they could sit and go through once home, to help start them off on the right path.

Not only that, but they had another advantage now, saving more money!!

Many vendors at these shows offer “specials” or “discounts”  for those that attend these bridal shows…That you will not find available through their online sites. Booking your vendors early can not only save you tons of money, but also the disappointments of your top choices being already booked – Remember just about all wedding services and Bridal related vendors (including Makeup | Hair and Salon services) can book about 1 year out!

So once they returned home, Sara and her fiance  sat down and separated everything in sections: Catering, Vancouver Venues, Photographers, DJ Services, Limo companies and more.

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Wedding-budget list

Next step is PRIORITIZING your vendors and/or areas of more importance to you.

With the information and pricing now available BEFOREHAND, They were able to go through each section and price out an average cost PER Service provider for their wedding. In the long run and after the wedding – they were even UNDER BUDGET at the end!!

Some brides have areas that might be more important to them or as a couple. Be that a Venue/Location, or a Photographer for example. Maybe it’s beauty services – These are the top 3 vendors that book the fastest, and with good reason.

You are the centerpiece in every image, throughout the day. Your most photographed day of your life; After it’s all said in done, the only thing you will have left of the day is the photos you get back of those memorable moments…. These three vendor areas are key to not only your photos, but the overall vibe and feeling of the entire experience.

Example: Some brides have no problem spending $500+ on a pair of shoes, that in reality, are under a dress, that no one will see. Then in the same breath, express how their ‘looks’ are super important to them – BUT then attempt their own Hair and Makeup, that may not be appropriate with today’s higher end media demands; it just doesn’t pan out, and the photos show it. While others may be more concerned with a napkin color or sash on a chair, that guests are likely to not even remember….

So again, look at prioritizing your ideas, THEN set your budgets alongside that.

If Photography, Venue, Beauty and how you look, or your Decor are most important, SPEND The budget in those areas!!

There will always be further options for DIY areas along the way, or portions that can allow for additional help from others. But don’t dismiss your ‘A choice’ factors when planning.

In prioritizing and figuring out your vendor cost first, this can not only keep your budget on target, but considerably lower the risk of burning out with DIY Projects and other stress.

After all, the average engagement and wedding planning time frame is about 12-14 months….so what’s a few cents a day set aside, to get the vendors and services you truly want and find the most important for your big day.

So let that be proof, that although you may be excited and ready to just jump in there and start planning, that a little extra time, smart planning, prioritizing and organization can save you so much time, money and stress later on when the ball gets rolling.

Happy wedding planning!

****Have a subject you’d like us to cover, or wedding planning questions you’d like answered? Drop us a line anytime, and we’ll do our best to feature your Question or Subject in one of our up and coming posts!!

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