Wedding Budget – The Breakdown

Being on a budget of any kind is tough. Don’t let anyone fool you – EVERYONE is on a budget and whether it is smaller or larger in dollar value, there is an amount that everyone must stay within. The budget for your wedding is no different, it is just a little trickier.

Decide on the total dollar value you are able to spend on your wedding, and divide the finances as follows, using your preferred wedding budget template. Using a template or specific program is a must – and there are dozens available on the internet!

Remember that taxes and tips are included in the total amount:

40 Percent – Estimate to spend 40 percent of a budget on the reception venue. This includes food, beverages, staffing, taxes and tip. 

10 Percent – Ambiance. Flowers, lighting, decorations will add up quickly.

10 Percent – Music for reception; band, DJ or both.

10 Percent – Photography for the entire event. If you plan a photobooth, include it in this category.

10 Percent – Attire. Brides entire ensemble (headpiece, veil accessories, shoes), groom’s entire ensemble – head to toe.

3 Percent – Favors and gifts for guests, including all attendants’ gifts.

3 Percent – Ceremony. This includes marriage license, ceremony flowers, officiant fee,  musicians (different from reception music). This is it’s own category!

3 Percent – Invitations, save-the-date cards, table markers, guest book, place cards, gift card holder, pen that guests will use to sign the guest book, programs… are all included in this category.

3 Percent – Sweets. Cake, sweet table, individual cakes or desserts.

1 Percent – Transportation costs, bus, limousine, however you plan to get your party from point A to point B (here’s to find out more).

The last 7 percent is for ICE. No, not frozen water… In Case of Emergency. Use this money if something suddenly happens and the cost of one of your categories increases. You fell in love with  gown slightly out of your price range, there is an unexpected surcharge or corkage fee or cutting fee. Having an emergency fund  will save you a lot of aggravation.

It is important to remember that every couple’s budget may vary depending on their vendor preferences and that each couple may have different priorities when it comes to their wedding. You can set yours accordingly, borrowing a percent from one category to make up in an other.

However, there is only 100% so, make sure your figures add up!!!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

How to Spend your Wedding Budget article photo



Pre-Wedding Disagreements & How To Solve Them

From the time the engagement ring is on your finger until the honeymoon begins, there are arguments lurking around every corner for engaged couples and if you aren’t careful, you can fall into the trap of  ‘agreeing to disagree’. In the beginning, wedding planning is fun; picking out colorful floral arrangements, sampling cake and planning how much fun your friends and family will have together. Then, suddenly you are in the middle of a family squabble over nothing…. literally nothing.

Top 5 Wedding disagreements and how to diffuse them:

1) Location. He grew up in South Carolina and you grew up in New Jersey but you both live in Chicago. If travel is impossible for one side of the family or another, take that into consideration, otherwise you should have the wedding where you both currently live.

2) Family. There are a million scenarios for the underlying problems of family tension, whether it is a rebellious sibling or an intolerant parent. The best thing to do is put your foot down early and tell them how things are going to work.  You may need to remind them from time to time.

3) Prenup. Why are so  many people so freaked out about prenups? Because it makes them feel like they are planning a divorce instead of a wedding. In reality, a prenup will protect both of you from yourselves and each other, and family. Decide if you love the person, sign it and be done with it.

4) The Past. Inviting ex-girlfriends/ boyfriends to the wedding may be fine for some and not for others. Don’t be surprised if this becomes a point for an argument later. There are rare situations where this is okay, otherwise – don’t do it.

5)Budget. The thing most couples (married or engaged) fight about is money.  Whether you have too much or not enough it is always a factor. Set your wedding budget, decide early who is paying for what and do not go over the total budget. You may want to cut corners on one thing to splurge on another but, always make sure the bottom line remains the same.

Whatever the reason for the disagreement, remember that planning a wedding is like a miniature crystal ball into your future. If you are arguing with his family (or vice versa) now – it will not magically change after you are married, if he is not involved now, he won’t be in the future, if you are both caught between bickering family members, this is the way of the future. The only thing you can do is stand your ground, now and don’t let outside factors interfere with your happiness.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago