So, you have your guest list and a budget, now what?
It’s time to dust off those math skills and open a spread sheet, or hire a wedding planner, your choice. So if you choose to figure it out yourself here are a few tips.
Guest List: enter all the information into a spreadsheet! Yea data entry! Click below to down load our starter cheat sheet! This will make things so much easier in the long run! You will want to track your invites and then who accepts / declines for the wedding and all surround activities, ie. rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid luncheon, post wedding Sunday brunch, bachelor and bachelorette events, you get the idea.
If someone is hosting one of the above mention events you can just sort the list in the spread sheet. Then copy the people that pertain to that activity and place them in a clean spread sheet. Presto and you have all the information in one place in less than a minute.
Ok on to the budget! Everyone loves to talk money right, only if they are talking about giving you large sums of money or if you just won the lottery 😉
So barring neither of the above has happened it time to have a reality check. Your budget should be based on a comfortable amount from those who have said they would help. This does NOT mean a second mortgage or anyone’s credit cards should be maxed. No one should go into debt or bankruptcy over a wedding. So set a budget and stick to it.
Considering all the spectacular TV shows that have ridiculous budgets and have set high expectations that are not realistic for all weddings. We suggest with a realistic budget and extraordinary expectations an option would be to have a smaller wedding that is extraordinary. The guest count is the fastest to drive up the cost.
Prime example of what I am talking about. You have always dreamed of having your wedding on a Saturday night in a grand ballroom at a hotel downtown. Your reception budget (venue, food and beverage) is $20,000.00.
Option A: The beautiful and historic Driskol hotel you would be looking at about 100-125 guests
Option B: The traditional Hilton Downtown hotel you would be looking at about 200 guests
I think I have made my point, if you have more questions please use the ask the planner at the top of the page!
Ok, back to the overall budget. Set priorities as to what is important and make a list of things that are a must and a list of that would be great if it fits in the budget.
Some areas to consider:
Wedding dress, flowers, cake, location of ceremony, location of reception, save the date cards, invitations, favors, band vs DJ, what type of bar at the reception, what type of food at the reception, wedding planner (Pear Tree Events, shameless plug), ice sculpture, photographer, videographer, programs, place cards, menu cards (only if you are having a plated dinner), chocolate fountain, candy bar (a display with all the apothecary jars not a snickers), I am sure there are others.
Ok after you have decided your priorities now it is time to set an individual budget for each item!
We are going to take a break from this and come back to it as this is a lot to think about.